February’s Healthy Heart Challenge

As January comes to a close, our New Year’s resolutions may be winding down as well. To keep the momentum going, I have a challenge for you that will keep you moving through February!

For those who are new here, I am 8 weeks postpartum and announced in my last post that I have set a goal for myself to lose my baby weight by April 6. To help keep me accountable, I will be tracking my cardio weekly…and you can join me!

Here’s the challenge:

WHAT: 4 hours of cardio each week (16 hours total for the month) with 1 cardio session to be done with family, friends, spouse or dog each week. Studies shows this helps improve heart health even more! If you participate in classes at our studio, these count toward your cardio count. You can add the time in small segments as well; ex: dog walks of 20 minutes everyday would add up to 2 hours 20 minutes of cardio for the week assuming you do it every day.

Since February starts mid-week, your goal will be to log 3 hours of cardio this week (breaks down to about 35 minutes per day).

Since it’s hard for me to get in an uninterrupted 1-hour workout these days, my personal goal is getting outside for a 20-30 minute walk daily. Instead of setting lofty goals for myself, I’ve concentrated on smaller, more realistic goals; like, completing 10 push-ups a day. When I can check something off my list, I feel more accomplished and that motivates me to continue pushing forward.

The best thing you can do when setting small goals for yourself is attach the action to something you already do. For example, I complete my push-ups before taking a shower each night. My husband Kendrick wrote a great blog post about creating positive changes without motivation. Read more here.

 

I’m super excited for what February has in store! If you missed the announcement in my last post, I will be publishing an exclusive newsletter bi-weekly for those who are subscribed to my blog. The first newsletter will be released this Wednesday, February 1st.

 

I’d love to hear if you’re joining me for this month’s Challenge! Feel free to comment and let me know if you’re participating below! 🙂

 

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Back to Body: Postpartum Series

Last Friday I had my 6 week checkup post-baby. I tried not to psych myself out for that fateful moment when I would step on the scale. Over the course of my pregnancy I gained 42 pounds. More than I had expected, but since this was my first pregnancy, I wasn’t as worried about weight gain as I was about staying healthy and doing what was best for my body. I was very active for most of my pregnancy and my OB wasn’t at all concerned about my weight, so that reassured me that everything was going smoothly.

Truth be told, when I saw that number on the scale, I panicked a little.  I’ve never had to intentionally try to lose weight. I’ve maintained a healthy balance between exercise and nutrition so that I can eat what I want without feeling guilty.

The first 22 pounds have come off seemingly easy. I’ve been exclusively breastfeeding and walking daily. After week 3, when I started finally feeling like myself again, I hit the gym for some higher intensity cardio. My favorite machines have been the water rower, the ski erg, and the Airdyne bike. I like to rotate between all three during my workouts and add strength training  in between. Then, I usually finish with a core set.

(NOTE FOR NURSING MOMSBe wary when feeding your baby after a high-intensity workout! I learned this the hard way.  I had no idea that the lactic acid could affect the composition of my breast milk. Recent studies claim that moderate exercise has no effect on breastmilk, only “exhaustive” exercise…this may be the case, but I can only account for my own experience. I spent an hour working out, rotating high intensity cardio with strength training; and when I fed my baby a half hour after, he ended up spitting it all back up. I must also note that my milk smelled sour, something that has never happened before. Since he showed no other signs of sickness, and didn’t have a fever, it made sense that the reason he spit up was due to the composition of the breastmilk. Every body is different and what happened to me might just be a fluke, but I don’t want to risk putting my poor babe through that again so I will be sure to feed him BEFORE working out next time.)

