Tag Archive

Tag Archives for " thanksgiving "
11

A Focus On Gratitude Can Improve Your Health

With the Thanksgiving frenzy just past, I decided to take a quiet, post-holiday moment to contemplate what I’m thankful for. I want to stay healthy, even through stressful, uncertain times, and know that a focus on gratitude can help improve my health.

Rainbow over Breisach

Rainbow over the German town of Breisach, taken from the hilltop church above the town.

While contemplating the many things for which I’m grateful, I got a brain flash (like a brain fart, but good), and realized that the most obvious answer is sometimes hidden in plain sight because it’s so normal, standard and everyday. Even you, dear readers, see the “thing” for which I’m especially grateful for every time you come to our site. Have you guessed yet? It’s my co-blogger, aka my sister Kymberly.

Rainy day in Heidelberg

Visiting Heidelberg Castle during our AmaWaterways cruise. Kymberly had the most colorful umbrella.

I challenge you to improve your health by showing gratitude for something in your life.… Click To Tweet

When people are mean to me, she’s got my back. When I want something, she wants it for me too. When I want to talk about my boys, including my hopes and worries, she lets me ramble on.

Griffin fountain in Basel

Don’t make her have to chew you up and spit you out! Griffin fountain in Basel, Switzerland.

She has taken on the huge task of managing our mom’s affairs as our mom ages; all without pay or thanks. On the contrary, sometimes she gets a lot of grief for doing what’s best for our mom.

open air market in Strasbourg

Kymberly bought a few old maps at this open air market in Strasbourg, France. Shop, shop, shop.

She has kept herself up to date on research that’s relevant to active aging, and she shares that information in her classes, seminars, conferences, and articles (including this blog). Even when the places she works for take her for granted and consistently fail to recognize her contributions, she keeps doing her best.

We argue a lot (well, a lot less than we used to), yet any of you with siblings know that’s how it works. Yet I know 100% that I can trust her. Not everyone can trust a sibling the way I can trust mine, so it’s worth a shout out to her. And you know what she does behind my back? She talks me up. She lets people know she’s proud of me.

She’s a warrior, and she uses that trait to protect my back (or whatever metaphor you prefer).

church statue, Hamburg

This is a true-to-life photo of Kymberly the last time someone tried to mess with me. Just a friendly warning.

And she’s fun. We went on an AmaWaterways cruise together in October, and had a blast. We hiked, biked, ate, made friends, laughed, climbed hills, descended stairs (castles have a LOT of those), stood in the rain, and even shared a cabin and got along famously (except for one argument about her snoring – shhhh).

Bike riding in Köln

Taking a water break during our 11-mile bike ride in Köln (which is free to all AmaWaterways cruise passengers).

I challenge you to improve your health by showing gratitude for something in your life that’s so obvious you missed it. Sunsets, your dog, a car that works, the best parking spot in your complex, food security, a high credit score… you get the picture.

AmaPrima double cabin

We shared this cabin for our 8-day cruise on the AmaPrima with AmaWaterways.

And now that I’ve written this post, I hope my sis doesn’t expect me to suck up to her. Though I do still hold out hope that she’ll suck up to me by giving me her red KitchenAid mixer.

Text and photos by Alexandra Williams, MA

If you want more travel pictures, follow my Instagram account. If you like beach and dog photos, subscribe to my sister’s. Be daring – follow both.

14

7 Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

Alexandra Williams, MA and Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA

Just a few days till Thanksgiving. Want to avoid Thanks-gorging? Follow these 7 tips to avoid the holiday feast trap.

Mini pumpkins: good-looking and healthy; just like you!

Mini pumpkins: good-looking and healthy; just like you!

Make it the Season of Giving, not the Season of Sitting & Eating!

You’ve just spent ten and a half months exercising and eating healthfully. Now Thanksgiving is a few days away, which signals the start of the “Eat Too Much; Move Too Little” time of year. But it doesn’t have to be that way. We all know we should stick to our healthy habits, yet it’s sooooo hard! So we’re sharing Seven Seasonal Suggestions to help you make it to January with your intentions intact.

Easy Tips to Avoid Weight Gain

1. Drink lots of water and green tea before the feast. You will feel full and less inclined to overeat.

2. Eat your usual breakfast and lunch. Don’t skip a meal thinking you will then be free to make up for lost calories when dinner is served. By the time that occurs, you’re likely to be so hungry that you’ll overeat or choose whatever is closest.

3. Sort foods into 3 categories:

  • Food I love and will probably have two helpings of;
  • Food I like and will take just one helping of;
  • Food I don’t need to eat at all.

Planning and paying attention have a definite effect on how much you pile on your plate.

4. Use a salad plate instead of dinner plate.  You’ll be inclined to eat less. Most of us are visually triggered, so we stop adding food once our plate looks full, regardless of plate size.

