5 Tips To Help You Not Let It All Go This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time for family, quality time, being grateful and, of course, feasting! While I have to admit I’m usually entirely too interested in the stuffing and Green Bean Casserole to give a crap about how I’m going to feel in about 33 minutes, I usually regret going for seconds (maybe thirds) –and I’m really sensing a change in that this year.  It’s amazing how lethargic, bloated and straight-up gross you can feel after a big meal. We tend to treat Thanksgiving like an eating contest – but why?! It’s not like we don’t have leftovers for weeks on end…

In order to combat that gross/nasty/”never again” feeling, I’ve come up with a few of my favorite tips that I plan to implement this Thursday to keep a healthy balance. I hope that these can maybe help you to take a step back and really enjoy the holiday with loved ones, instead of being so worried about saving room for an extra slice of pumpkin pie, and then probably feeling sick and gross and like you need to run an extra three miles tomorrow.

SO enough rambling – here’s my tips!

1. Start out the day with a huge green smoothie. Our Thanksgiving veggies usually come smothered in salt, butter or creamy sauces – AKA, not in their purest form – so it’s important to still get your fruits and veggies in. A green smoothie is a great way to get a big dose of good-for-you stuff first thing in the morning. Try a combo of unsweetened almond milk or coconut water, kale or spinach, your fave fruits like banana and blueberries, maybe some chia seeds or raw almond butter and lots of ice. Drink up and reap the benefits pre-turkey.

green smoothie2. Sweat it out. Thursday morning, soon after you wake up, plan to get in a 30-minute sweat session. Whether it’s a hot yoga class, walk or jog around your neighborhood or an at-home HIIT workout, make a commitment to yourself to get it in before the day kicks off. Danny and I are planning on going for a quick trail run and getting a little sweat going before indulging in all the goodies.

3. Don’t forget your water bottle. If you’re like me, your water bottle is with you constantly. So why should this day be any different? Keep in mind how good you feel when you’re drinking a ton of water and keep yourself hydrated in between glasses of wine. Your body will thank you later.

s'well bottle

4. Speaking of water, mix up your beverages. Sure, the whole “drink a glass of water in between each alcoholic drink” tip is great, but who actually remembers to do it? Trick yourself by adding ice cubes to your white wine or make a spritzer with half wine and half kombucha or sparkling water. You’ll still get your buzz and the good taste without getting overly dehydrated.

5. Bring a healthy option. Whether you’re heading home for Thanksgiving or spending it with your significant other or friends, it’s not only a courtesy to offer to bring a dish or two – but it can help you stay on track, too! If you’re not in full control of the menu, it’s often hard to find healthier options so why not bring your own? For starters, maybe try out these Brussels Sprouts Gratin or this Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole. My mouth is watering already.

sweet potatoes

Hopefully some of these tips help you to have a more balanced Thanksgiving and maybe, just maybe you won’t have to unbutton your jeans at the dinner table this year.

What other tips do you have for keeping it healthy during a big holiday meal?

7 Things To Do This Fall

Today marks the official start of Fall, and I couldn’t be happier. Easily my favorite season (especially now that I actually get to experience seasons after moving to Atlanta from hot-all-year-round Florida), Fall brings chilly weather, outdoor festivals, cozy nights in and pumpkin EVERYTHING.

To kick off my favorite season, I’ve come up with a list of 7 things I want to do this Fall. Consider this my (and your) Fall Bucket List. Enjoy!

Go to a pumpkin patch and pick a pumpkin

I’m really after the cliche’ couples pic with Danny and I both wearing cozy sweaters and him holding his large pumpkin while I hold my smaller, cute pumpkin (whatever you all do it, too) but there’s something nostalgic about picking pumpkins at the pumpkin patch that reminds me of my family and being a kid. And there really is a method to picking the perfect one.

pumpkins

Go to a beer festival

While I tend to stay loyal to vodka sodas and/or wine, I love a good pumpkin ale in the Fall. I’m dying to go to OktoberFest in Helen this year, but for those of you who don’t live in the A, I recommend looking up Fall beer festivals near you – they’re pretty much everywhere!

Make a homemade #PSL

So I know Starbucks has “totally revamped their Pumpkin Spice Latte with ‘real pumpkin’“, but I’m still a little weary of the 260-410 calorie beverage. I want to find some sort of healthier recipe using almond milk, real pumpkin puree’, cinnamon, nutmeg… that’s sounding way more delicious to me already! (When I find the perfect one, I’ll be sure to share it with y’all.)

PSLGo on more outdoor runs 

I loathe running. It just hurts. But with the weather cooling down and feeling amazing, it’s hard not to want to take your workout outside. I’ll probably have to take my own advice and make a friend go with me so that I actually do it, but it’s definitely a goal for this season.

