Tips For Staying Active This Season

Tips For Staying Active This Season

staying active this season

There is no one on the planet who loves the summer and warm weather more than me.

Late fall and winter months used to be torturous for me. All I wanted to do was hibernate. 

I spent lots of years complaining about the cold and the darkness before I realized that just like most things in life; I had the power to change it. Or, at the very least, change my attitude.  I am still not a fan of winter, but I’ve learned to embrace the season anyway.

First thing I did was ramp up my nutrition with good quality supplements that include extra Vitamin D through the fall and winter – I can help you with that! Then, I got moving.

Movement and regular physical activity helps control weight, improves emotional well-being, reduces cholesterol and blood sugar levels, builds fat burning muscle, increases energy and stamina, and helps keep stress in check.

I believe that all these benefits are enhanced when you take your activities outside, even in the cold weather. Fresh air and sunshine do wonders for your mood and sense of well being. And, it keeps you out of the gym where everyone is swapping germs during cold and flu season.

What started out as simply making the best of the situation has grown into finding enjoyment in cold weather activities in ways I never thought I would.

Here are some of the things that helped me get started and keep me going.

Have a Buddy

                Getting started is the toughest part. Having someone else to show up for keeps you accountable. It’s also great company. Meet a friend for a walk. It’s a great way to spend time with friends without the added food or alcohol calories.

                If you can’t meet in person, do a Fitbit challenge or connect with other virtual communities and fitness trackers. Challenge each other on step counts, miles walked or days in a row of activity. Be creative and come up with ways to mix it up and challenge each other.

Be Flexible

Daylight is at a premium this time of year. You have to be flexible and plan your outdoor activities around the weather and limited daylight.

It’s light in the mornings now so a walk before work is an option. Or my personal favorite is a lunchtime walk. Walking in the mid-day sun will perk up your mood, reduce stress and make you more focused and creative when you get back to work.

Have The Right Gear

                Feeling uncomfortably cold is not pleasant.  You’re not going to be motivated to keep doing something unpleasant. So, dress for the season.

                Dress in layers. Once you get moving you will warm up and may want to shed a layer or unzip a bit.  Long underwear or silk underliners are perfect for winter walks. You’ll be much more likely to enjoy your walk if you’re comfortable.

                No one likes cold hands or feet. Invest in a good pair of outside winter gloves, wool socks, and warm shoes.  Wool socks will keep you warm and wick away moisture. A good pair of winter walking shoes instead of your regular sneakers makes a big difference. I wear waterproof winter hiking sneakers.

Take Up a New Hobby or Sport

                Ever tried snowshoeing? It’s my favorite! I especially love to be first on the trail to cut new tracks in the snow. Cross-country skiing is wonderful too. And both are amazing muscle building and cardio workouts.  If less strenuous is your thing, ice skating is a great way to get moving in the winter.  If you’re more into indoor activities consider indoor tennis, racquetball or pickleball lessons.

                Sports, not your thing? How about dance? Try dance lessons. It’s a great way to stay active and meet new people. Mall walking is another way to get those in steps when it’s too snowy or icy to walk outside. Most malls open early in the morning to give walkers use of the mall before the shops open for business.

Indoor Projects

                I’ve never understood the idea of spring cleaning. Cleaning inside is the last thing I want to do after being inside all winter. Take on your cleaning projects now. It will keep you moving and burn some calories. Clean out the attic, garage, basement or closets now so you get out and play in the spring.  Or, give a room a facelift. Paint, put up new window treatments or rearrange the furniture. All these things keep you moving and burn calories.

                Make the most of those streaming subscriptions too. There are loads of exercise and yoga videos on YouTube and other streaming services. And if you have lots of stairs in your home like I do, make the most of those too. You can walk them or if you’re in reasonably good cardio shape, use them for interval training.

Don’t let the cold weather slow you down this winter. You’ll be happier and healthier if you keep moving.

Feeling like you could use a little support with this? Let’s Talk! I’m happy to help you to get clear on what you want, figure out what’s holding you back, and create a simple and easy to follow plan to get you moving. 

