By Toni Carey (@toni_carey/@blackgirlsrun)
Disclosure: I'm a sponsored Meta Influencer, but all opinions are my own. Please see below for additional disclosure.
Fall and winter are MY season. Although, I’m generally not a fan of cold weather, I love the cool crisp air while running, the coziness of coats, and of course, it’s cuffing season. Yes, married people cuff...with each other. But, maybe what I love MOST about fall and winter are warm, hearty meals and all of the opportunities to gather around food, I mean friends and family.
But as the saying goes, “summer bodies are made in the winter,” and I’m more focused than ever to stay on track with my fitness goals. As I’ve shared before, my gut health has become more important than ever, so I’m already thinking of a game plan to do things a little differently these next few months, and most importantly ensure that I stay away from all the things that might cause more harm to my belly so that I can feel my best.
Thinkin’ of a Master Plan
I am NOT a planner when it comes to eating, but it truly is the key to success. It may seem premature, but I’m already thinking about how to navigate Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, and all of the holiday parties in between. Do I bat my doe-like eyes and ask my mom to add a few additional items to her Christmas menu, or do I bring my own dishes to the in-laws’ Thanksgiving shindig? How do I best stay on track and avoid belly aches, constipation and bloating? Forget whether or not Santa brings me what’s on my list! These are the things I am really contemplating.
Eat Before You Go…..
For holiday dinners and parties, it’s rare that you have much control over the menu. I mean you could ask the host to adjust the entire menu according to your dietary preferences, but if you want friends, I would suggest you not. When I’m not really sure of my food options, I eat before I go. One, it minimizes the possibility of me getting hangry, and let me assure you, that is NOT pretty. Secondly, I don’t feel pressured to eat if nothing works for my diet. It may seem a little “womp, womp,” but it’s better than making the guests suffer through the consequences of a sour belly. And, while it may seem like you’re a being a party pooper when you politely decline to chow down with everyone else, remember this is between you, your goals, and your belly.
…. and take advantage of Meta Appetite Control
Okay, so you’re at the party, and the menu isn’t so bad. You start to nibble, and nibble….and nibble. But, we all know how easily these parties go south. You’re chatting, you’re happy, you’re eating and by the time you’ve made it out of the door, you really wish someone would just roll you back to your home. Let me introduce you to a secret weapon, Meta Appetite Control. Meta Appetite Control is a fiber supplement from the makers of Metamucil. It contains 100% natural psyllium; is clinically proven to help you feel less hungry between meals;* and helps you “break up” with snacking cravings*. How you say? The Meta psyllium fiber thickens and forms a gel in your digestive system, slowing absorption and digestion, which aids in the sensation of fullness. What I LOVE about Meta Appetite Control, is that it makes you feel less hungry between meals. So, if you’d prefer to just keep your appetite at bay before you’re faced with all of the yummy temptations, add Meta Appetite Control to your game plan . (I’m a fan of the unflavored version to quickly add to my juices or smoothies.)
Say No to the Al-Al-Al-Al-Alcohol
It’s like turning 30 also meant that I would become a wanna-be wine connoisseur, and a little wine never hurt anyone. But, besides running the risk of dancing to “Christmas in Hollis” on top of tables at your company holiday party, wine (and alcohol in general) is just a bunch of empty calories that can also play with your gut health.
Don’t Get Caught Up in the Hype
One of the hardest things to do is to not get caught up in the hype of the holidays. You know, the nostalgia that makes you want to eat everything! There’s nothing like going home to my mom’s house and getting all the feels and subsequently saying “What the heck! Who cares if I can’t poop for days!!” But, not this year. It’s literally just another day and I’ll treat it as such. Sure I’ll indulge a bit, but only on the things that won’t cause collateral damage (if you know what I mean).
Keep Your Pooping In Check
Some people say that you should poop after every meal. For me, I’m doing great if I go once a day. The point is, while everyone poops, everyone’s frequency is different. Now granted, there’s a WHOLE LOT of things that factor into regular meetings with the porcelain throne, but when you’re indulging here and there, it’s easy to get off track. When you need an extra little push, try Metamucil. The main ingredient in Metamucil is psyllium fiber, a natural fiber that works with your body to restore regularity.*
What do you think is the biggest challenge to staying healthy during the holidays? Comment below or tweet me at @toni_carey or @blackgirlsrun.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
I'm a sponsored Meta Influencer, but all opinions are my own. Meta partnered with bloggers, such as me, to get the word out about its great product benefits. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. Meta believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Meta’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.