Anyway, I still have 18 pounds to lose to return to my pre-baby weight…however, I can’t deny that having a baby changes your body, and chances are my body is never going to look the same as it did before…and that’s OK. It took over 9 months to grow a baby, so it may just take another 9 months for my body to return to its NEW normal.  I am not going to stress over the scale. I am going to give myself a 5 pound buffer to account for the changes my body’s been through (these new boobs weigh at least a couple pounds each) 😉

I’ve set a goal for myself to lose between 13-18 lbs by April 6, 2017…a little more than 3 months from today. Since this is a first time journey for me, I’ll be documenting my progress along the way. If I don’t reach my goal by this specified period, I will not give up. This process is about the journey, not the destination; my number one priority is my new baby and taking care of his needs first. If that means I carry around some extra weight for a little while, then so be it!

I’ll be posting  on Instagram (@mrskfit), Facebook (Mrs K-Fit page), and Snapchat (@acn1228), in addition to my blog…so be sure to follow along on these social media outlets as well.

I’ll also be releasing a newsletter twice a month filled with exclusive content; such as workout videos, delicious (and easy!) recipes, monthly challenges, tips and inspiration, and of course – baby photos! 🙂

To receive the newsletter, be sure to subscribe to my blog!

 

Here’s a quickie core set to start your week off strong:

20 crunches

15 butt lifts

15 toe touches

10 sit-ups (* I only did one set of sit-ups, but if you feel good, go for two!)

1 minute plank

REPEAT

 

Let’s do this!!

 

 

 

Giovanni: One Month

We’ve made it to the one month mark! I think with all the holiday celebrations, it made time go by even faster.

The past month has been nothing short of amazing. Gio’s been such a great baby, and even when I moan about getting up in the middle of the night, I take one look at that face and can’t help but smile.

He is eating like a champ (takes after his father) and now weighs 10 lb. 12 oz, and is 22 1/2 inches long. His hair is lighter than what I thought it would be, and I’m curious what the coloring will be as he gets older. So far here’s what we’ve learned about our little guy.

  1. He sleeps with his mouth open (like me)
  2. He purses his lips when he poops (and also will turn red)
  3. He has started grabbing onto things (especially shiny things like my necklace)
  4. He has started to track with his eyes (if Kendrick puts him down and walks away, he’ll follow him)
  5. He doesn’t like baths
  6. He likes being carried in the Ergobaby
  7. He loves his Rock-n-Play (and has slept mostly in this)
  8. He smiles right after he’s had his milk (aka when he’s in a milk coma!)
  9. His lips and nose resemble mine and Kendrick’s
  10. His eyes are like Kendrick’s
  11. He loves the camera! 😉

 

Here’s some pictures from his newborn shoot when he was nine days old. Thank you to the talented Jessie Salas Photography. I absolutely loved doing an in-home shoot!

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model status…he was totally posing for the camera!

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These next few are my absolute favorite!! It makes my heart melt seeing my handsome husband hold our beautiful boy ❤

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Sneak peek of the little man’s room…we spend lots of time changing diapers in here 😉

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Happy 1 Month Giovanni!

Love,

Mommy and Daddy

 

 

 

 

My Baby Must-Haves + 3 Week Recap

So, I must preface this post by saying I had started writing a 2 week update last week, but never got around to finishing it; SO…this will now be a 3 week update. The beginning is what I meant to post last week, and even though Christmas is over, I want to share my reflections on my first Christmas as a mother 🙂

 

It’s been 2 (now 3) weeks since Giovanni came into the World and as we get ready to celebrate Christmas, it’s been so special to have him here with us. Christmas is my favorite holiday, and you may remember me saying that before we got pregnant, I was secretly hoping his birthday would fall around this time of year. My own birthday is just three days after Christmas, and it’s been beautiful to reflect on my own mother carrying me almost 27 years ago, and also Mary carrying the baby Jesus.

After giving birth, I am amazed at what Mary had to go through over 2,000 years ago. Even with modern medicine, giving birth is dangerous, and it is a complete miracle to give birth to a healthy baby and also have a healthy mommy.  I can’t imagine not having the team of nurses and midwives by my side, and having to labor and give birth in a cold, damp, smelly and unsanitary stable like Mary. Not to mention what her recovery process was like; giving birth is messy!  Remember…she was only 12 or 13 years old!! What a scary thing to go through at such a young age. It makes me appreciate the cost of my salvation so much more.