Click here to schedule a time for us to talk. 

Posted in Exercize, Feeling Insprired, Healthy Lifestyle, Nutrition

National Stay At Home Because You’re Well Day

National Stay At Home

Because You’re Well Day

stay at home because you're well

       National Stay At Home Because You’re Well Day

Today’s holiday is a great reminder to stop,

and take care of you today.

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season can take its toll.  I know this for certain. Every year I was a living, breathing example of holiday burnout.

I’d say “yes” to every invite. Or, not stop the doing until everything on my list was done. I kept up with the parties and expectations around the season which left me feeling tired and drained. At some point, I stopped enjoying myself because I was tired and stressed. There were even some years that I missed out on Christmas or New Year’s celebrations altogether. I was so run down that I’d finish the season sick.

Finally, I realized that something had to change. But first, I had to learn how to listen to the parts of me that needed to slow down and rest. I learned to turn down invitations. I learned to be mindful of how many holiday “to-dos” I would commit to. It wasn’t easy. There was a lot of guilt and FOMO (fear of missing out). But, often with the support of others, I learned to take care of me first. You see, you can’t give to others if you have nothing left to give.

One of the tricks I taught myself was to manage my calendar in ways that put me first. You can learn this too! It’s really simple. And you can use these tips throughout the year to ensure that you get the downtime and rest you need.

Here’s are a few examples you can use right now.

At the end of each month, look to the month ahead and calendar all the events and commitments that are not flexible. Family events, holidays, other people’s events like weddings, and other celebrations, business commitments and deadlines. Now, look to the days immediately before and after these events or commitments. Make sure to schedule “you” time around those events.

I know my threshold. Get to know yours. I’ve learned the hard way that I can’t go all day and night, both days of the weekend without having downtime for me. Figure out how much downtime you need and schedule it before the weekend fills in with activities.  Treat “you” time just like any other commitment and say “no” to other events and invitations.

This is also how I manage my work week.  Get to know your threshold here too. I don’t plan more than one or two evenings out during the work week. This way, I show up to work each day feeling rested. I am fully present to my clients and give them my best.  For me, nothing zaps my productivity and sense of accomplishment more than being overtired.

Figuring all this out and putting it into action took me many years. And, many times I relied on support from others who had blazed this trail ahead of me. Look for support from others around you who seem to do this well.

These acts of self-care are essential for your health and wellbeing.  But, they don’t come naturally and many women feel selfish or guilty when caring for themselves first.  Our culture sets a woman up to feel bad when she takes care of herself first.

If you struggle with this, it doesn’t have to be this way for you. Look around you for other women who are good models of self-care. Talk with her and get to learn how she navigates all the parts of her life while still making time for herself.

And, if you don’t have a person like this in your life, let’s talk.

Supporting women with tools, tips, and strategies for guilt-free self-care is a huge part of what I do.  In fact, its’ the foundation from which together, we create a vibrant, healthy lifestyle for you.

Click here to set up a FREE call with me.

healthy vibrant life

Live Your Vibrant, Healthy Life Today!

Yours in good health,

Sharon A. See                        

Certified Holistic Health & Nutrition Coach        

Posted in Healthy Lifestyle, Nutrition, Spiritual Well-Being

It’s National Men Make Dinner Day Today, What About Tomorrow?

It’s National Men Make Dinner Day Today

 But, Who Makes Tomorrow’s Home-Cooked Meal?

This is the day for men, who don’t already, to take charge in the kitchen and create a home-cooked meal for their loved ones.

 But, what about the other 364 days of the year?

Here are some of the benefits of eating a home-cooked meal every night. 

Health Benefits

A home-cooked meal gives you ultimate control of what goes into your food. Restaurant foods are notoriously high in salt, sugar and the wrong kinds of fats. Even if you order from the “healthy” options, you still are subject to suspect ingredients and poor quality.

