Ho, ho, holy cow, Jess, I have zero time to read this right now with the holiday season!
That is okay! After battling 3 migraines in the last 2 weeks, I feel that! So, I made a quick edition this month to give you a quick spurt of health support for the holidays and keep you moving through your holiday bustle! (And I even added some Christmas goodies at the end for you to try out!)
Concept of the month: Healthy Holidays
Health Hack: Mindset shift- it doesn’t have to be all or nothing
Quickly before we get into the dimensions of health, I just wanted to note that quite often, the holidays cause weight gain. In fact, the average American gains 1-5 pounds from Halloween to New Years… Let’s not be average!
How do we do this and still enjoy the holidays? Simple. Have parameters to your enjoyment, so you can truly enjoy!
The foundations of physical health are the main focus for the month because without them, we can’t function, and we can’t enjoy things to the fullest!
Sleep is often the first to go, but without it, our brains and bodies will not function properly. In fact, we actually hang onto extra fat if we don’t get enough because we put our body into high alert mode! This mode causes the caveman reaction: Our bodies hang onto fat because we may not get food as the result of a running from a predator and we may not get access to food in the chase… and the holidays are anything but a time when we don’t have access to food!! So get those 7-8 hours religiously as a foundation to health this and every season!
Stress management is very similar to this. If we put our body into high alert mode with a busy schedule, stressful situations, or by failing to rest and relax here and there, the same response will be elicited. So, purposefully scheduling rest time, looking at our schedule and being honest about what we can and can’t do, and avoiding stressful situations will all help us manage the stress that often builds this time of year.
Plan ahead. Say no to that extra thing that pops up that you didn’t plan. Get your shopping done. Plan the meal you’re hosting now, so you don’t have to stress later. And plan, yes PLAN,10 minutes each day for devotions, breathwork, meditation, prayer, stretches, a walk (yep you’ll see this in mental health too)… Make it a priority that’s just as important. Set yourself up for success!
Exercise is usually second to go after sleep. For some reason we think that if we cut it out, we’ll have more time. But, honestly, a good workout can happen in 30 minutes or less, and the result of getting our body moving is going to be a better quality of life- our brain functions better, we’ll have more energy, and it naturally helps us manage stress. So, by sticking to it, we’ll actually get MORE done at a higher quality than if we skip.
Walk. Run. Hike. Lift. Yoga. Just move your body! Even take the stairs, park at the back of the parking lot, walk around the block on your lunch break, or stretch while you watch White Christmas. The more movement you create, the better!
Nutrition. The nemesis of the holidays. Ahhh so many goodies. Drinks. Charcuterie boards. Cookies. Mochas. Baked goods. Made with love. Where do we even start?! Choose your indulgences wisely! That’s right. I am by no means telling you to avoid every sugary, delcious-smelling, mouth watering thing that comes at you this season! That’s just not even healthy! But, I am telling you to truly savor those indulgences you do have, so you don’t feel the need to go overboard.
Maybe for you, it’s planning to only have one cookie, 2 drinks, or just the one meal at a holiday party that you indulge in. Maybe you just have one Starbucks peppermint mocha a week. You bake a more purposefully healthy cookie recipe (see below) or two and you only bake enough for one or two servings for your family. Whatever parameters you choose that work best for you, savor that treat when it comes, but then stick with the healthy foods as the norm. If you continue to eat those 3 cups of veggies a day, your palette will continue to crave healthy foods as well. Savor. Enjoy. Then, get back to the healthy diet you know you enjoy the RESULTS of equally as much if not more!
Whatever the holidays bring, try not to let the food be the center of attention! Enjoy the experience with family and friends, and when you do get to the goodies, moderation and plan!
The holidays can often be a tough time for our mental health because it can be stressful, lonely, less daylight, and it can dredge up memories of lost ones or just the past in general (that isn’t always good). That’s okay. Don’t feel you have to be “on” every second. It’s a great time of year to reflect… and reflection can be of good memories too! But, don’t forget to look forward! Look right at what’s happening in the present. Try to keep yourself from spiraling.
How? By doing what we’ve been doing and sticking to that healthy habit of surrounding ourselves with positivity each morning and evening. Bookend your day with music, devotions, positive relationships, messages, podcasts, books.
Enjoy the season and use some of those natural gifts and talents you have in the process that light up your brain in a different way! Last month we discussed taking these talents and marrying them with a holiday task. Example: if you love woodwork, create presents yourself; baking? Bake for others; sewing- create presents; singing- caroling; music- play christmas music; hiking- go with a loved one that’s in town, etc.
It’s good to take time for things we enjoy, and it’s possible to do it even during these busy times!
It’s a tough time to take on projects, so focus on the feel of your home. The decorating and upkeep alone can be enough. Just be purposeful about it and fill the time that you might spend on a project with a holiday to-do, so you don’t get too stressed!
It’s an easy time of year to just say it’s the “holiday season” and let everything go until January 1st. But, I challenge you to look ahead and realize that a few weeks of time in the right direction can make a world of difference when you compare it to just “getting through the holidays in survival mode”.