A beautiful song that reflects the humble birth of Christ is Michael W. Smith’s “Welcome to our World”. I look at my own son, and can’t believe that our Savior came into the world in the same way…a helpless little baby. He had tiny fingers and toes, and was dependent on his mother, just like Giovanni is dependent on me.

Kendrick and I have learned a lot these past 3 weeks, and have settled into a schedule (somewhat), and have gotten a lot more comfortable changing diapers (Kendrick has done most of the brunt work in this department). For some reason Gio has the messiest diapers in the early morning hours when Kendrick changes him. (He’s already gotten peed on numerous times.)

Our love for him grows each day, as we find ourselves laughing at his funny faces or admiring his beautiful features. As he slept in our bed yesterday, I found myself telling my sister, “I just can’t believe he’s my child.”

Up until you have children your whole life is centered around yourself. Then, you have a child and this new human becomes the center of your world…it still amazes me that my body was able to grow and give birth to such a perfect being. Kendrick has been saying it is a true miracle when a baby comes out healthy. So much has to go right to have a healthy baby, and the fact that Gio came into this world with 10 fingers and 10 toes, a heart that beats and eyes that can see is a complete miracle. 

Here’s a little update on what’s been happening these past few weeks:

  1. My milk coming in. This happened 2 days after coming home and let me tell you…no one warned me how painful it would be!! I took a nap that afternoon, and when I woke up, my boobs had turned to two rocks on my chest!! I’ve had small boobs my entire life, so this new change has been very uncomfortable for me. I qualified for a free breast pump through my insurance, and thank the LORD it arrived the very same day! I don’t know what I would’ve done otherwise. I am very thankful that I’ve been able to breastfeed successfully, and know there are many other mothers who struggle with this. In those late night hours, when I struggle with whether to sleep or pump, I’m reminded that it’s a blessing to be able to feed this boy on my own.
  2. Night sweats. They started the night after I gave birth, but I didn’t realize it was normal. When we got home, Kendrick was concerned I was running a fever, but after a friend came over to visit, she told me these were normal and it’s your body trying to get rid of the excess water you stored up during pregnancy. Whew! I was glad to hear that.

5 Baby Must-Haves:

  1. Fisher Price Rock-n-Play. This thing has been a life saver! We ended up registering for this instead of a bulky swing, and I’m so glad we did!! Gio has actually been sleeping in this instead of his bassinet. It’s small, cozy, and foldable which makes it easy to move and transport. It also plays music, rocks, and vibrates. The rocking and vibrating is really soothing for him especially if he’s a little fussy. I HIGHLY recommend this to any mom.
  2. Kiinde Twist Bags. When my milk came in and I had to start pumping, I was SO glad that I had bought a box of these. I love the twist top for easy pouring, and the measurements on the bag.
  3. Dr. Brown’s Preemie Nipples. My sister-in-law recommended I buy the smallest size nipple so that when I started bottle feeding, Gio wouldn’t get lazy and stop taking the breast. Since my milk came in quickly and I had to start feeding some milk from the bottle, I’m glad I had these on hand.
  4. Pampers diapers with the color changing line! I didn’t know the diapers had this until I read a blog post late in my pregnancy and the blogger mentioned that Pampers (and also Huggies) have a yellow line down the middle that changes to blue when the baby wets himself. What a genius invention! Although The Honest Co. diapers are cute, I’d rather have practical!
  5. Nursing tank. This is technically for momma but I count it as something for baby too because it helps you nurse so much easier! I’ve lived in these Pea in the Pod tank tops for the past 3 weeks..I even wear them to bed! I have a couple nursing bras, but these are much more practical because you don’t have to worry about wearing another shirt.  These are another item my sister-in-law recommended and I stocked up and bought four before Gio was born.