Make my apartment ready for Fall

I am my mother’s child. She always decorated our house for every season/holiday, therefore I feel I need to do the same in my tiny apartment. Decorating for the holidays just makes me so happy. I plan on pulling out the ol’ holiday decor bin, picking up a few new goodies from Marshall’s/Homegoods/Target, making a beverage (perhaps a spiked #PSL? Yes? No? Stay tuned -) and Fall-ifying my apartment this weekend. Cannot wait.

fallDecor

Cook with pumpkin – a lot 

It’s easy to get carried away with pumpkin-spice everything in the Fall, but in an effort to continue eating mostly healthy foods, I should prob stay away from these waffles and Pringles. Therefore, I plan to experiment with pumpkin a lot in the kitchen this season. From soups to muffins to pasta sauces, I’ve got quite the line-up in mind.

Have a picnic at the park

For me, it’ll definitely be Piedmont Park, but you can find a pretty park near you just about anywhere to serve as the perfect picnic backdrop. I’ll pack a bottle of wine, some hummus and veggies, a couple sandwiches and make it a date.

picnic

If you have any additions to this list, I would love to hear from you! Thanks for reading :)

One Year Down…

The month of September marks an important time in my fitness journey. Around this time, one year ago, I committed to giving the Tone It Up lifestyle a try with the Frisky Fall fitness Challenge TIU trainers Karena and Katrina were hosting. I had found TIU through Pinterest a few months prior and had tried some of their workouts during my senior year of college, but it wasn’t until this fitness challenge (and investing money-wise) that I said to myself “Okay, I’m going to do this.” I bought the nutrition plan, printed it all out, put it in a binder and started reading.

TIUBeginning

Let’s be real, my main reason for “joining” (when you purchase the nutrition plan, you become a member, which means you obviously get the plan emailed to you, you get subscribed to the Members Only e-newsletters and receive exclusive access into the Tone It Up online community) was my immediate obsession with TIU trainers, Karena and Katrina. Just watch one of their videos and you’ll see how STUNNING they are. Not only that, but they are so down-to-earth, motivating, inspiring, glowing and hilarious. Both women embody everything I strive for in my personal life – from unwavering self-confidence to flawless skin to their overall outlook on living a healthy lifestyle. 

They’re the kind of girls who fill their diets with nutritious, feel-good foods, but are totally okay with treating themselves to a few glasses of champagne or dessert when they crave it. Their workouts are innovative, fun, do-able and NOT boring! They’ve designed their workout and nutrition plan with the average woman in mind – the woman who wants to be healthy and fit but has a million other things going on, too. They really just get it.

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I have to be honest and say that I do not have an extreme physical transformation story to share with you guys, like some of the other amazing women who are a part of TIU. I’ve dropped maybe five pounds, am seeing a little more definition in my arms and a little less flab in my legs, but for me, the main changes have happened in the way that I eat, the way I view fitness and the way I view myself. While I’ve always been a generally healthy eater, I’ve learned so much more about fueling my body properly thanks to K&K. I love to cook now and am always trying out new things in the kitchen, in addition to meal prepping almost every Sunday. I’m finally finding ways of working out that are fun and challenging for me. This last one is still something I’m working on, but these women have created the most amazing community that inspires me to love myself and treat myself well. That’s pretty powerful stuff.

So let’s talk about the nutrition plan.

The educational part of the nutrition plan is what has made the most difference in my healthy lifestyle journey up to this point. K&K teach you about superfoods, best times to eat certain foods, how to balance out your meals, how to eat in a lean, clean and green way and so much more. Not to mention, they’ve probably put a zillion recipes into this thing. Out of all of them that I’ve tried, there’s only been a few that were just okay – the rest have been amazing. Some of my favorites are the Turkey Pumpkin Chili, Blueberry Oat Breakfast Bars, Confetti Kale Salad, Stuffed Bell Peppers, Sweet Potato Cookies, Banana Chia Seed Muffins… my list is endless. Their recipes are so good, and they make you FEEL good.

In this past year of attempting to eat in a more lean, clean and green way (LCG) thanks to Tone It Up, I’ve noticed a huge difference in how what I eat makes me feel. When I eat too many non-nutritious or heavy foods, I absolutely feel how it affects my body. I literally call it a food hangover, because that’s how it feels! I become extremely tired, bloated, uncomfortable, my skin looks dull, I’ve got undereye bags – so hot, right? It’s amazing how even just a day of clean, nutritious eating can make you feel amazing.

KandK

As far as their workouts go, they post FREE (yes, totally free) workout schedules each week, packed with fat-blasting cardio workouts, toning routines, yoga/stretching videos and more.

While I have stopped following these weekly workouts since joining ClassPass (I’m just in a phase where group exercise is what’s working best for me), Tone It Up is the first place I turn to when I want to complete a quick yoga practice before work or just feel like I need some extra toning or a fun HIIT routine. Seeing their smiling faces (and perfect bods) in their workout videos just makes you want to push yourself that much harder.

If you haven’t heard of Tone It Up, or you have but you’re not ready to make a full commitment to the program, I highly recommend checking it out. They’re starting their Fit for Fall Charity Challenge this Monday, where we will all be logging miles to support a charity of choice. I can’t wait to support, simply by getting fit!

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Check out all the info here. Happy Fit For Fall, y’all!