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Post-Holiday Detox… Pancakes?!

26 Dec

Yep, you read that right – detox PANCAKES!!!  But first of all,  I hope you had a wonderful and restful holiday. Secondly, I hope we all didn’t indulge too much.  It can be so difficult to come back from all of the festivities and get back on track – but YOU CAN DO IT!   You might think to yourself, “I absolutely cannot do another protein smoothie or juice cleanse – and I’m just not ready to steer clear of ALL sugar all the time.”  Well, you’re in luck!  Just because you’re detoxing, doesn’t mean you need to be starving or eating food that doesn’t taste good.  Here’s a delicious way to ease yourself back into the routine and start fresh and clean this upcoming New Year!  post-christmas-detox-pancakes-title

Post-Holiday Detox Pancakes

Ingredients 

  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax
  • 1/2 teaspoon sodium-free baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups, packed raw spinach
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1/2 medium ripe banana
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

-Heat a non-stick skillet or griddle over medium heat and coat with cooking spray.
-In a small blender or food processor, blend oats into flour.
-Empty oat flour into a medium-sized bowl, add other dry ingredients and stir to mix.
-Combine spinach, egg whites, banana, and vanilla in the blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
-Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until flour is incorporated.
-Spoon batter into skillet forming 4 medium pancakes.
-Cook 4-6 minutes per side or until the edges start to brown (batter will not bubble).
-Transfer to a plate and top with yogurt, fresh fruit, and/or nuts.

Note:  If you don’t like the green color, just add a tablespoon or two of cocoa!

Here’s to jump starting your healthy lifestyle!  See you in 2017!!!

~Dayna
PX Studio

Recipe adapted from Kiss My Broccoli

 

 

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Motivation Monday – Mental Health and the Holiday Blues

19 Dec

holidays-can-put-pressure-on-your-mental-health

If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by the holidays, you’re not alone – seasonal stress and depression affects thousands of people this time of year. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to fight back against wintertime blues. Here are a few tips for taking care of your mental health amidst the stress of the holidays:

Get some exercise.
Getting in a 30-minute workout session a few times a week will help your brain produce natural, mood-boosting endorphins to help combat depression and anxiety. Take a Pilates class and get the added calming benefit that comes with control, focus, and release.

Get cozy.
Research has shown that warmth can enhance mood!  Now you have a great excuse to curl up by the fire in your pajamas with a good book or enjoy that cup of hot cocoa – it can be instantly uplifting.

Take time to rest – GET A FULL NIGHT’S SLEEP.  This time of year often feels like a marathon of shopping, traveling, events and entertaining. Needless to say, it’s exhausting. Making sure you’re allowing your body AND mind the time needed to recover – it is crucial to get through the season.

Take the focus off of you.
Doing good by volunteering or helping a friend in need can help put things in perspective, and remind you of how valuable you are to your friends, family and community.  Pay it forward, smile at strangers and be nice!

I hope you have a wonderful holiday!   Be good to people.  Be good to yourself.  

~Dayna
PX Studio

Article Sources:
Be Nice (www.beniceonline.com)
Psych Central (www.psychcentral.com)
Hopkins Medicine (www.hopkinsmedicine.org)

Happy Healthy Holidays!

12 Dec

spinach-dipThe holidays are in full swing and if your schedule is anything like mine, then the gatherings, dinners, parties and other festivities are lining up on the calendar.  Whether you’re hosting or just bringing a dish, you don’t have to let your healthy lifestyle suffer! Exercise both your body and your self control and you’ll make it through!  

If you are hosting, you have much more say over the food offerings at your party.  Even if you aren’t hosting though, you still have the option of bringing a delicious and nutritious side dish – at least if there’s nothing else, you know you can have that and be safe! Prep one (or more than one!) of these wholesome nibbles to keep you sated without feeling like Santa.  My go-to party guilty pleasure is always chips and dips – so here are a couple of healthy versions of my crowd pleasing favorites:

CREAMY SPINACH DIP

1 small shallot, peeled
1 5-ounce can water chestnuts, rinsed
1/2 cup reduced-fat cream cheese, (Neufchâtel)
1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 ounces baby spinach
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Pulse shallot and water chestnuts in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Add cream cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, lemon juice, salt and pepper and pulse until just combined. Add spinach and chives and pulse until incorporated.  Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.  Stir before serving.

