balance

What Is Normal Eating?

If you’ve ever wondered what the heck constitutes “normal eating”, check out the post I wrote for the Head to Toe Wellness Blog:

http://headtotoewellness.weebly.com/mind-and-body/what-is-normal-eating

We may not know what “normal” even means. But it definitely doesn’t mean perfect! Normal eating is a mix of habits, and a whole lot of self-compassion. Read on, and please leave any questions or thoughts you have hear or on Head to Toe!

Love yourself,

Samantha ❤

10 Minute Dinner: Loaded Sweet Potato

I’m all for treating yourself to a long drawn out home made dish. But sometimes ya need some quick nutrition, while still feeding yourself solid, wholesome ingredients. Below is one of my very favorite recipes. I’ve listed the yield here for 2, but I make this dish for 1 all the time (all the single ladies, yeaah!). Enjoy!

easy-sweet-potato-soup%201700

Ingredients:

2 sweet potatoes

1 can black beans (drained, rinsed)

1 cup Kale, or green of your choosing

1/2 cup of cheese (cheddar, monterey  jack, or any other type)

1/2 Tablespoon olive oil

Salsa

Preparation:

1. Using a fork, poke holes all over sweet potatoes, and microwave for about 5-6 minutes each.

2. Meanwhile, place skillet over medium-high heat, and add olive oil—once hot, add beans and kale. Cook until kale wilts. Once sweet potatoes are done cooking, cut in half length-wise, and top each with half of bean mixture.

3. Top with 1/4 cup cheese each, and salsa as desired.

I wanted to keep the ingredients list around 5-6 for this post, but remember that you can always beef it up (so to speak) with extra veggies! Get creative, or use whatever you have on hand this week. Below is an example. Run with it!

colorful vegetables in skillet

Kale, mushrooms, and orange bell peppers

Did you enjoy this post, and try out the recipe for yourself? Would love to hear your feedback! What would you change or improve? How about pictures of your final product?

The Husky Holidayer: Avoid the Bulge on Your Next Vacation (GUEST BLOG)

New surroundings, hotel rooms cleaned daily, free mini toiletries, and late evenings rolling into late mornings–vacations have the power to decrease cortisol levels, and leave us feeling relaxed; they really can have a positive impact on our health! Yet the unfortunate truth is that these holidays are not always so kind on our waistlines, as it becomes harder to stick to a balanced diet and get regular exercise. Check out my first GUEST BLOG from Cole at Cole’s Mill with his tips for maintaining your healthy lifestyle while on vacation…

Tips for Eating Right While on Holiday by Cole at Cole’s Mill

Eating right and staying in shape is challenging enough in daily life and becomes even more so while on vacation. A holiday in a far away locale often brings high-calorie temptations, and relaxation can cause a person to forgo a fitness routine. Some tips for eating healthy while traveling are outlined below.

Guest Blog Pic

Air Travel

Having a healthy meal before departing for the airport is a great way to avoid temptation. Nuts and dried fruits are good snacks for lengthy flights, and fruit cups, baked chicken and salads make for low-fat eating during layovers. Those wanting a little exercise can explore the airport while carrying luggage as opposed to using elevators and escalators. The San Francisco airport offers travelers a Zen Room, which is a quiet space to unwind and do yoga between flights.

Hotels

When staying fit and eating right is a priority for a traveler, booking a health-centered hotel can make the process easier. Many hotels offer a service that provides a treadmill, dumbbells, a stretch cord and a mat for those who wish to exercise. Shopping around online and looking at review sites can provide more information regarding health-based establishments. I personally use Gogobot because it breaks down reviews based on a number of different aspects. On my latest trip I was searching through a list of cheap hotels in Las Vegas and was able to read reviews regarding the amenities, the restaurants nearby, even things to do. Information like this helps you plan your trip every step of the way. In general, avoiding the minibar will eliminate high-calorie snacks and alcohol, and selecting foods such as low-fat yogurt and oatmeal will keep continental breakfast time healthy. Some travelers elect to bring along a small crockpot to easily prepare foods like chicken, rice and vegetables.

Food and Restaurants

Restaurants that feature salad bars and fish-based entrees are a good choice for low-fat meals. Eating a small portion of fruit prior to going out can prevent overeating or snacking on bread before the meal arrives. When ordering, the focus should be on finding foods that are presented as light, low-fat, grilled, roasted and steamed. Lean meats without skin are a good choice for protein. Using vegetables as a side dish instead of carbohydrates will keep the calorie count down and prevent bloating after the meal, and are a great way to get an extra servings of veggies into your day. Travelers should avoid “all you can eat” type restaurants or any establishment that features food that is battered, fried or stuffed.

*(Quick tip from The Nourished Soul: Going meatless from time to time is a great choice for many, but watch the vegetarian options at restaurants, as sometimes they’ll deliver some serious calories, dwarfing their meaty competitors. Keep it lean!)*

Other Considerations

If a health-based hotel cannot be found, booking one with an extensive exercise room or that is located near a gym can keep a traveler on a fitness schedule. Looking online for local restaurants that feature vegetarian or low-fat fare and also thoroughly checking the menus before going out will save guesswork on arrival. A daily multi-vitamin will replace nutrients and provide an extra boost of energy to help the body deal with the stress of travel.