 

Mommas out there- what are your must-haves?? Feel free to comment and link your favorites down below!

To my readers– thank you for your loyalty this year and for sharing my posts with your family and friends. My hope for the new year is to get back to posting regularly…and also to share my postpartum fitness journey!

 

Family photo by: Jessie Salas

Welcoming Giovanni!

As I write this, my little babe is fast asleep and I can’t believe he is here! A week ago today I was laboring at the hospital, a few hours away from meeting my little boy.

This past week has flown by, and I’ve quickly learned that life with a newborn is very busy! Between the feedings, changings, and pumping…the hours in the day seem to disappear. I’ve been lucky to have my mom in town from the east coast, and thanks to her I actually get a chance to eat. I’ve also been able to shower and nap, which are huge accomplishments in and of themselves.

It’s funny how quickly you adapt to ‘mom life’ when your newborn arrives. My focus has shifted completely and I’m 100% devoted to my child and his needs. Breastfeeding has been going well for me, and Gio certainly takes after his dad in the eating department. He has no problem latching on, although he does prefer the right breast. (To compensate, I’ve been pumping my left often.) He is healthy and happy, and even tempered. He slept straight through his circumcision without crying (what baby does that??) and slept through getting his blood taken a few days later. Kendrick joked with the nurse that he is better at getting his blood taken than his momma.

Well, before the little one wakes up I want to try and share what I can from his birth story.

So, here goes!

I was laying in bed on Monday morning, December 5 when my water broke. At first, I wasn’t totally sure that’s what it was. When they portray your water breaking in the movies they make it seem like it’s this big event when everything comes gushing out of you. Well, that wasn’t the case. It was more like a slow trickle that I couldn’t control. Kendrick had just left for work, and so I called him to tell him the news. “Call the hospital!” he said. “I’m coming straight home.”

I called and they told me it sounded like all the signs were there, but they wanted to come in and check me to make sure. They said if my water did break, I would be admitted, so to come prepared. My heart started racing hearing this, and I quickly got changed and cleaned myself up. All our bags had already been packed, so we were ready to go! I wasn’t sure if I would experience this big rush of waters on the way to the hospital so I put a towel down on the front seat just in case.

The drive to the hospital was surreal; I kept looking over at Kendrick and he would turn and smile back at me. We couldn’t believe it was happening! Kendrick called his parents to let them know the news; they had flown in over the weekend from South Carolina and were staying close by. We arrived at Kaiser Hospital in Redwood City at 10:19 am. My midwife confirmed that my water had indeed broken, and so I was admitted. Because my blood type is 0-, I had to have a RhoGam shot during my pregnancy and after getting admitted, they had to give me antibiotics (penicillin through my IV) so that I wouldn’t infect the baby when our blood mixed. I’ve never been good with needles, and after getting my IV put in my blood pressure started to drop. I could feel myself getting faint and losing consciousness. Kendrick said the baby’s heartbeat dropped significantly and all of a sudden 5 other nurses were in the room. They put an oxygen mask over me and told me to lay on my side to help increase blood flow. I kept taking deep breaths and tried to stay calm so that his heart rate would come back up. It started to come back up, and after a couple minutes the nurses said that he was doing better. They left the oxygen mask on me though and continued to monitor for a little longer.

After that extravaganza, I continued a slow labor process into the afternoon. By 2:30 pm the nurses wanted to give me citotec to help move the contractions along. Citotec is a more mild form of pitocin, that I was able to take orally.  It only took half a pill to get the contractions started. However, they were still not close enough together so four hours later they gave me a full dose.  That made the contractions really strong, so much so that by 10 pm I decided to get an epidural. This time I did not pass out…thank goodness!