AVOCADO HUMMUS

2 garlic cloves
1 (15-ounce) can of garbanzo beans
1 lemon, zest and juice
2 tablespoon tahini
2 avocados
Salt
Olive Oil
Paprika

Place garlic cloves, garbanzo beans, lemon zest and juice from the lemon and tahini in a food processor. Blend until smooth. Salt to taste.

Add two avocados and blend just until smooth. Salt to taste once more. Transfer to a bowl, pour a few tablespoons of olive oil on top, and sprinkle a few dashes of paprika. Serve with whatever you like, whether it be pita chips, warm slices of pita or crackers.

Remember:  Make smart choices and you’ll cruise through this dietary challenge!  See you at the Studio!

~Dayna
PX Studio

Recipes Adapted From:
Eating Well (www.eatingwell.com)
A Cozy Kitchen (www.acozykitchen.com)

 

 

Perfect Post-Thanksgiving Detox Smoothie

28 Nov

detox21Happy Post-Thanksgiving!  I hope you had a wonderful time with friends and family!  If you’re like most of us, you may have “slightly” overindulged for a day, a few days… okay fine, the whole week.  Well, today is the start of a new week and time to push the reset button on your body!  If your system is sluggish from a few days of excess, this green detox smoothie will kick start the tune up and clear out the stored toxins overwhelming your system.

“Detoxing is not rocket science. It’s not about complicated diets, food restrictions, deprivations or strict schedules. Your body has its own ways to heal and detox, and it does so every single day through perspiration, respiration, bowel elimination and urination – it only needs the right foods to help clear out the stored toxins. And the good news is that most of them are perfect smoothie ingredients.”

These ingredients are total super stars when it comes to detoxing and the best thing of all is that they all go perfectly into one easy smoothie that you can drink at home or on-the-go!

  • Lemons – stimulate digestion and the release of enzymes that neutralize toxins, converting them in a water-soluble form
  • Apples – contain pectin, which is a soluble fiber that retains the toxins in the colon and flushes them out;
  • Green Veggies  and Sea Algae – the magic word is chlorophyll, the powerful nutrient that starts the detox process, cleaning your body of heavy metals, pesticides and other environmental toxins; the most powerful green veggies are: cucumber, broccoli and dandelions, as for the sea algae consider chlorella and spirulina;
  • Green Leafy Vegetables – are high in fibers, potassium and antioxidants, the main ingredients for a healthy liver and digestive system; make sure you eat plenty of kale, spinach, celery, chard, turnips, romaine, mangold;
  • Green Tea – contains nutrients called polyphenols, with a strong antioxidant effect, helping your body to fight against free-radicals
  • Bee Pollen – is packed with nutrients that nourish the liver and reinstate your body’s natural equilibrium, helping it to naturally detox

Now how about that smoothie recipe:

GREEN MEANIE DETOX SMOOTHIE

INGREDIENTS
1 ripe banana (you can substitute mango or avocado if bananas aren’t your thing)
1 tablespoon bee pollen
2 teaspoons spirulina powder
1 green apple, cut in cubes
½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 cup spinach leaves
1 cucumber, cut in cubes
½ cup almond milk (or soy, depending on your tastes)

INSTRUCTIONS
-Add all ingredients in the blender and process until creamy.
-Drink right away! (Serves 2)

Enjoy and let’s get your system back in fighting condition!  See you at the Studio (after you drink your smoothie, of course)!

~Dayna
PX Studio 

Sources:
Hello Glow (www.helloglow.co)

Cultivating Thankfulness

21 Nov

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Thankfulness.  Gratitude.  We throw words around like that all the time, but what do they truly mean?  How do we express them?  How do we SHOW them?  These terms can mean many things to many people and everyone may show them in a different way.   One thing is for certain though – no matter how difficult the challenges we face and struggles we manage, there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for.

Thankfulness can be thought of in two different ways:  short term (being thankful in the moment) and long term (being thankful for the foreseeable future and beyond).   If you find it difficult (as a lot of us do) to consistently look at life in this perspective, there are quite a few ways in which you can cultivate your thankfulness and create a lifestyle of gratitude.

