It’s that time of the year again. The leaves change colors. They begin to fall from the trees. It is the time for change. Don’t think of the negatives, dig deep and find the positive!
The mornings are still dark when you go to school, drive to work, or just wake up and prepare for the day. You want to linger in bed because it is so cold outside of the flannel sheets, and cozy comforter. It’s even harder if you have a snuggly four legged companion in bed beside you, right? You finally creep out, don your favorite cozy slippers, and proceed to the coffee pot. Motivation to proceed with the day is slightly encouraged with the thought of a warm cup of joe.
Does this sound like your mornings in the fall and/or winter? Our bodies are programmed to want to hibernate and to hold onto a few extra pounds in order to survive the long haul through winter where food may be a little scarce. That doesn’t have to happen!
Here are some keys for motivation throughout the chilly days:
1. Cook Healthy Foods. When I think of this time of year, I think of the cabin, hiking through leaves, crock pot soups, and more soups! There are so many blogs today with tons of recipes—feel free to email me if you need suggestions! Remember, make the recipe your own—you don’t need to follow it exactly in order to accomplish something great and memorable. My favorite is just throwing things into the crock pot together and seeing how they come out. I’m a fanatic about spices because they change flavors and make each dish different. Oh, and I absolutely love adding pumpkin to chilis! Not only are you adding a “good carb,” but you’re also adding extra fiber in the form of some serious comfort! Who doesn’t love everything pumpkin? It’s one of the things I look forward to most! Get creative. Evoke the color spectrum of vegetables!
Here’s my infamous crock pot recipe:
1lb. Lean Ground Meat (I love organic ground turkey breast/chicken)
1 jalapeno sliced
1 can of whole tomatoes sliced
1 can of pumpkin
Some fresh carrots, chopped
Lots of spices—chili powder, Herbamare, fresh ground pepper, garlic powder
Throw into the crock pot and forget about it until after work. Cook on high. My great grandma taught me to cook like this so a “little bit of this, a pinch of that” is my way of really creating a flavorful masterpiece. Don’t be afraid to pair spices! Just go for it!
2. Motivate Yourself with an Outlook on Results. Instead of reminiscing on the morning you could have spent in bed, think of the results you will see by getting up and getting to the gym. Or, if you workout after your workday, think about how awesome it will feel to go home after a great workout, and you’ll be even warmer when you get home!
3. Bundle Up and Get Outside. Just because it is cold outside doesn’t mean all outside activities must cease until the Spring. Many companies have developed so many varieties of clothing for outside workouts and hiking. Layer up. By combining layers of clothing, you can shed some and still have your body covered sufficiently. Have you ever tried a run in the chilly weather? How about an interval workout outside, or even a small hike with your dog? A change of scenery is always a good thing, plus enjoy the fresh air since when we get into work we are stuck inside A-L-L D-A-Y L-O-N-G! Breathe!!
4. Don’t just sit around comforting yourself with “comfort foods.” There is a time and a place for treats. Not cheats—we don’t want to associate negative descriptions with something that we feel is truly positive. Something that I learned from the Hartwigs (www.whole9life.com) is to consider your treat. My husband teases me, “Have you done your flow chart yet?” This ensures that we are not going to take a moment and make an emotionally based decision. Think of something that truly is worth splurging on, something that creates a moment of memory. This could be something that is homemade from scratch, coming right out of the oven. Or, for some of us, a Flavor Cupcake. The treat should be one that you can truly enjoy. Consider this part: only eat what you need to satisfy the moment and yourself. Eat slowly and enjoy each bite, ensuring that you listen to your body. Sit down at the table. Put whatever that treat is on a plate, even a fancy schmancy plate. Light a candle if you need to and set the mood for your special moment. Make it work.
5. Happy Holidays? There’s a question mark there for a reason. I’m already getting the emails. “How do I do the holidays?” “How do I try not to overeat?”
Although we may thoroughly enjoy the holidays, time with friends and families, etc.—let’s face it: when your schedule consists of party after party full of buffets, we tend to get discouraged by the time the actual holiday comes because of all the festivities leading up to it. I’m going to have to have a sublist here:
(a) Take a dish;
(b) Eat before and do not commune in the room where the food is located; and
(c) Enjoy it, just remember it is only for a short time. Set a limit and ensure that you don’t go over it. Only make one (1) (count it, ONE!) trip to the food and just don’t over do it. Think positively—you can do this!
Now that you’ve rocked all this, curl yourself up with that lovely cup of something warm, with your warm blankets (fresh from the dryer is kind of fantastic!) and count down until the New Year!!!!!