My contractions slowed and I was able to sleep for a few hours. Then, I woke up and started feeling them again. The anesthesiologist came in the morning to give me a stronger dose  and I ended up throwing up all over myself. From then on, it was hard to keep fluids down- I was nauseous and dehydrated. I was also taking a bag of penicillin every few hours through my IV.

My mom arrived around 11 am. (She flew in straight from Pennsylvania!) She wasn’t supposed to arrive until the 10th, but I had called her late Sunday night (the day before my water broke) and told her I wanted her to come out earlier. Who knew I would start laboring the next day!? It all worked out perfectly.

I continued laboring through the morning and still felt strong contractions; my epidural wasn’t giving me any relief. Finally, by the afternoon, they decided to give me pitocin to speed up contractions so I would have the “urge to push”. By this point, I was in lots of pain, dehydrated and exhausted. I had been throwing up liquids and juices I was trying to keep down.

Kendrick was so worried I wasn’t going to make it through the pushing phase, and even called my midwife aside asking if I should have a C-section…I could barely open my mouth to suck on ice chips.

But then..something strange happened. After they gave me pitocin and decreased my epidural (they decided to do this because an epidural often slows down the labor and dilation progress and I wasn’t progressing as quickly as they wanted me too) so… after they did this, instead of being in more pain I just fell asleep! I passed out but they were monitoring my contractions on the screen and saw that I was having really strong contractions but not waking up. It was very strange!

However, the nurses said not to wake me, because I would need my strength for the last and final phase.  I slept for an hour or so and after waking up I felt much better. When my midwife Terri came in she said they weren’t going to give me more epidural; instead they just wanted me to push! It was time to get this baby out. I started pushing at 5:10 pm and had Kendrick, his mom, my sister, and my mom with me in the room. Kendrick was holding my left leg, a nurse was holding my right leg, and I was instructed to grab behind my knees and pull both legs back. While pushing, there were always two people holding my head up (my sister, Kendrick’s mom and my mom rotated).

At 7:45 pm, on Tuesday, December 6th Giovanni Natiello Ribeiro made his entrance into the world!

My midwife Terri immediately handed him to me and I watched while Kendrick cut the cord. They let me hold him until Terri finished stitching me up and cleaning me and then after that the nurses took Gio to clean him up. (I’m glad they let me hold him during that time it was a nice distraction from what she was doing!) They weighed and measured him (8 lbs, 12.9 oz. and 21 inches long) and then gave him back to me to nurse. He latched on at 8:45 pm- an hour after coming out, and nursed until 9:30 pm- 45 minutes!!

 
After that my sister and mom left and Kendrick’s parents helped move our bags over to the other room we’d be staying in post delivery. My legs were still numb from the epidural so the nurse helped transfer me onto the other bed. They wheeled me and baby over to the other room. That night there were a bunch of nurses in and out checking on me and baby. By that point I was so exhausted and just wanted to sleep through the night, but I knew I had this little thing to take care of and that it would be a long time before I was able to get an 8 hour stretch of sleep again. It’s such a strange feeling after giving birth; you wait 9+ months to meet your babe, and then they come and it’s like meeting a stranger. I did not recognize his face, his features, his expressions, or his sounds yet. Now, a week later, when I look back at his birth photos I see HIM- Gio. But at the time, it was all so foreign to me.

***This post has been interrupted by a projectile pooping incident…OH the joys of parenthood!!

Well, before something else interrupts me I will end this post here. This past week has been a wonderful, crazy ride that I wouldn’t trade for anything. Each day brings a new adventure and a new laugh.

Happy 1 Week birthday little man!!

Here are some photos for you to enjoy 😉

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Last belly shot before leaving for the hospital!

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After getting admitted at the hospital

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Carbo-loading! 😉

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Putting on a brave face before I started pushing

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Gio is born!

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Our precious little nugget 🙂

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Heading home 🙂

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No longer two…but three ❤

Lessons for Parenthood

This Thursday will be our last holiday without a child. It’s kind of a big deal.