You don’t have to actively pursue new goals, but don’t let those old habits you were trying to build fade away. Don’t lose sight of those goals you created already. Do the small, daily tasks that will help you at the very least not slide backwards in that progress!
Keep checking in with yourself and your goals weekly!
Social health is all around us (whether we like it or not)! There are often more gatherings, parties, and events than ever! And these are often the events that can trip up our physical health as well. First of all, don’t feel like you have to go to everything if you feel your schedule is getting bombarded. When you do go, enjoy! When you get home, life goes back to its regularly scheduled broadcast.
Just ask yourself one thing: are you spending time nurturing the relationships that are most important to you this holiday season? And act accordingly. Purposefully schedule time with those you love first, and if there isn’t time for some of those second or third tier relationships, it’s okay to put off that get together until January!
As far as giving, give to your heart’s desire! But, don’t let it stress you out! Those in need are in more need when it isn’t the Christmas season, so make giving, volunteering, and outreach a normal part of your routine rather than stressing about doing it all right now. It may even be a good month to skip since there is such an influx of help and gifts at this time of year! Then, in January, get back into that routine!
If there’s one thing I’d like to leave you with this month, it’s this: it doesn’t have to be all or nothing!!! Enjoy the holidays… just do it in moderation. Setting parameters on when and what and how much you enjoy can seem restrictive, but it is actually freeing because there is no guilt when you do enjoy! Allow yourself to, and also allow yourself to enjoy and thrive with those healthy habits as well!
That is all I have for this month, but I am looking forward to January… the email will go out more mid-month, as we all need a little time to recover from the holidays before we’re ready to jump back in to tackling new goals, routines, and mindset!
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM THE WHOLEE HEALTHY FAMILY!
I wish each and every one of you healthy, safe, and happy holidays, and we’ll see you in the New Year! God Bless you and your loved ones!!
-1 ¼ cups unsweetened coconut, shreds or flakes
-¼ cup finely ground, blanched almond flour
-3 tablespoons coconut oil, solid or melted
-¼ cup pure maple syrup
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons paleo vegan chocolate chips
2 tablespoons paleo vegan chocolate chips
-Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or wax paper. Set aside for later.
-Make the macaroons: Add all ingredients (coconut, almond flour, oil and maple syrup) to a food processor
-Blend until you get a wet and sticky mixture, with smaller, but still noticeable coconut pieces. If any maple syrup remains at the bottom of the processor, fold into dough until well mixed.
-Using a cookie scoop, scoop firmly packed balls of coconut mixture.
-Drop onto the prepared baking sheet, making sure to space balls evenly apart.
-Place baking sheet into the freezer for 15-25 minutes, or until cookies are firm.
Make the chocolate dip: Use the double boiler method or the following. Add ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons chocolate chips to a medium, microwave-safe bowl. Heat in 20-second increments until chocolate is softened and melted. Stir in between heating, until smooth.
Remove macaroons from freezer. Dip the bottom of one cookie into the bowl of melted chocolate, scraping off excess. Place back onto the prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all macaroons are dipped. There should be leftover melted chocolate.
Make the drizzle: Add 2 tablespoons chocolate chips to your bowl of leftover melted chocolate. Heat in 20-second increments until softened and melted. Stir until smooth. Spoon melted chocolate into a small zip bag and trim a tiny corner off. Pipe chocolate in a zigzag pattern across the top of each macaroon
Freeze for 10-20 minutes. Enjoy! Store in refrigerator.
Christmas Energy Balls
2 cups old fashioned oatmeal
1/2 cup “snow” finely shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup Christmas M&Ms, coursly chopped or crushed
1/4 cup hemp seeds or ground flax seed
1/2 cup peanut or nut butter
1/2 cup honey
Mix all ingredients in bowl. Scoop out 1 Tbsp at a time. Press and roll into balls.
Chill in the fridge or freezer until ready to eat! Store bites in sealed container.
**If your mixture is very sticky, add more oats or chill mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes and then roll into bites.
Healthy PB Balls
1 1/4 cups (320 grams) natural peanut butter (no added fat or sugar)
1/2 cup (120 milliliters) maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (32 grams) coconut flour
1 1/2 cups (255 grams) semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate (use vegan chocolate, if needed)
1 tablespoon (14 grams) coconut oil – I used refined for no coconut taste
In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla and salt until combined. Stir in the coconut flour. Place in the freezer for about 30 minutes. The dough won’t get very hard in the freezer – it’ll just make it easier to roll into balls. The balls won’t be totally firm when you form them but that’s okay. They don’t need to be totally perfect.
Prepare the coating. Mix together chopped chocolate and coconut oil in a small bowl or pot that can be used to melt the chocolate and dip the balls in.
Shape into about 28 20-gram balls and place on a tray small enough to fit in your freezer. Place them in the freezer to let them firm up more (since rolling with warm hands heats them up quickly).
Dip the balls one at a time into melted chocolate, allowing excess to drip off. Place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Refrigerate for up to a week or freeze for a few months. Can also be kept at room temperature for a few days (if it’s not too warm).
