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It’s November. Thanksgiving is around the corner, and our schedules are jam-packed with holiday parties, family gatherings, shopping, traveling, and lots of delicious food. With such hectic schedules, our normal routines and healthy habits often take a backseat.
We asked a dietitian for advice on staying healthy during the holidays. Jenna Werner, a Registered Dietitian, shares her approach (and favorite product!) to maximize the holidays without compromising your health and wellness goals.
When working with clients to create healthy outcomes during the holidays, here’s two key pieces of advice:
The first is to manage stress by sticking to a movement routine. Exercise is a known stress-reducer that releases endorphins, allowing you to ride the high of a workout and stick to your healthy habits all day long.
While the first piece of advice is obvious, the second is my secret weapon. It’s simple–manage your cravings by eating often. When you add in more of the good (healthy snacks), you effectively “crowd out” the bad (e.g., those communal cookies in the office kitchen).
While finding a nutrition regimen that works for you may take time, incorporating foods into your daily routine that are portable, healthy, and delicious doesn’t need to be difficult!
This is why I recommend Après to all my clients. Après is a plant-based protein powerhouse that’s perfect for a light, on-the-go snack, a post-workout pick-me-up, or even a post-holiday party refresher. It’s great year-round, but especially during the holidays.
Protein: Après is packed with 14g of plant protein. As we all know, protein is an important component of every cell in our bodies. It helps with weight maintenance, repairs muscle tissue, and keeps your immune system healthy. You need a high-quality, complete protein in order to get all the benefits. The Après blend of pea, chia, cacao, and hemp protein provides a complete protein source that is easily digestible (bye-bye bloat!). An extra bonus is this blend doesn’t have the chalky taste of some proteins–it’s smooth and creamy and tastes delicious.
Healthy Fats: Fat gets a bad rap, but when it’s from a good source, it can be highly beneficial. Fat also helps keep you fuller longer and creates that creamy and delicious texture. When fat comes in the form of MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides) like in Après, it’s absorbed faster and is thus able to provide quicker acting and longer-lasting energy–meaning no more afternoon crashes after those early morning workouts!
Electrolytes: Losing too many electrolytes can cause an array of symptoms, including brain fog, fatigue, and cramping. Replacing lost water is essential, but replacing your electrolytes (think post-sweat or post-holiday party) is even smarter. Après utilizes a coconut water base, helping you replace fluids and electrolytes in a natural and safe way to keep you sharp and energized.
Regardless of whether you drink Après, or have your own go-to product, you should take in some combination of protein, healthy fats, and electrolytes if you want to feel your best. (I love the product because it's already prepared and easy to take with me, which helps save time on busy days.) Do what works for you!
This holiday season, remember to move and replenish your body to get ahead of stress and cravings, and begin the new year feeling fresh and ready to go! For more holiday tips and nutrition information follow me on Instagram at @happystronghealthyrd.
For the first time ever, the globe will be watching surfing take center stage at the 2020 (postponed to July 2021) Olympics. People from all over the world will be appreciating the sport, many for the first time.
This symbolizes the surfing community breaking through centuries of negative stereotypes. Though conditions play a big part in the sport, the biggest hurdle the athletes will have to overcome to see success is mental. The winner will be the one who chooses their waves wisely with their understanding of the conditions and ability to intimidate and therefore overcome components. Meanwhile, they will be challenging themselves to emerge from crashing barrels, fly into the air, and land on the shifting surface gracefully. No big deal.
You’ve probably heard the invention of a wave pool, which creates the perfect man-made wave. In 2007, Kelly Slater founded his wave company with a passion to build the perfectly rideable wave at his surf ranch. It was debated whether the Olympics should be held in the ocean or on a manufactured wave, with many differing opinions on what would be right. The decision was made, and the event will take place in the sea, at Tsurigasaki Beach in Japan, about 40 miles east of Tokyo, where the rest of the 2021 games will be hosted.
As you watch, take a moment to reflect on the century of effort for this to happen. This initiative can be traced all the way back to the 1912 summer games that took place in Stockholm. Duke Kahanamoku, known as the father of modern surfing, won three gold medals in swimming, and while accepting his medal, he expressed that it was his dream to see surfing be added. To add fuel to the fire, International Surfing Association, recognized as the surfing world's governing authority by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), began lobbying for the inclusion of surfing in the Olympics in 1955.
Surfing is a multidimensional sport unlike any other. Nothing compares to paddling out to the serene silence that awaits beyond the breaking waves. Once you get out there, you immediately escape the many annoyances ingrained in everyday life—the constant notifications on your phone and laptop, your back-to-back schedule, answering to other people. You’re no longer on the time that your watch reads, you’re on mother nature’s time. You’re also no longer in control of your surroundings. Now, all you can do is surrender and wait for the next set to come, while trying to position yourself for when it does.
The high from catching the perfect wave is so addicting that surfers would fail on one hundred in a row just to catch that one. After you catch that perfect one, you replay it in your mind for the rest of the day.
A successful session is reliant on so many factors of mother nature—a force way bigger than us. For ideal conditions to exist, a good-sized swell must approach from the right direction, the wind must be flowing offshore, and you have to time your session right with the ebb and flow of the tide.
The sport is always teaching you life lessons. It is humbling, even if you’ve been practicing it for many years. One reason why it takes so long to master is that the conditions are going to be different every time you get out there. You might have caught a million yesterday, but today makes you feel like a kook because you can’t land one decent wave.
The community of people that you become a part of when you surf is special. A shared obsession with the ocean that brings you to dive into the water at dawn to get a session in bonds you quick. When you’re out there, you’ll find yourself interacting with people of all ages and backgrounds. People enjoy sharing the stoke of the sport. When you see someone out there teaching somebody new, you’ll encounter them cheering at the top of their lungs when they catch a good wave, and as you look around, you’ll see smiles all across the lineup. The other day, I caught a long wave in to be met with a cheering crowd of locals who frequent the spot that I do. When I got to shore, a local showed me their secret stash of hot packs to access in case I, or someone else, gets stung by a stingray when they aren’t around.
Being out in the ocean and abiding by her rules gives surfers a deep love and connection to nature. It’s common to see sea animals out there, like dolphins, stingrays, and fish. When you have an encounter, it’s a reminder that we are invading their territory. It sucks when you see trash floating in the water, or on the sand in its route to the water. It’s a sad reminder of the negative impact that humans can have on natural environments. It inspires you to pick up trash and advocate for sustainability so that we, as a collective, can take care of the beauty that we are lucky to have access to.
Tune in to see surfing break into the biggest international sporting event in the world beginning on Saturday, July 24th.
Do you live by the ocean? Paddle out with an instructor.
Don't live by the water, but still want to train for your next surf trip? Consider these classes.
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