Stop Eating Before you get that Greasy, Queasy Feeling

Stop Eating Before you get that Greasy, Queasy Feeling

5. Get up from the table when done. Do not sit with food in front of you once you’re done. Also, put food away right after you’ve finished dinner or you could end up eating an entire meal’s worth just from picking at the stuff that’s in front of you. If you feel you’re being impolite, just say, “I’m putting stuff in the fridge now so I don’t feel tempted to overeat. Anyone who’s still hungry is more than welcome to help themselves.” Not only are you letting people know why you’re putting food away quickly, you’re also making yourself accountable by stating your goal to not overeat.

6. Use your mind to decide what matters. When loading your plate, ask yourself this question: “Am I choosing this because I’m hungry or because it tastes good?” No right or wrong answer exists; it’s simply that the awareness of your choices will help you make a considered decision as you realize that you are in control, not the food.

7. Go for a walk. What better way to spend quality time with your family or friends than by putting on a jacket and getting outside? Need more motivation to move during the holidays? Give a listen to our radio episode, “Be Motivated to Move Through the Holidays.

Get outside for a Walk

Get outside for a Walk

What tips would you add to this list? 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credits: morgueFile

Don’t be a Turkey: Hire us to speak at your next meeting or conference. Call (805) 403-4338 or email info@funandfit.org.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel and blog

Follow us on google +Alexandra and +Kymberly, on Twitter:  AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit.

9

Thanksgiving: Family, Food and Fitness

Alexandra Williams, MA

We hope you had a lovely holiday, filled with fellowship, food, family, friends and of course, fitness! Funny how so many great words start with the letter “F.”

We were so busy celebrating that we didn’t spend much time on the computer. We took our own advice about going for walks to help prevent holiday weight gain. On Thursday we celebrated Thanksgiving with part of our large family. On Friday we celebrated my youngest son’s 16th birthday with an even bigger group of people! And today? A four-mile walk in the morning, followed by cleaning!

Please enjoy some photos from the weekend. It was very sunny and hot at the top of mountain, and very cloudy and wet at the beach. Such is the strange Santa Barbara weather!

Fall leaves, flowers, pumpkin pie & sweet potato pie, and birthday cake. Decadent!

Bright, hot sun at the top of the Pass. Great for morning walks. And it was so quiet on Thanksgiving.

Some interesting rocks seen on top of the mountain and down on the beach

This is but a small bit of our large family. Oldest – 83. Youngest – 3. How cool is that?

Scenes from low tide at Hendry’s Beach in Santa Barbara. Look closely and you’ll see anemones, part of a dead dolphin, sea urchins, gulls, cormorants, sandpipers, mollusks and starfish.

This is what the cats thought about all the activity. They went into pissed off, hiding mode.

My favorite part of the holidays was having my eldest son home from university for 4 days. My second favorite part was seeing my youngest son enjoy all the birthday attention. And my third favorite part was baking and cooking for everyone.

What is YOUR favorite thing about Thanksgiving? And for those of you who don’t celebrate it, what is your favorite time of year? 

We give thanks every time you subscribe to our YouTube channel and blog. And when you follow us on Twitter: AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit. Please also follow us on Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit. Or click on the icons in the right sidebar. We’ll be ever so grateful!

18

How to Avoid Overeating on Thanksgiving

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

‘Tis the season for Thanksgiving, not Thanks-gorging.  Enact Our 7 healthful tips to avoid the holiday feast trap.

Perhaps you’ve spent months being diligent about exercising and eating healthfully. And now the holidays are creeping up faster than a heart rate monitor. How do you stay trimmer than a decorated tree and less stuffed than a turkey come Thanksgiving?

The following suggestions will serve you well from day’s start through end.

1. Drink lots of water and green tea before the feast. You will feel full and less inclined to overeat.

2. Eat your usual breakfast and lunch. Don’t skip a meal thinking you will then be free to make up for lost calories later when the “good stuff” arrives. Inevitably you will be so hungry come THE meal that you will overeat or choose whatever is closest.

3. Mentally sort foods into 3 categories:

  • Food I love and will probably have seconds;
  • Food I like and will take a little just once;
  • Food I don’t need to eat at all.

Planning and paying attention have a definite effect on how much you pile on your plate.

(For more motivation and strategies to keep you on track, click to download our radio episode as a podcast you can listen to while working out – or when avoiding that one weird relative who is coming over Thursday:)

3 Tips to Thrive Through the Holidays

http://www.audioacrobat.com/sa/W2g0916Q

The First Turkey Trot: Real Blunderbusses for the Finish Line!

4. Opt for a salad instead of dinner plate.  You’ll be inclined to eat less.  Most of us are visually triggered, so we stop adding food once our plate looks full, regardless of plate size.

5. Get up from the table when done. Do not sit with food in front of you calling your name á la “Little Shop of Horrors.” And don’t leave food just sitting out. You can end up eating an entire meal’s worth just from picking at the stuff that’s in front of you. Put it away right after the meal (or at least as soon as is politely possible). Your guests will  probably thank you. Ok, maybe thank you.