Shopping for and preparing your meals at home also sets a good example for children. Kids are surrounded by unhealthy, packaged, convenience foods. Show them what real food looks like by having them help out with meal preparation. Who knows, you may discover a budding young chef in your family. 

Mindful eating and portion control are also enhanced with home-cooked meals. You are in full control of the amount of food you put on your plate and can offer healthy portions to children and other family members. Take this a step further and forgo the family style meal. Instead of serving dishes on the table, plate each individual dinner at the counter or stovetop. When your plate is empty, it requires you to give thought to having more instead of mindlessly reaching across the table for another serving.

Social Benefits

Sharing a home-cooked meal is an ideal way to come together with family, your significant other or to connect with friends. And if your day is busy, hectic and stressful, it helps you to decompress from the day when you share your experiences with others. It’s a great transition from the fast pace of your day into a slower more relaxed evening. And studies show that eating meals together promotes good mental health and fosters a sense of belonging and community.

Evening meal time is also a prime time to reconnect with your children and learn about their day. Today’s kids are exposed to a lot when they are not with parents. It’s good to check in with them on a daily basis. And studies show that kids benefit from the ritual of eating meals together. Children who are engaged in healthy meal preparation will make healthier food choices when not with their parents. These kids also have better academic performance and less likely to be tempted by drugs and alcohol.

Economical  Benefits

Eating out or bringing in take-out is very expensive. You can drastically cut your weekly food bills by cooking and eating at home.

Shopping for ingredients and cooking at home gives you control over how you spend those hard-earned dollars. Having a plan ahead of time is the key. Here’s a link to an article that I wrote in which I share some simple tips for getting organized around meal planning, shopping, and cooking. You’ll learn how to save time and money.

It’s not only the dinner meal that will save you money. Think leftovers! Cooking a couple extra portions at mealtime doesn’t take any longer, and it gives you healthy, low-cost lunch for the next day. Put aside the money you save on lunches and see how quickly it adds up!

More on National Men Make Dinner Day

If you’d like to learn more about how you and your family can benefit from home-cooked meals, or if you need a little help getting started, let’s talk.

Click here to set up a FREE call with me.

Live Your Vibrant, Healthy Life Today!

Yours in good health,

Sharon A. See                        

Certified Holistic Health & Nutrition Coach        

Posted in Dieting, Healthy Eating, Healthy Lifestyle, Nutrition

The Hidden Holiday Stress No One Talks About

The Hidden Holiday Stress

That No One Talks About

Family gatherings, holiday parties, office luncheons, cocktail parties, holiday festivals and more.  We celebrate and come together over food.

For many, this annual ritual represents a hidden holiday stress.

The added holiday stress quietly percolates under the surface for many as the awareness of over eating rises up. Too many festive cocktails, sugary treats and other seasonal favorites leads to the all to familiar holiday weight gain. This is the set up for another go at a New Year’s resolution to finally lose the weight for good this time.

You can’t pick these folks out of the crowd. They are smiling and laughing along with everyone else and seem very jolly and merry on the outside, but inside is a different story. Inside they are feeling the nagging, out of control feelings of being powerless and unable to break the pattern. They finally surrender to it and resolve diet again after the holidays.

Holiday weight gain is real.

New research has shown that the extra pounds you put on between Halloween and the New Year can take up to five months to lose.  So, let’s think about that for a second.  You spend two months putting it on and another five taking it off. That’s more than half of every year spent obsessing about weight. And this pattern only reinforces itself and sets you up for next year. This is why I say, Diets Don’t Work!

Click here to read more about why Diets Don’t Work.

I’m not going pretend that I can solve this problem for you here, in a couple of paragraphs. But, I am going to give you some practical advice that can help.

Here are four simple things you can start doing right away.

Eat Before You Go

Yep, don’t show up hungry. You’ll eat too much. And once you get started, they’ll be no slowing you down.  At the very least have a snack that has protein and good fats in it before you go. It will fill you up and keep your blood sugar stable.