PART ONE – Long Term

  1. Keep A Journal:  Reminding yourself what you have to be grateful for and recording your gratefulness each day helps to cement how thankful you are. It doesn’t matter how difficult your life is at the moment, there is always something to be thankful for.
  2. Flip Your Thinking:  People who are thankful for the things in their lives aren’t living an easier life than you. In fact, many of the people who practicing the most gratitude are the people who have had incredibly difficult things happen to them because they understand that it isn’t the situation that’s the problem, it’s how you think about the situation that makes it easier or more difficult.
  3. Enjoy A Healthy Lifestyle:  Give thankfulness a boost by cultivating a healthy lifestyle for yourself by getting enough sleep, drinking water, eating in a way that fosters your well-being, and exercising (which helps to regulate your moods and make you feel better).
  4. Smile More: Scientists have found that smiling on purpose can help people feel better. Just the simple act of putting a smile on your face (as well as seeing another person smile) can lead you to feel actual happiness, joy, or amusement. Smiling on purpose changes brain chemistry.

PART TWO – In The Moment

  1. Take A Break:  Sometimes a good way to get you back on track and feeling better is to take a break. You’ll need to create things to be grateful for, sometimes, and a break can be a good one.  Go outside and take a walk.  Go on a vacation and recharge.
  2. Tell Someone You Appreciate Them:  So often life gets busy and you forget to tell people that they matter, that you’ve noticed what they do, and it means a lot to you. People will remember you more fondly if you thank them. It will cultivate an atmosphere of thankfulness that can spread out gradually.
  3. Say Thank You:  Speaking the words aloud can help cement the feeling of gratitude in your life. Not only that, but it helps others to know that you are thankful for the things that they have done for you. It can also help get you back on track when you’re starting to feel anxious or stressed by the things going on around you and in the world.
  4. Give Back:   Being thankful isn’t just about telling people you are thankful, it’s also about giving back to your community and to your friends.  Do something for the people in your life who have helped you. You don’t have to tell them that you’re doings something for them because they’ve done something for you.  Do something for people you don’t know. Sometimes people do things for you that you can’t easily repay, but you can pay the kindness forward.

It isn’t just around the holidays that we need to perpetuate the feelings and acts of thankfulness and gratitude.  The upcoming festivities are a great reminder – but it’s what you do/say/show the REST of the days that truly matters.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.  🙂

~Dayna
PX Studio


Sources:

Huffington Post
WikiHow
PBS

 

Be Thankful for Health!

14 Nov

healthythanksgiving

Can you believe it?  It’s already the middle of November and you know what that means! In just a couple of short weeks, Thanksgiving will be upon us!   Thanksgiving has always been one of my most favorite holidays – the time with family and friends, the celebrating, and of course, the food.  With all of the festivities, it’s easy to go overboard with calories and over-consumption.  The delicious temptations on the plate and in your glass make it seem impossible to be disciplined – but you CAN win that battle!  Follow these quick tips and you (and your healthy lifestyle) won’t suffer a bit:

  1. Start your morning with a healthy walk!  Get moving and start burning those calories first thing!   You’ll be all the more thankful that you did later on.
  2. Eat a hearty, healthy breakfast!  This will keep you from over-indulging on snacks and dinner!
  3. Set your goals!  Remind yourself of your ultimate vision – a leaner you, a healthier you, a happier you. Julia Child (of all people) said it best: “Life is the proper binge.”
  4. Drink lots of water!  Many times when people think they are hungry, they are actually just thirsty. By drinking lots of water throughout the day, you’ll lower the risk of overeating.
  5. Divide your plate well!  Fill your plate half with vegetables, one quarter with white turkey meat, and the rest with a healthy starch, like corn on the cob, a baked potato, or sweet potatoes.
  6. Savor each and every bite!  Eat slowly and really savor each mouthful. It’s one of the easiest ways to enjoy your holiday meal without going overboard on calories.
  7. About that dessert… It’s a holiday, so indulge a bit if your diet allows it. But if you’re going to eat dessert, make sure you allot for the calories elsewhere – don’t go back for that second helping of marshmallow sweet potatoes.  If you’re going for the pie, pick fruit or pumpkin pies because they tend to have fewer calories than chocolate or pecan pies.
  8. Finally – end your day like you started – go for a walk!  After dinner, suggest everyone go out (if the weather permits) for a neighborhood stroll. What a wonderful way for families to enjoy the holiday together.