In business the year is divided into 4 quarters occurring in 3 month intervals. So every 3 months businesses will review things like profits, losses, expenses, etc. If you begin to think about your health in this way than April 1st is the perfect time to review any wellness goals you may have set for 2015. What accomplishments have you achieved during this “1st quarter” (Jan.-Mar), what areas do you need to improve on as you go into the “2nd quarter”(Apr.-Jun.)?If you started strong on January 1 but fizzled out somewhere around February 15th now is the perfect time to assess and recommit. Don’t let 3 more months pass by, as you will just be further away from the motivation and excitement you had going into the new year. Start small, identify 2-3 goals that are challenging yet attainable. For example commit to exercising 3 days per week for at least 30 minutes each day. Find someone who is also on the path to wellness, share your goals and progress with them. This will be your accountability partner, they will provide encouragement on the days you just don’t feel like going to the gym and be your biggest cheerleader as you start to reach your goals. You should be able to find this person through local Black Girls Run chapters or a simple post to your social media accounts. Your accountability partner does not have to be local but it is helpful for those days that you may need to literally have someone drag you out of bed. If all else fails consider investing in a trainer or health coach. This person will provide accountability, education, skilled instruction and because you are invested financially you are more likely to follow through with the services. If you complete your quarterly wellness report and find yourself doing great then pat yourself on the back. Review your goals, find out if there are areas that you could stretch even further on (such as portion control, increasing your weekly run totals, taking a few seconds off your PR, etc.) and use that momentum to jump into the “2nd quarter” full steam ahead. Reviewing your goals every three months will allow you to see how close you are to achieving your overall goals and give you momentum to make it through the year. If you do happen to find yourself off track just know that mistakes are more easily fixed the earlier they are identified. You don’t want to go into January 2016 upset about goals you didn't achieve in 2015. ------------------
To be a champion, you have to eat like one. And to get maximum results, proper nutrition for exercise is imperative. Whether you are a frequent walker, weekend warrior or preparing for your next marathon training hard can get you far, but nutrition can take you the rest of the way. Pure maple syrup from Canada is an all-natural energy booster and sugar alternative that can help provide nutrition before, during and after exercise.
For several recipes and more tips on exercise nutrition, view this brochure (PDF).
Maple syrup is a 100% natural energy source, providing you with simple carbohydrates that are easily broken down by the body into glucose and used for fuel during exercise. Because maple syrup is unprocessed, it contains beneficial vitamins and minerals, including manganese, riboflavin, zinc and potassium. These vitamins and minerals combined with simple carbohydrates of pure maple syrup will help provide added nutrition to an exercise program.
Maple syrup gives the energy burst needed to power through your exercise regimen. Maple syrup contains 54 different antioxidant compounds, which protect our cells from oxidative damage caused by free radicals from intense physical exercise.
Number of servings (yield): 12 muffins
Number of servings (yield): 16 squares
We’re taking over the Oakland Marathon and we’re giving two ladies the opportunity to run for FREE.
These two ladies won a free entry into the Oakland Marathon race.
Stay tuned for more ways to run with the BGR! Crew and don't forget to check out our national race meetup calendar.
We’re taking over the Oakland Running Festival and we’re giving three ladies the opportunity to run for FREE! Enter your name and email address below for a chance to win a free entry into the Oakland Running Festival. Contest ends on Sunday, March 1, 2015 at 11:59pm EST. Three winners will be announced on Monday, March 2, 2015.
Please note: If you have already registered for the Oakland Running Festival you will not receive a refund in order to use the free entry, however, you are eligible to gift the entry to one person of your choosing.
We're taking over Rock 'n Roll D.C. and we're giving two ladies the opportunity to roll like a VIP!
Sponsored Content by Competitor Group[caption id="attachment_70528" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Photo: Bruce Wodder[/caption] Running in the colder weather is no easy feat. Sometimes it’s challenge enough finding the motivation to tie up those laces, let alone having to consider the chilly air that greets you when you open the door. Thankfully for us at Rock ‘n’ Roll DC Marathon & Half Marathon Presented by CareFirst, our event falls in early springtime, when the sun peaks out and the beautiful cherry blossoms have begun to bloom. But we get it, we need to train beforehand, so brave the cold we must! Here are 6 cool tips to keep you warm and prepared to kick butt: