It’s that wonderful time of year when we’ve been all squishy and happy with family, traditions, music, and food….right?
And now we’re looking at the new year. Are you feeling energized…or just wiped out?
Let’s get real, it’s super stressful to fit it all in with work, kids, school, and everyday life.
It isn’t over yet!
Stay strong and centered in the new year.
I’m here for you in-person and virtually.
Keep your engine running, stay calm and carry on.
Like the oxygen mask directions on a flight – help yourself first, then help others. Take care of your needs; emotionally, physically, and nutritionally so you’ll be better prepared to manage day-to-day, through the holidays, and all year.
Keep it simple with these tips from BBC Good Food: 12 Days Of Stress-Free Christmas. Btw the 12 days starts at Christmas and ends on Jan. 6th, so the season just keeps on going! Here are NYTimes (gift article) Cheap and Cozy One-Pot Soups Because the Holidays Wore Us Out.
As an active person, get the recommended protein in each meal, or spread it through the day. It will make a difference in how you feel, how your recover, and keep you humming along. How much protein do you need? If you’re not sure if these guidelines are right for you, talk to a dietitian or knowledgeable healthcare provider. An egg has 9g of protein. A cup of cottage cheese has 25g. Try these: kefir, yogurt, seitan, lentils, quinoa, nuts, soy, chickpeas, tempeh, and of course meat sources if you like. An amino acid supplement will help balance your protein needs if you’re not a meat eater.
When I realized that I wasn’t getting enough protein, I finally gave in to buying bars and high protein snacks. Getting 90 grams of protein a day isn’t easy- but it has made a difference in recovery, and building muscle (not to mention even keeping off a few pounds which I normally gain in winter). These bars are a couple of my favorites: One Bars and Perfect Bars Here’s a list of easy protein-rich snacks. For post workout recovery, 20g or protein and 10g or carbs: Momentous. If you enjoy coffee like I do, you’ll like this Chike High Protein Coffee drink. It’s meant to be a drink in itself, added to water or milk…I even added it to my coffee for a big boost on some draggy mornings!
Carbs are your most important fuel source. Get 22-34g of healthy carbs throughout the day, especially those that also offer fiber. Besides being great for the microbiome, lowering cholesterol, it also slows down carbohydrate digestion, so it helps prevent the cycle of blood sugar spikes that can trigger hunger. Here’s a list of healthy carbs.
A diet with 20-35% healthy fats can help decrease inflammation — a major contributor to weight gain and several metabolic diseases. Choose both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Choose unsaturated fats like olive oil, and limit saturated fat like butter to less than 10% of daily calories.
My go-to breakfast is the same almost every day, because it’s easy, it has carbs, protein, fiber, and fat, and most important, I like it. Cold oatmeal (the trend in overnight oats for resistant starches) for every reason, with nuts, berries, Greek yogurt or kefir.I sometimes toss on some Magic Spoon grownup high protein cold cereal. Or Prozis high protein granola.
Whatever your breakfast is, and whenever you eat it, you should enjoy it, and look forward to it. Eager to eat immediately when you get up, or holding off overnight/intermittent fasting? Do what feels right for you.
We know that sleep (rest in general) is essential for good mental and physical health. But the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep every night can be elusive, if not impossible. Here are some tips that work for me, and might work for you too.
Cricketing is a new one for me, and it works. Feet are super sensitive, and this soothing practice along with The 4-7-8 breathing technique can ease you into sleep. If you have time for a bath, a CBD bath bomb is incredibly soothing. I’ve been massaging this lavender/magnesium body butter onto wrists, arms, neck, and chest, and it really does help me relax and fall asleep. And here are bedtime tips from Feisty Menopause,my resource for almost everything related to a peri and post menopausal woman athletes’ health.
I’m not religious. but Traveling Mercies, Some Thoughts On Faith by Anne LaMott is one of my most loved books. She’s the best friend I’ve never met. The book was written over 20 years ago, and now whenever I hear or read an interview with the author, sharing her humor and wisdom, I’m transported back to this book. You’ll find enrichment in the short meditations in the Daily Stoic Journal, 366 Days Of Reflection On The Art Of Living.
This is my favorite holiday film of all time: Pieces Of April. It’s early, early Katie Holmes, Thanksgiving themed, about family, forgiveness, a wonderful cast, so warm, meaningful, and humorous. These are on our watch list every year: Miracle On 34th St,,the original 1938 A Christmas Carol, and It’s A Wonderful Life, For pure sweetness, watch The Great British Baking Show – Holidays. This group is so congenial, so respectful, and positive. Watch Love Actually before December 21st when it will disappear from Netflix.
There are a gazillion holiday playlists, and I’m sure you have your own favorites. One of mine is the group of all volunteer musicians headed up by Tim McLoone: Holiday Express Christmas. A lovely tribute to the winter season is George Winston’s December . Music Box Christmas is charming. And my favorite of all time (ask my kids and watch the eye roll!) is the 1983 Amy Grant Christmas Album. I’m a big fan of this Vermont guy Noah Kahan, recently on SNL. Mandolin, guitar, banjo, and thoughtful lyrics. Noah will donate a portion of every ticket sold from his massive 2023 tour to The Busyhead Project for mental health.
The podcast, We Can Do Hard Things with Glennon Doyle, her sister Amanda, and her wife, Abby Wambach, deeply thought-provoking conversations with amazing guests on every episode. It’s won award after award, and it will win you too. This On Being episode with Sara Hendren, “Our Bodies, Aliveness, and the Built World”. In this interview the engineer and artist discusses our mysterious human bodies, and how we’re constantly adapting for better or worse — and always, always changing. I always love Terry Gross and Fresh Air, and this episode with Leslie Jones – how she went from the funniest person on campus to SNL star.
My favorite leggings are high-waisted, comfortable, and just enough compression. Prozis.com has so much more, like bras, tops, slippers and slides, plus nutrition and gear in addition to apparel.
Move your body every day. It doesn’t have to be a structured workout, and it doesn’t have to be in the gym. If you like in-person workouts, or virtual sessions from home, book with me at Get Up Keep Moving, or check out a UCanRow2 rowing On Demand Workout.
Exercise can help lift your mood, but so can non-exercise movement. Find a patch of floor, lie down, and stretch and breathe right where you are. Or take a 15 minute brisk walk, or a longer walk, alternating a few minutes at a pace that’s harder to talk, with a talkable pace.
A stretch or a walk can do wonders for your spirit. ❤️
I hope these recommendations are enjoyable and useful for you.
I’d love to know what you think, and if you have any of your own strategies to share!
Here’s to a healthy, happy new year!