Hello there! My name is Hannah and I am SUPER excited to be a guest on the blog today. Writing has always been a passion of mine and I am thankful for the opportunity to share some of the things I am passionate about! I met Kari at Epic Church and I have been fortunate enough to attend her amazing yoga classes. She’s the best!
So…who am I? Well, I am a 27 year old currently living in Kansas City, Missouri with my husband and two Dachshund pups. I teach third grade and although I love inspiring the little humans, I am passionate about many other things as well. Some of these things include reading, writing, traveling, and anything health related. My husband makes fun of me because I am constantly reading blogs and articles about various health related things. I can’t help it…I just find it all so interesting!
Anyways, I am super excited about my first post and I hope you find my tips helpful and easy to implement over the next few months. Thanks so much for reading and feel free to leave comments or questions!
How to Stay Healthy and Motivated as the Holidays Approach
As the holidays approach, the first thought on many people’s minds isn’t how to make the perfect fall recipe, but rather how to eat all of the delicious recipes without gaining 100 pounds. This time of year, the struggle is REAL. I always end up indulging too much on unhealthy things, and then I feel awful afterwards. AND not to mention my pants start to get tight. Not a good look.
To be honest, the holidays can make it difficult to stay focused on our health goals. Our schedules get busier, stress increases, and there are more and more temptations around us. I for one have a really hard time saying no to all of the delicious treats that are brought into the teachers’ lounge. Helllllllooo pumpkin donuts! ☺
BUT, the good news is that with some mindfulness, we can still enjoy the holidays and stay focused on our health without feeling like we are depriving ourselves. Here are some tips to stay healthy and motivated over the holidays!
1. Eat Well
I know this is not what most people want to think about when pumpkin spice lattes are calling your name, but it is so important to eat clean during the holiday season. Trust me, I am all about having #treatyoself days, but it’s all about moderation and being mindful of what you are putting into your body. I truly believe in the 80/20 rule- 80% of health is related to diet and the other 20% is exercise and staying active. If you’re working out every day but eating cupcakes and cookies whenever you get a craving, you’re just not going to see the same results. You can’t out-exercise a bad diet. Focus on eating plant-based foods in every meal. I personally try and eat clean for breakfast and lunch every day that I can. That way, if I do splurge at dinner or an occasional happy hour, I don’t feel as guilty. And let’s be real, I need wine in my life.
One of my favorite breakfasts! I’m obsessed with green smoothies.
2. Meal Prep
Okay, so I am sure we all know someone who has posted an insane picture of their #mealprep and we feel slightly concerned. How did this person have the time to meal prep a months’ worth of food?! I can barely watch the TV show I recorded last week let alone plan out my meals for an entire month in one sitting. Yikes.
However, the good news is that you CAN make meal prep a part of your weekly routine! My advice is to start small. I typically meal prep several lunches for the week and maybe a couple of overnight oats for breakfast. I also have an AMAZING co-worker who often meal preps for me (shout-out to my girl Hollie!).
When meal prepping, I personally don’t feel the need to make my dinners ahead of time. However, if you feel the urge to do that, more power to ya! Do what works for you. I have found that when I have at least my lunches planned for the entire week, I feel SO much better and I am able to stay on track with my health goals. There are so many amazing nutrient-dense recipes online now that the possibilities are endless. Pinterest, you the real MVP!
3. Stay Active
Most days when I get off work, the LAST thing that I want to do is work out. I teach 8 year olds all day and they use up a majority of my energy (and sanity if I’m being honest). I would much rather chill on the couch with my pups and binge-watch Netflix. However, I know how important staying active is even when it’s the last thing I want to do. I also know that I’ll feel 100 times better if I practice some yoga, go to a kick boxing class, or take my dogs on a long walk. We all know that exercise releases endorphins and endorphins make you happy!
Lately I have been focusing less on how hard or long I work out and more on just doing something active that brings me happiness. Sometimes taking a 30 minute walk while listening to a podcast is more enjoyable than an hour-long cycling class after a long day of work. I’m always switching things up because I get bored easily, and I want to listen to my body. Try and do something small every single day and plan more intense work-outs for a couple times a week. And remember, life is hard and we are only human so we are going to fall short on our workouts somedays. It is OKAY. ☺
4. Make Time for Yourself
During this time of year, we sometimes forget to set aside time to simply do the things that bring us joy. I’ve seen countless articles on Facebook that discuss the importance of ‘self-care’ and I honestly used to roll my eyes and scroll past them. Like, who has time for that?!
Recently though, I have learned that if I don’t set aside time for self-care I feel more stressed, anxious and unhappy. Facebook, I guess for once you were right.
By making time for yourself, you give yourself permission to heal. If that means you want to sleep in one morning or lay around the house all day in your pajamas, then so be it! I purposely set aside time every week to do things that bring me joy and health. I can feel when my body is stressed and when I need to take a step back and reevaluate my schedule. I do things that recharge me and I give myself permission to have alone time. And to be honest, I need a little break from humans every once in a while.
Some of my favorite things to do to practice self-care are reading, taking a long walk, going to a yoga class, getting a massage, or even decluttering my house. It feels SO good to purge and get rid things that occupy my home. Less material things=a more peaceful home (and less to clean, so really it’s a win-win).
P.S.- Did you know there is free yoga at the Nelson most Sunday’s?!
5. Cook More Meals at Home
During the Holidays we are more likely to eat out or grab fast food due to our busy schedules. Many people choose the convenience of eating out at the expense of their health. As we all know, eating out is not typically the healthiest option so my goal is to eat at home as often as possible. I prepare my meals using healthy ingredients with less unhealthy additives. I usually plan out my dinners for the week on a Sunday and I choose recipes that will keep me on track with my heal goals. One-I’m saving money by not eating out as much and two-I am more likely to be eating a healthy, balanced meal, so it’s a win-win.
One tip I have is to keep your meals simple. You don’t need to cook an extravagant meal every night! Who has time for that? It might sound like a great idea when you are meal planning on a lazy Sunday afternoon with a cup of coffee in hand, but by 6pm on a Tuesday night, you’re not going to want to deal with it. One of my favorite go-to meals is a baked chicken breast with a salad and one other healthy side. It is easy, quick, and yummy!
*Side note: My husband and I are currently OBSESSED with Hello Fresh. They help take care of the meal planning for us. We currently receive three meals a week from them and we love the food! The ingredients for every meal are delivered to our door weekly and all we have to do is prepare the food. I highly recommend checking them out!
Dinner last night consisted of a baked parmesan chicken breast with a salad and potatoes.
Okay, so I know that was probably information overload but I hope that it was helpful information at least. ☺ I am so excited for the opportunity to write on the blog, and I look forward to growing with you. Let me know your thoughts and if any of these tips are working for you. Have a great weekend!