Whether traveling for business or pleasure, those concerned about exercise and eating well while on the road can follow the tips above to stay on track.

***

Thanks, Cole! ALSO: don’t forget to use your FEET! Take advantage of your time in a new city/state/country/continent, and go see some sites. The beauty of most urban areas is that things are walkable. Think of hoofin’ it rather than taking a car. And if you prefer to vacation in more rural locales, utilize those open country roads. Grab an iPod, or ditch it and listen to the sounds of the Earth–whatever makes you happy!

Don’t forget to check back to see how my rotations in Kidney Disease and Labor/Delivery went. Now get out there and enjoy the weekend!

If you would like to be featured as a guest blogger on The Nourished Soul, contact at thenourishedsoulblog@gmail.com.

Because this is about honesty…

While I love to preach moderation, and share with all of you tips and tricks to maintain such a lifestyle, I think it’s also important to own each of my actions, INCLUDING the not-so-moderate.

 

So, for the sake of honesty, and giving support to any of you who struggle with maintaining balance, I would like to share with you all that yesterday was a rough day. I was experiencing some… “feminine problems,” with pain unlike any other I’ve experienced before. I am not embellishing. Yesterday, for the first time in years, I went day #1 of every girl’s favorite week with no meds. I now know that for me that is NOT a good idea. I love to avoid medication whenever possible… But I now believe that is something my body might need. Coupled with this pain, I was having some insane cravings for some seriously processed food items. I’m talkin’ good ol’ Ben & Jerry’s, Annie’s Pasta Shells, and a Justin’s peanuts and chocolate bar. Alright, so I kept it somewhat organic. But that is hardly moderate. Below, some evidence:

 

Image

(That’s right — the full fat version)

 

I just wanted to share this information with readers to say that living a moderate lifestyle is NOT fool-proof. But I should mention that today I feel great. I feel like I listened to a craving, squelched it (with some undeniable vigor!), and am now ready to move on and get back up on the horse of moderation. No restricting. No purging. No crazy recovery detox diet.

 

And that’s not to say we should indulge EVERY craving. But–you get it–LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! It has more to say than you may realize.

 

That is all! Please check back soon for a new video :).

 

Don’t Waste the Night Away: How to Avoid Over-Drinking this New Years Eve

Typically my first tip for avoiding that dreaded fallin-down-slurred-speech level of drunk is pretty fool-proof: offer to be the designated driver. This works for me, becaue of a) the law, and b) it’s sometime easier to follow a rule I’ve made for myself if  others will be impacted by my decision not to follow it. However, I feel that New Years Eve is only part complete without a sparkly beverage in hand. Here are some tips that have worked for me in avoiding the slop.

1) DON’T DRINK

As fun as it is to attempt moderation, it’s not a reality for all of us at this juncture in time. If you feel the need to go sans alcohol for the night, but fear your ability to stick to it, drink something like sparkling water (or even the infused ones are pretty good), or a diet soda with a lime. I find that drinking something that feels almost cocktail-esque fills my need to over-indulge in the real stuff. 7Up and OJ is also a favorite of mine!

2) STEER AWAY FROM SHOTS

When ingesting shot after shot, our bodies have zero time to alert us to the fact that we’re tipping over into schwasty territory. Try to stick to mixed drinks if you’re drinking hard alcohol.

3) STICK WITH BEER, YOU’RE IN THE CLEAR

If you’re just learning how to moderate your drinking, sometimes it can be extra challenging to follow a loose set of guidelines that tell you to “not drink TOO much, just a little.” When I first began my journey into moderation, I found it very useful to cut out hard alcohol for a while. Beer and wine will at least show you you’ve had enough through signals other than the swirvs—once you feel full, it’s hard to keep drinking! Eventually you’ll be able to figure out ways to slip it back into your life in moderation. A plus to drinking beer—hangovers are far less severe without the use of those high-sugar mixers.

4) H2O! (…and other virgin bevs)

Alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks throughout the night. This will force you to shoot through your alc more slowly, and if you’re spending the evening at a bar, you’ll save money too! Having your non-alcoholic drink be water is probably your best bet, as it’s important to stay hydrated. However, I know it’s often difficult to pull off once others around you have lost their inhibitions, and may want to push alcohol on you. It’s easy to disguise a non-alcoholic beverage, using some of the ideas in Tip #1 (you can throw a lime in almost anything, and ask for it in a high ball glass or tumbler, and trick most people… ;-)).

Also, in any situation involving drinks—ALWAYS be sure to stay hydrated, and eat properly leading up to drinking (well, ideally, all the time…). Drinking on an empty stomach typically ends… not well.

Everyone have a FANTASTIC New Years Eve. Have fun, and remember that a good evening is a waste if you can’t remember it :).

See you all in 2013!