6. Put your mind over matter. If you’re a person who likes to talk to herself (like Alexandra does), just ask yourself this when you’re filling your plate, “Am I choosing this because I’m hungry or because it tastes good?” We aren’t here to say you “shouldn’t” this or “should” that, but the awareness will help you make a considered decision.

7. Go for a walk. What better way to spend quality time with your favorite rellies or friends than by putting on a jacket and getting outside?

Readers: What tips do you have to share? We’d love to know them, especially with December almost here!

Fill up with fitness solutions and some fun when you subscribe to our YouTube channel and blog. Follow us on Twitter: AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit. Please also follow us on Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit. Or click on the icons in the right sidebar. We’ll be ever so Thanksgiving grateful!

Photo credits: via Creative Commons:  RBerteig (jumping turkey),  sassyarts (pilgrims walking)

10

Holiday Food: Mind Over Platter

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Every holiday season since we began teaching (you’ve noticed our love of the 80s, right?) our students have asked us what we eat, especially during the holidays. We know that our posts (including the most recent one) talk about making choices, but today the emphasis is on moderation. Definition: “Being within reasonable limits; not excessive or extreme.”

Peanut butter & chocolate chip truffle cookies

Triple Truffle Chocolate Chip Cookies

Kymberly: Whether it’s the holidays or the day you were late to work because the cat barfed on your pillow (Alexandra does not want to talk about it), a sustainable lifestyle has to be within reasonable limits or you won’t be successful. Diets are generally excessive or extreme.

Alexandra: Being told that a “cheat” day is bad or good is not the point. That whole concept implies punishment and reward. Keep in mind that the extreme end of dieting is disordered eating; the “end” of moderation is healthy living. Posted here are some pictures of the things I bake. We aren’t special or unique (well, I am); we just tend toward moderation. As our friend Nora said, “If I only get sausage stuffing once a year, I REALLY want that sausage stuffing.” Exactly. Why feel bad about yourself for that?

So, yes, I love to bake. Some of the results I eat; some I give away. Most of it goes to the kids and their friends. Next up: Challah bread. Can you tell I love bread?

K: Can you tell I do NOT overdo it, especially with carbo baking. My favorite holiday food is yams (no marshmallows, I’d like to point out). And turkey. Oh, and I love cranberry sauce too. And stuffing, but it has to be my mom’s stuffing or the day does not feel complete. I know you know what I mean.

K and A: Have a wonderful holiday. We’d love for you to share your favorite holiday food pictures on our Facebook page. I need a good sweet potato recipe to bring on Thursday – NOT with marshmallows.

Sourdough bread

Sourdough Bread

 

 

 

Buttermilk Coffee Cake

Buttermilk Coffee Cake

 

 

 

 

And don’t forget to take those after-meal walks!

 

7

Stay-Fit Tips for Thanksgiving

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Dear Fun and Fit:
I have been fairly diligent all year about exercising and eating healthfully. And now the holidays are creeping up faster than my heart rate monitor. How do I stay trimmer than a decorated tree and less stuffed than a turkey come Thanksgiving?
I’m Every Woman (and man), anywhere in the US

Thanksgiving dish of sweet potatoes & marshmallows

You Wouldn't Want This the Other 364 Days, so Why Eat It Now?

Kymberly: I love the holidays; I also love holiday food; but I hate getting lethargic and overstuffed, just because more food and family than usual are around.  Is this the time to say, do not gobble gobble gobble up everything you see before you?

Alexandra: Drink lots of water and green tea before the feast. You will feel full and less inclined to overeat.

K: Eat your usual breakfast and lunch. Don’t skip a meal thinking you will then be free to make up for lost calories later when the “good stuff” your favorite auntie brought comes out. Inevitably you will be so hungry come THE meal that you will overeat or choose whatever is closest.

A: Categorize foods into 1) love and will eat seconds 2) like and will take a little just once 3) don’t need to eat at all. This kind of planning will help you make plate choices and make you more conscious of those choices. Paying attention has a definite effect on how much you pile on that plate.

K: Get up from the table when done. Do not sit with food in front of you calling your name á la “Little Shop of Horrors.” And don’t leave food just sitting out. You can end up eating an entire meal’s worth just from picking at the stuff that’s in front of you. Put it away right after the meal (or at least as soon as is politely possible). Your guests will actually probably thank you. Ok, maybe thank you.

A: If you’re a person who likes to talk to herself (like I do), just ask yourself this when you’re filling your plate, “Am I choosing this because I’m hungry or because it tastes good?” We aren’t here to say you “shouldn’t” this or “should” that, but the awareness is quite helpful.

K: Why not go for a walk? What better way to spend quality time with your favorite rellies or friends than by putting on a jacket and getting outside? No stuffing holiday snackerels into your pocket on that walk, either!

A: I hate to admit it, but I take Kymberly’s advice. Every year my “baking” sister (NOT K) and I get up early and go for a walk, just the two of us. We get some girl-talk time (we love to discuss recipes) before we both get in the kitchen for the cooking chaos!

Readers: What tips do you have to share?

Photo credits: Creative Commons: David Boyle