Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Perfectionism is your “Frenemy”

Here are 5 ways to best utilize your perfectionism:

A Critical Eye
Perfectionists are known for being aware of every tiny detail, including every little mistake. While this can lead to feelings of failure and disappointment, use this to be aware of ways to improve. As you continue to work toward your goals, you will always be aware of the next step, in order to continue seeing progress and achievement. With a little patience, you will more easily see how to continue moving forward.

Pulled Toward Goals
If you are a perfectionist, it is likely you are very self-motivated toward your goals. You are pulled to them rather than pushed. Once you have decided to achieve something, you do not need someone telling you to do it. This is not a common characteristic, so use this momentum to your advantage.  Choose goals that are truly important and you will find you are more likely to achieve them.

High Standards and Expectations
Some may say perfectionists set impractical standards and expectations for themselves, which can lead (again) to feelings of disappointment and frustration. Do not be afraid to set high goals – as long as you are aware of what is truly realistic. It may take more time, energy and dedication but if you are willing to put in the work, you will reach the objective.

Focus on the End Goal
Perfectionists tend to be so wrapped up in where they are going, that it does not matter what happens in the process. If they do not see the finish line coming closer, they tend to give up, not realizing the lessons to be learned along the way. Maybe you did not lose 8 pounds this month, but you did lose 3 pounds, and you learned how to eat a little bit better with new recipes. Learn to take in the small victories as you continue working toward your great achievement.

All or Nothing
As previously mentioned, perfectionists are easily discouraged by unmet goals. If their ultimate goal is not within reach, all efforts are often thrown to the dogs and failure is declared. Perfectionists are their own harshest critics, so learn to be kind to you. Practice positive self-talk, and surround yourself with a support system that will help you pick yourself up, dust off and continue working. This is not an all or nothing game. There will be set backs but there will also be successes. 

There is a lot of strength and potential in being a perfectionist. Learn to harness those skills readily available to you, and your goals will become that much more obtainable. Now go get 'em! 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Go On Vacation And Bring Back Memories, Not LBS.

Summer time is perfect for those family vacations and weekend get-aways with friends. However, these trips can be the culprit of some unwanted weight gain that is avoidable. Try these 5 ways to keep from packing on the LBS and still enjoy your vacation:

1. Make Smarter Meal Choices - One of the biggest problems vacation-goers stumble upon is eating out every day. In many cases this is unavoidable, but that does not mean you are completely at a loss when it comes to your nutrition. Consider making healthier selections while eating out, such as ordering a side salad, instead of fries. You can also split meals, which will save dollars, as well as calories. If you do have access to a fridge or kitchen, consider having at least one meal per day in your hotel room. Find a convenience store and fill your fridge with nutrient dense foods, like fruits, vegetables and whole grain snacks.

2. Carry Water – If you are being more active (as tourists tend to be), you will want to make sure you always have a water bottle. This will help you stay well hydrated and stave off those hunger pains that are really your body just begging for water. Not only will this help cut down on excess calories, but you will also have more energy to keep up on fun adventures.

3. Make Alternative Transportation Choices - One great way to get in a lot of extra activity, as well as explore in a way you would not otherwise, is to avoid taking cabs or public transportation. Often times, large cities are pedestrian friendly and many have bicycles available for rent, at hourly fees. Plan your activities for the day based on what is close to one another, so you can easily travel without requiring an automobile.

4. Take Advantage of Amenities - Many hotels and resorts have on-site exercise rooms with at least a couple of exercise machines. Take advantage of them! Make the time to get in a quick workout before you leave for the day. Just because you are on vacation does not mean you need to skip a beat on your workout regimen.

5. Plan an Active Vacation - This seems like the simplest answer, right? If you want to make sure you avoid weight gain on vacation, plan accordingly. Design trips that require you to do a lot of walking, offer activities such as hiking, skiing, camping, swimming, or even scuba diving. While relaxing vacations do have their time and place, you can recharge your batteries by planning a vacation that lets you experience activities, not available in your home town.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Make Summer Treats Tasty And Nutritious

My last post was about how to instill in your kids the importance of eating healthy for health, not appearance. Since it is Summer time, I have a great way to introduce kids to a variety of fruit and vegetable flavors. Help them to see that eating healthy is CREATIVE and FUN!

You have probably made fruit smoothies as a quick to go breakfast option. Have you ever thought about pouring that into some popsicle molds for a refreshing treat?

I found my popsicle molds at a discount store, online and in the seasonal aisle at the grocery store. They come in all shapes and sizes. Recently, I discovered some silicone molds that act like "push pops" and reusable BPA free zip pouches (like "Otter Pops").  If you don't want to invest in molds, you can use ice cube trays and insert traditional popsicle sticks.

I typically just add a little of this, a little of that to our smoothies, including spinach, kale, various fruits, and sometimes a little plain yogurt for a creamier treat. When our produce is just about to turn, or showing signs of "hurry eat me before I'm too old", I'll cut them up and put them in freezer bags. Then, they are ready to toss into the blender.

My kids have fun pouring the mixture into the molds, then even more excited a couple hours later when they can enjoy the treat. I feel a lot better knowing they are getting quality nutrients versus the high sugar, high fructose corn syrup and artificial ingredients of the store bought popsicles.
Here is a recipe I found to utilize the fruit and vegetable combination:
Strawberry Spinach Pops
Ingredients (Makes 6, five inch long popsicles):
·      1 ½  cups of spinach
·      1 kiwi
·      2 ½ cups of frozen strawberries
·      1 frozen ripe banana
·      ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
·      ½ cup water
Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Pour mixture into popsicle molds and let set in the freezer for 3 hours. Insert popsicle sticks into each mold, and let set for an additional 4 hours, or until completely frozen. Take one on the next sunny day, and enjoy this sweet treat!

Nutritional information, per 1 popsicle:
55 calories, .4 g fat, 0mg cholesterol, 18 mg sodium, 14g carbohydrates, 3g fiber, 7g sugar, 1g protein