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Your Thanksgiving Recovery Plan

I wrote this blog on Black Friday last year feeling like the cat in this picture. I feel much better on this Friday morning but my advice remains the same. Happy Thanksgiving!  Thanksgiving is one of a few holiday feasts that will probably take place over the remainder of the year, and beyond that recovering from any period of unhealthy eating is mostly the same.  Your body is always trying to reach a balance known as homeostasis. That's why after indulging last night you may have said to yourself "I'm never eating again". Don't do that. Instead do these four things. 1. Get Over It Yes, get over it. It's perfectly normal and acceptable to indulge every once in a while. You doubled down with a second plate and accidentally put too much gravy on your mashed potatoes for the second time. What is done can, mostly, not be undone. What matters is what happens next. 2. Hydrate You're probably feeling very bloated even the day after your feast. Your first inclinat
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Recipe: Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin is one of my favorite flavors. I say flavor, not vegetable, because most people in the U.S. do not eat pumpkin in its vegetable form. Instead they enjoy it as a flavor in coffee, cookies, cakes, and pie.  Unfortunately, the majority of those forms of pumpkin are loaded with extra sugars and fats while being devoid of the many nutrients found in the pumpkin itself. This recipe is a middle ground for me. I get the health benefits and taste of pumpkin without all the extra calories or guilt I get from eating half a pumpkin pie. I also get fiber, which will help make me feel full longer. A lot of the ingredients I use can be swapped out, but it will change the calories and macros. For example, you can swap the egg beaters for two whole eggs, but you're adding 10g of fat to the recipe.  The same goes for your choice of sweetener. Stevia is zero calorie while agave syrup would add 480cal and 124g of carbohydrates. For my recipe I split between two; 1/4 cup Stevia and 1/4 cup agav

How to Recover from the Thanksgiving Binge

I'm writing this on at 6:30am on Black Friday while feeling like this cat. I realize it probably would have been more helpful to have written it on Wednesday. Unfortunately, I have a full time job and until I can realize my goal of training and coaching full time upon retirement from the Marines, I may miss some opportunities. All that being said, Thanksgiving is one of a few holiday feasts that will probably take place over the remainder of the year, and beyond that recovering from any period of unhealthy eating is mostly the same. Your body is always trying to reach a balance known as homeostasis. That's why after indulging last night you may have said to yourself "I'm never eating again". Don't do that. Instead do these four things. 1. Get Over It Yes, get over it. It's perfectly normal and acceptable to indulge every once in a while. You doubled down with a second plate and accidentally put too much gravy on your mashed potatoes for the second time. Yo

Reduce Holiday Stress for Better Health

The holidays are known for bringing us all together with dinners, desserts, adult beverages, and too much  turkey. They also come with unwanted baggage, including stress or, in extreme cases, depression. The pandemic will only increase this with COVID restrictions, inflation, shortages on certain goods, and the rising costs of travel. High levels of stress can lead to cravings, skipping exercise, and binge eating. You're going to deal with it, but applying the strategies below can reduce how it will affect your overall health. Have a Plan I discussed this in my original holiday post about fitness and health, but it applies to reducing stress as well. There are a lot of different events that will come up over the holidays. Here are some steps to help fit it all in. Prioritize what matters to you. If you know about events in advance (annual holiday work party, dinner at your in-laws', Black Friday, etc.) you can list them out from most to least important to you . Build out your c

It's the Holidays, Say "Yes" to Dessert

Let me start off stating that I'm not going to tell you to throw your tentative plan to survive holiday weight gain in the trash and eat an entire pumpkin pie in one sitting. What I am going to tell you is that you need to allow yourself to have dessert over the holidays.  Numerous studies show that restrictive dieting leads to binge eating.  If you tell yourself "I'm not going to eat any sweets or desserts", you're eventually going to find yourself in your kitchen late at night with a can of whip cream and the apple pie that was meant for tomorrow's holiday party...and you're probably not going to share. So what do you do? This is where understanding the food you eat in regards to  calories, nutrients, and portions. This would allow you to look at your daily macronutrient goals and plan to make room for dessert. This is a learned skill that you can develop on your own or more quickly with the help of a nutrition coach.   For now, let's look at the bas

Your Strategies to Enjoy the Holidays and Still Maintain Your Fitness Goals

Halloween is over and the holidays are just around the corner. You're enjoying the cooler weather, wearing your favorite sweater, and making plans with family and friends. The next two months are a time of joy and a time of stress. The joy is time spent with loved ones. The stress usually comes from those same loved ones and the many holiday events that fill up your calendar.  The next two months can also spell doom for your health and fitness. Soon you'll be scrolling your preferred form of social media and read about the inevitable holiday weight gain as you sip your third pumpkin spice latte this week. Don't let the holidays derail your health and fitness goals! Let me be clear, this is not a post that's going to tell you to abstain from any and all of the holiday treats that will be offered to you. I'm not the grinch. This is a post to help you understand the problem and provide basic strategies to enjoy the holidays without sabotaging all the progress you'v