The sentiment among most first-time parents is this: “Our lives are going to change and they’ll never be the same!” Kendrick and I have accepted this and do not feel a sense of regret, but rather a sense of present awareness. And so, we’ve been soaking up this time together as much as we can. We even took a spontaneous trip down the coast last weekend to Big Sur. At first it seemed a bit crazy to drive 2 1/2 hours to Big Sur and back in one day; but why not? We didn’t have anything holding us back.

We actually met a couple sitting next to us at dinner who had a 10-month old daughter and had driven all the way from San Diego for the weekend. We asked if they had been traveling much and the wife said, “Oh yes! She’s been on 5 planes this year, and we’ve even taken her camping. Having a child shouldn’t prohibit you from doing the things you love.”

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Our dinner view at Nepenthe in Big Sur– so worth the 2 1/2 hours we drove to get there!

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Made it just in time for sunset

I was so grateful for her refreshing outlook on parenthood. For the most part we’ve been lucky and have received encouraging comments from parents, but occasionally you have a parent who doesn’t hesitate to share their less than ideal experiences.

I understand that parenthood isn’t all roses, and that’s okay. We’ve all heard the phrase, “Don’t make promises you can’t keep.”

Well, there is one promise I can make to my son that I know I can keep; which is this:

“I will not be perfect.”

This reflection came after reading Karl Pillemer’s book, “30 Lessons for Living“.  I recently found it on my bookshelf and realized I had never read it. Karl is a Professor at Cornell University and ran a study in which he interviewed several elderly around the country, who ranged in age from mid-sixties to 102! He compiled all the information from their interviews into a book of 30 overarching lessons that they wanted to pass on to the younger generations. The chapter that most intrigued me, especially at this phase in my life, was the one titled, “Nobody’s Perfect: Lessons for a Lifetime of Parenting“.

I have to admit, I actually read this chapter first instead of starting at the beginning of the book.  My two favorite lessons were these:

  1. It’s all about time
  2. Take a lifelong view of relationships with your children

Here’s what I wrote in my personal journal on this topic.

Dear son,

Your dad and I talk about the first lesson frequently because we feel it is the most important gift we can give you…our TIME. You will grow up so fast and we want to be there for you through it all. Our number one value is family, and so you can expect that we will make that a priority in our home. Some children have dads or moms who work too much and travel all the time and miss out on special life events. We don’t want to be those parents. We want you to remember us being present in your life and being part of the things that are important to you.

2. We realize that once we become parents, we will always be parents. Even when you leave the home, we will never stop being your mom and dad. However, our relationship will change when you’re older. You will no longer have to report to us, you will be in charge of your own life. And so we hope that the values we teach you in the home will follow you into adulthood. The decisions we make in the next 18 years will lead to either a positive or negative relationship in the future; and so I pray that God will guide us with the wisdom to be the best parents we can be for you and that we foster a healthy, positive relationship with you.

We also realize that we are not perfect; so there may be times when we make a wrong decision or say something we don’t mean. Please know that no matter what happens, we will always love you- because you are part of us. You were created by God, but you share me and your father’s DNA. There is no one else in the world like you,  and there never will be- even your siblings will be different.

If you ever doubt my love for you- I hope you will read this and find comfort. You are SO loved and as we get ready to become parents, we can’t promise perfection, although we commit to do our best to:

  1. Listen
  2. Maintain openness
  3. Have good intentions

Te amo meu filho, (I love you my son)

 

To my parent readers: If you were being interviewed, what lesson(s) would you give to the younger generations on parenthood?

Please leave your comments below! 🙂 

PS- thought I’d include an updated bump picture! 37 weeks, 4 days along…we’re in the final stretch!

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7 Tips for Mindful Eating during the Holidays

With the holidays fast approaching, (Thanksgiving is already next week!)  I’ve put together a list of tips to ease your feasting anxiety. 😉

  1. Don’t let the fear of the Thanksgiving Day feast cause you to start dieting now. Instead of restricting your favorite foods the week before Thanksgiving, practice eating mindfully so that when turkey day comes, you don’t find yourself with the excuse to suddenly binge on anything and everything you find enjoyable. Remember, it’s all about balance. Drastic highs and lows in your diet do not do any good. Learning to eat healthy consistently will be much better for you than extreme dieting, binging, and then dieting again.
  2. Offer to bring a dish (and make sure it’s a healthy one). If you’re not the one hosting Thanksgiving, ask the hostess if you can bring a dish. Having a healthy option can bring you a sense of relief if you’re unsure of what the menu will consist of. Chances are there will be someone else secretly thanking you for bringing something they don’t feel guilty eating. I brought this delicious kale salad to Thanksgiving last year, and it was such a hit..seriously! I even had a guest request the recipe and she’s told me she makes it regularly for her family. Another favorite holiday salad of mine is a spinach salad with roasted strawberries and almonds. The roasted strawberries are warm and gooey when they come out of the oven and provide just the right amount of sweetness. Check out the recipe here. spinach-salad
  3. Schedule your exercise for the day. Plan a hike, walk, or go to your favorite exercise class in the morning. (If you live in the Bay Area, visit us at Studio K-Fit for our annual Pre-Turkey Burn workout! 😉 ) Remember, high intensity exercise allows your body to continue burning calories even after the workout is over. If you can’t get out before dinner, plan to do a walk after. This will help fight that ‘sluggish’ feeling and also help you digest your meal faster than if you took a nap or sat on the couch. If you’ve been inside cooking all day you’ll feel grateful to get out of the house for some fresh air.
  4. Use a plate when nibbling. When you’re at a holiday party, or standing around the kitchen waiting for the roast turkey, be sure to pick up a plate so you’re mindful of what’s going in your mouth. The more steps you take to observe the food that’s in front of you before you eat it, the less likely you’ll overindulge in that cheese dip.
  5. HYDRATE. Instead of grabbing a beer or pouring a glass of wine when you arrive, opt for a glass of water. Drinking an alcoholic beverage while also munching on hors d’oeuvres will most likely cause you to overeat/eat more than you planned. If you opt for a glass of wine at dinner, be sure to follow it up with a glass of water. Drinking water in between courses will not only aid in digestion, but also trigger a cue to your brain letting you know you’re full.
  6. Assess your dinner plate. Does it contain a protein (turkey) and at least 1 serving of vegetables (corn doesn’t count). Instead of grabbing a biscuit, mashed potatoes, AND stuffing – choose 1 or 2 of your favorites. For me, I would choose mashed potatoes because it’s something I never make myself. Bread is easy to come by, so I usually pass up the dinner rolls at Thanksgiving. Be mindful if your veggies are loaded in cheese or a cream sauce. If you were munching on cheese and crackers before dinner, choose to eat more turkey and green beans and/or carrots during your main meal; especially if you have a sweet tooth like me and know you won’t be able to refuse a slice of pie. Remember, you control your food- not the other way around!
  7. Slow down and enjoy the experience. Savor the foods smell and texture. Engage in the dinner table conversation and thank those that helped prepare the meal. You don’t have to refuse Grandma’s pumpkin pie, but take small bites and give yourself time to digest afterwards before helping yourself to seconds.

Having a game plan before going to a party this holiday season will help you to make smarter decisions when temptation comes knocking. Instead of completely eliminating everything you love, choose which vice you would rather indulge in. For example:

“I will drink sparkling water with hors d’oeuvres instead of wine.”

“I will have a glass of wine instead of having a slice of pie for dessert.”

“I will eat the sour cream mashed potatoes at dinner instead of eating these macaroni and cheese bites as an appetizer.”

The holidays don’t have to undo all your hard work from this year. With these mindful tips, you’ll be sure to have a healthy, and happy holiday season 🙂