Remember, it’s a holiday!  No, you probably won’t eat perfectly (and that’s okay).  Don’t worry too much about it – enjoy the day,  but don’t lose yourself in the over-indulging cycle!  How you eat on Thanksgiving Day does not determine your health; how you eat the other 364 days of the year does. 

And when all is said and done – I’ll see you right back at the Studio, working on your fitness.   🙂

~Dayna
PX Studio

Sources:
LiveScience (www.livescience.com)
WebMD (www.webmd.com)

Keep Your Fitness Goals Alive this Halloween!

31 Oct

It’s here!  Halloween Day – and all of the treats and sugar that goes with it.  You don’t have to let these scary calories kill your diet.  Armed with some knowledge and a little self-control, you and your healthy lifestyle can survive the wicked onslaught!   c9152d6e4702028bd2fe4758252d9e63

Pre-Halloween Preparation

Have some fun and get active with a Halloween-Themed circuit!  If you can’t make it to the Studio (or even if you can and just want a little bit extra goodness), try this:

  • Warm up with a “black cat” (cat cow) stretch.  Take your time and do as many as you need to get ready for the next exercise!
  • SPIDER-man push ups; do two sets of 10 reps – engage the whole body and get your heart pumping!
  • The Bug!  Do two sets of 10 reps and work both the front and back of your body – including your core.
  • Mummy Kicks” with extended arms – do your kicks for 30 seconds, take a 10-second break, and repeat three more times for a total of two minutes.
  • Cool down with a “corpse pose” – lay flat on your mat (or floor) in a relaxed position, arms and legs outstretched, and just breathe.  Take as much time as you need to cool down.

Treating Time

  • Drink a bottle (OF WATER): Staying well hydrated can help you control your sweet cravings and keep you full so you aren’t hunting for another treat.  This also has the added benefit of rinsing down the sugar and protecting your teeth.
  • Eat (CHOCOLATE DOESN’T COUNT):  Fill up on a healthy, balanced meal made with veggies, lean protein, and whole grains. The protein and fiber in your meal will make you more satisfied and less likely to sneak treats. If you’re going to a grown-up Halloween party, eating before you start drinking is key to not overindulging.
  • Have healthy snacks ready to go:  Instead of sugary candy, you can easily munch on trail mix, cheese crackers, individual fruit cups, or animal crackers.  You don’t have to skip the snacks, just make sure they have nutritional value!
  • Choose Wisely:  You don’t have to completely forgo the treats – after all, this is a holiday.  Just make sure that when you do indulge, you make it worth it.  If your favorite is the tiny Snickers, grab 2 – 3 and skip on the rest of the stash – those calories add up quickly.

Post- Treating Movie Time

You’ve tricked.  You’ve treated.  Now it’s time to enjoy your favorite scary movie!  But wait, this is a party – we have to make this exciting.  How about a drinking game?  “Sounds great, but what about all that you just said about being healthy, Dayna?”  Oh, I’m not talking about shots – I’m talking about SQUATS!

I present to you the Scary Movie Fitness Challenge!   <- (Click on the link to print)

  1. The car doesn’t start: 10 bicycles
  2. Someone can’t make a phone call: 15 jumping jacks
  3. Someone runs away: Run in place, 30 seconds
  4. Someone falls down while running: Run in place, 60 seconds (don’t fall down)
  5. There’s a loud noise, but nothing bad happens: 1 tuck jump
  6. There’s a loud noise, and something bad DOES happen: 10 sit ups
  7. Someone does something unquestionably stupid: 10 burpees
  8. Someone misses a clear opportunity to be rescued/save the day/escape: Hold a 45 second plank
  9. Ghost, zombie, monster, or mythological creature appears: Hold a 15 second plank
  10. A group of people splits up: 10 reverse lunges
  11. Someone screams: 10 russian twists
  12. Someone is attacked: 5 push-ups
  13. Gory scene: 20 lunges
  14. Someone dies: 20 squats
  15. Someone you thought died is actually the killer: 10 squats per death
  16. The killer/villain dies: Victory dance
  17. The ending hints at a sequel or has a cliffhanger: 15 mountain climbers

With a little planning, preparation, and perseverance – you’ll slay Halloween and crush your fitness goals at the same time!   Have a happy, safe, and healthy holiday!  

~Dayna
PX Studio