Lay Off The Booze

At least until you have more food in your stomach. I know- it doesn’t sound like much fun. But, once you have a little buzz going on, your self-control goes right out the window. You’ll eat everything in sight and end up drinking more too.

Keep Up With Your Workouts

I know the holiday season is hectic. Now’s not the time to scrimp on your workouts. Make the time. You will be glad you did. And ramp up the strength and weight training, not the cardio. Lean muscle increases metabolism and burns fat. You’ll get more calorie burn from your cardio if you increase muscle.

Get Enough Sleep

Yes, it can be hard to stick to a normal sleep routine this time of year. But, do yourself and your waistline a favor and make it a priority. A sleep-deprived brain doesn’t produce the hormones that keep sugar cravings in check. A sleep deprived body has a slower metabolism and doesn’t burn calories as efficiently. And, your stress level rises when you are sleep deprived causing your adrenal glands to produce more cortisol which leads to belly fat. Make sleep a priority. 

Never Have To Diet Again Plan

Are you catching on to the idea that it’s not just food that got you here? That’s why diets don’t work. It’s a lot of other factors around your daily choices, habits, and lifestyle. It requires a good long look at these parts of your life to know what needs to change on a daily basis so you never have to diet again. It’s not something for the faint of heart and certainly not something you can be successful at conquering on your own. You can’t see your own stuff when you’re in it! That’s where I come in. 

If you’d like to see what a healthy vibrant life without dieting can look like for you, let’s talk about it.

Click here to set up a FREE call with me where I’ll help you to clarify your vision for a healthier, thinner, and happier you!

Yours in good health,

Sharon A. See                        

Certified Holistic Health & Nutrition Coach        


Posted in Dieting, Healthy Eating, Healthy Lifestyle, Nutrition

Top Ten Delicious Nutritious Fall Veggies & Recipes

The hearty cool weather crops are in!

This is such a great time of year for cooking with these healthy and flavorful vegetables. I’ve picked my ten favorites to share with you.  I hope these turn out to be some of your favorites too!

Escarole and soup season are made for each other! Soups and stews make great meals in the colder months. And, they are particularly handy for busy families. You can prepare in advance and refrigerate or freeze until you need them.  I add greens like escarole to just about every soup or stew and crock-pot meal we make. I especially love escarole because it doesn’t have a particularly strong taste on its own, so it blends well in most any soup or stew. Escarole is also easier to digest than some of the other heartier fall greens so can be a good choice for young children or other family members with sensitive digestion. However, escarole is not a lightweight when it comes to nutrition. It’s a great source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. To up the fiber content even more and add a little protein, try a simple soup of escarole and white bean. Pair it with a loaf of Italian bread or a French baguette and you’ll have tasty, quick, nutritious meal for the entire family.

Turnips always remind me of Thanksgiving. Growing up we only saw turnips once a year on the holiday table. Boy, were we missing out by not having them more often.  This root crop is packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, yet low in calories. One cup of cooked turnips has only 51 calories which is about 25% the calories in the same serving size of potatoes. Yet, it provides 5g of fiber, along with calcium, potassium, vitamin C and a boatload of B vitamins. Turnips are cousins of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and Brussels sprouts but have a texture more like a squash than broccoli. Here’s our favorite turnip recipe that features fresh ground horseradish – another tasty root crop.

Rutabaga is a cross between turnip and cabbage. On the outside, it can be tough to tell the difference. Rutabagas are a bit larger with yellow flesh and a purple top, where turnips are a bit smaller with white flesh and purple trim. Rutabaga is sweeter tasting than its cousin the turnip and can be mashed, roasted, used in soups or stews, or cut like fries as a potato substitute. Personally, I prefer the taste and texture of a rutabaga over turnips in most recipes. But, they can be interchangeable. Here are some recipes that combine the two.

Brussels sprouts are truly a cold weather crop. They reach their peak season in the fall and are available through the winter.They become most flavorful after the first frost. Another one of the cruciferous veggies that are plentiful this time of year, they are chock full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals with very few calories. For the freshest sprouts buy them still on the stalk. Leave them on the stalk until you are ready to prepare them for cooking. I find a good set of kitchen shears work well to safely remove the sprouts from their stalk. Brussels sprouts are so versatile that you should never be bored with them. Just to be sure, here are 25 Brussels sprout recipes for you!