Sugar Cookie Cut-outs (*** Not healthy***)
SUGAR COOKIE DOUGH
3 cups all-purpose flour 430 grams
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks room temperature unsalted butter 1cup, 226grams
1 cup granulated sugar 200grams
1 large egg room temperature
1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
1 tsp baking powder optional – check the notes
1/2 tsp Almond Extract (optional)
1/2 tsp Lemon Extract (optional)
SUGAR COOKIE DOUGH
Sift together flour (3cups/430grams), baking powder (1 teaspoon) add salt (1/2 teaspoon), set aside.
TIP: If you are experiencing excessive spreading use 1/4tsp baking powder or omit baking powder.
Cream Butter and Sugar
In a mixing bowl cream together room temperature butter (1 cup / 226 grams) and sugar (1 cup/200 grams), about 5 minutes, scrape the bowl twice. Butter creamed with sugar should be light and creamy in color.
In a small dish whisk together egg(1) and vanilla extract(1 tablespoon). If using, whisk in almond (1/2 teaspoon) and lemon extract(1/2 teaspoon), set aside.
Gradually add egg mixture into butter mixture. Beating well, till combined about a minute.
Lower the speed of your mixer to low. Gradually in 3 additions add flour mixture. Scrape the bowl well after the last addition and beat on low speed until flour is blended in. At this stage you’ll see chucks of cookie dough.
Dust a a large mixing bowl with 1 tbs flour. Scrape the cookie dough into a bowl. Gather dough together. Using your hands knead the cookie dough for about 10-20 seconds, until dough comes together. Shape into a disk.
TIP : If dough appears too wet add 1 to 2 tablespoons of flour.
Wrap the dough in a plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or for at least 4 hours. Or speed up the process by placing it into the freeze for 30 minutes to an hour.
Preheat oven to 375F.
If you find that dough is hard as a rock, don’t panic. Quarter the dough. Take one piece and microwave on high for 5-8 seconds to soften it up a little. It shouldn’t be super soft, just soft enough so you can roll it out, you’ll still need to apply little bit of pressure.
Cut up remaining dough into smaller pieces, set aside. Place microwaved piece between your rolling guides, either between 2 pieces of parchment or if you have large silicone mat you can use it also ( for the guides you can use 2 painter’s sticks glued together on each side, or 2 pieces of 1/4 inch wood rods will work great, too).
Cut out as many cookies as you can. Gather scraps and to the scraps add a fresh piece of cut up cookie dough you set aside. Re-roll and repeat until you are done with all the cookies. Place the cookies on a light colored baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Chill the cut outs in the fridge for about 10 minutes, or in the freezer for 5.
Bake for 10-11 minutes, depending on the oven, turn the sheet once half way through the baking.
Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5-7 minutes, transfer to cooling rack.
Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks or freeze undecorated cookies between pieces of wax paper in a large freeze safe container, for up to 3 months.
Decorate cookies as desired with royal icing or other medium that you use.
Wholee Healthy News:
- After an in-depth survey, we form goals for you in each dimension of health (mental, physical, social, intellectual, spiritual, and environmental)
- We break these goals into manageable, bite-sized, weekly tasks and priorities 2-3 above the rest
- We have brief weekly check-ins and monthly one-on-one deep dive chats where we change things up or progress goals as needed
- I’m here for you for troubleshooting, support, and tools whenever you need!
(I am a Beachbody coach and would love to work with you on your nutrition and exercise goals if you think Beachbody is right for you- it has been a game changer for me, as it’s taking the guesswork out of eating and workout programs completely! Trained personal trainers and nutritionists form every program! If you have any interest in joining me, please fill out my inquiry form)
It is a great month to jump in because all starter packages still are $20 off! Contact me to help you choose one that is right for you!
Since I’m not able to take on as many 1:1 clients I’d like in this season of life, I am going to be offering a few extra goodies for my Beachbody clients!
- An initial 1:1 goals call
- Weekly check-in forms
- Daily posts in our group (BEstYOU for Life) for accountability, community, & motivation including monthly challenges w/ prizes!
- Saturday morning health chats 1x/month
- Morning virtual workouts
- A new referral program, where clients receive a free sample pack & gift card of their choosing for referring a friend!
We’re still focusing on basic, healthy habits each day with mini challenges each week to help us enjoy the holidays, but get right back to the healthy lifestyle we love after the celebrations!
Coach with Me!
Want to team up and coach with me? I am now searching for motivated, health-loving individuals who want to help others on their health journey to co-coach with me! The journey has been SO successful for me- the accountability & programming is exactly what I needed- maybe it’s right for you too!
Interested? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information!
More Beachbody news:
- You can now be a Preferred Customer and receive 25% off almost every product!
- Myx bikes are here! Myx Bike Info
- Live classes are in beta, but will be available soon! BoDi Info
- Job 1, a new cycling program is now available!
- Peppermint Mocha Shakeology is still available for a limited time! It is a perfect substitute to Starbuck’s peppermint mocha, but half the calories and all of the nutrition… It’s a favorite of mine! Shop here: Peppermint Mocha Shakeology
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Have a great month, and stay healthy!
“Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words, Your words become your actions, Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your values, Your values become your destiny.”MAHATMA GANDHI