Cauliflower is another cold weather vegetable that is power-packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Like its cruciferous cousins, cauliflower is rich in cancer-fighting sulfur compounds, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. Purple cauliflower is an even better nutritional choice. The taste is about the same, but the purple color comes from increased levels of antioxidants and it contains about 25% more vitamin A than white cauliflower. Both white and purple cauliflower make a great low calorie, high fiber substitute for mashed potatoes. Try it out using your favorite mashed potato recipe, or try out one of these dairy-free recipes.

Celeriac is that ugly, hairy, warty-looking root ball at the farmer’s market. Celeriac can also be called celery root or knob celery.  Which is kind of deceiving name, because it’s not the root of a celery plant at all. It’s a member of the same plant family as celery, but it’s grown specifically for the root. The thick white flesh inside is crunchy when you bite into it and has a stronger, earthier flavor than celery. As with other root crops, it’s rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber and low in calories. Celeriac is very versatile and can be roasted and eaten all on its own, incorporated into soups and stews, mashed like potatoes, and added to salads. Here are some recipes for you to try.

Parsnips look a lot like carrots but are larger and lighter in color. Parsnips are not quite as sweet tasting as a carrot and have a nuttier, heartier flavor.  Lightly seasoned with salt, pepper and a touch of olive oil before roasting in the oven is my favorite way to eat them. It really brings out the earthy flavors. Like other root crops, they are loaded with lots of minerals and other beneficial nutrients. Most notable is the high level of B vitamins like folate. Folate is one of the must-have doctor recommended nutrients for pregnant women to reduce the risk of birth defects. Parsnips are also abundant in potassium which is a key nutrient for heart health.

Butternut Squash is at the top of my list of squashes that come into season this time of year. It adds a tasty nutty flavor to any recipe, and it’s hearty enough to stand on its own. It’s so easy to cook when you’re pressed for time. Slice it in half long ways, take out the seeds, brush it with some olive oil and bake face down on a cookie sheet for about 40 minutes. When it comes out of the oven, scrape it out of the skin into a bowl, add salt and pepper to taste for a quick and easy side dish. I also love it for breakfast! Here’s a recipe that I cook up on the weekend and keep in the fridge. On weekday mornings I heat a cup or so in the microwave and top with a fried egg for a protein-packed hearty breakfast in under 5 minutes.

Acorn Squash is another one of those squashes that cook up easily for a quick and easy side to any meal. I usually choose smaller ones that when cut in half will be a single serving of vegetable to add to a meal. I slice them in half and spoon out the seeds so that they look like little cups. I break the stem off the top piece so it sits flat. I coat the exposed flesh lightly with olive oil or butter; sprinkle with a bit of brown sugar and bake flesh side up on a cookie sheet for about 25-30 minutes.  I serve one half to each person. It’s a tasty side to any protein and makes a nice presentation. When I have more time, I may choose to stuff with apples or other seasonal favorites.

Spaghetti Squash is an oblong shaped yellow squash. Like other squashes, spaghetti squash offers a healthy dose of important vitamins, minerals, and fiber with a low-calorie count. But surprisingly it also contains omega-3 and omega-6 fats which are important healthy fats along with a fair amount of protein, while being relatively low in carbohydrates. It’s a great veggie if you eat a more Paleo style diet. This squash variety is served up a little differently and can be used in substitution for pasta. You can cut it in half and bake like the butternut and acorn varieties, or you can boil the two halves. When tender, scrape a fork across the flesh to separate it into strands. Serve the squash with your favorite sauce or other pasta toppings. Here’s an easy spaghetti squash pasta recipe for you.


Posted in Dieting, Healthy Eating, Healthy Lifestyle, Nutrition, Recipes Tagged with: , , , , ,

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