Category Archives: Christmas

Muncher Cruncher Healthy Holiday Gift Guide 2016

I’ve had a lot of requests for some healthy holiday gift ideas for both your loved ones AND you! If you are trying to stick to a healthy lifestyle, the holidays are a GREAT time to gear up with everything you need to start the continue your journey!

WORKOUT CLOTHES:
I have SO many favorites I could list here…It’s hard to even know where to begin. However, Christmas is a great time to get that new pair of Nikes, new tops, some socks (I love Stance & Bombass) a new hat, a sweet jacket, some leggings, (I’ve listed all my favorites HERE) warm gear for those outdoor exercisers, etc…If you are needing the right clothes to get yourself excited about getting active, or to help others get excited. New clothes are an AWESOME Christmas gift.

WORKOUT GEAR: An Apple Watch, Garmin, Heart Rate Monitor, activity tracker, Hydroflask, exercise belt/arm band (to hold a phone or keys), new earbuds, blue tooth speaker, wireless headphones, hiking back pack, camelback, a new gym bag, hair elastics, head bands, gym bag necessities (antibacterial wipes/towel/hand sanitizer/gum/chapstick), workout gloves, etc.

EQUIPMENT: This can range from simple to extensive…jump rope, mat, bosu ball, medicine ball, kettlebell, dumbbells, resistance bands, physioball, exercise DVD’s, a foam roller…treadmill, elliptical, stationary bike, road bike, stairmill (in my dreams)…

SUBSCRIPTIONS/MEMBERSHIPS: Gym membership, personal training sessions, a meal plan, fit camp membership, Spotify subscription, Netflix subscription, fitness magazine subscription, healthy eBooks, a massage, race entries, etc.

HEALTHY TREATS/FOOD/COOKING: Gift certificates to your favorite healthy restaurants or health  food stores, nuts, popcorn, protein bars, jerky, cookware, healthy cook books, a small portable/packable cooler or tupperware, to take your healthy meals on the go, a blender, spiralizer, cocomotion, food processor, kitchen aid, other items to help with healthy cooking in the kitchen!

BEAUTY PRODUCTS: Body wash, perfume, lotion, body scrub, face masks, hair products, dry shampoo (a fitness gal’s best friend), hair elastics, nail polish, lip gloss, chapstick, gift certificates for a pedicure/manicure, etc.

Hopefully these suggestions can help you to find some great healthy holiday gifts, for your loved ones AND for your own list! xoxoxo

Get the Summer Body You Meant to Get in April…of 2014…

I know that so many people have goals for their, “summer bodies.” It always makes me laugh a little because, while I realize you want to look awesome in your swimsuit, I always wonder why you don’t want to look and feel great all year round. I don’t know about you, but I find it a LOT harder to keep up the motivation in October-December when it’s cold & dark, & pumpkin flavored everything sugary seems to be raining from the sky. Maybe the goal shouldn’t just be to look great for 3 months out of the year, but to get that Christmas Body, one that can translate easily into your Valentines Body, your St. Patricks Day Body, that will roll nicely into your Easter Body…and will more than likely have you feeling fantastic when your 4th of July Body is on display. 😉 iloveit5

I guess what I’m saying is maybe it’s a better goal to strive to have a healthy attitude & healthy habits year round, that will translate nicely into helping you to look AND FEEL the way you want ALL YEAR ROUND. The following are some tips that will help to make this possible, because it is!

1. Make some LASTING dietary changes. Instead of going as strict as can be for 21 days…or 30 days…or whatever amount of days seems to be the magic number of the diet of the moment, make some changes in your life that will be lasting. For example: Decide to make a meal plan for the week, and structure your meals around healthy options, do some meal prep to make those meals happen. Choose to quick buying the vast amounts of processed foods/treats that always sounds like a good idea at the time. Include more fresh produce in your diet. Cut out the sugar.

2. Which brings me to #2….cut out the sugar. If there is ONE thing that I preach/and will continue to preach until i’m blue in the face, it’s to CUT OUT THE SUGAR. Excess sugar usually means excess caloric intake, which means excess fat storage, and more than likely means excess body weight. If you cut your sugar intake down, you will be doing yourself a BIG favor.

3. Increase your water intake. If you are drinking full-sugar drinks, stop. Drinking your calories is a terrible idea because it will not fill you up in any way, and it will increase your sugar intake a GREAT deal. Replace that sugary stuff with water. There are so many benefits of drinking water, one of which is assistance in weight loss. Try to drink 100 oz per day. I dare you.

4. Make exercise a regular habit, no questions asked. I know it’s not always fun, and I’m sure there are a long long list of reasons why you’d rather not…but the benefits that you’ll receive from a regular exercise routine are exponential. There are SO many different things you can do to be active. Find one that works for you. Find something that you will stick to. Find something that you can make a long lasting habit, not that you will be able to “handle” for two weeks.

5. Decide to make your LIFE healthier. Quite often when people are only trying to achieve a certain “look” it’s very short lived. It is far more likely that you’ll be able to create a routine you will stick to if you seek to really change your habits.

6. Stop lying to yourself. This might be the most important thing, harsh as it may seam. Stop sneaking bites, eating crappy food, having too many desserts, giving %50 to your workouts, skipping your workouts altogether….and pretending like it’s not going to effect you. I HATE to break it to you, but you can’t think yourself into a different way of life….without putting in the effort. Actually I don’t hate to break it to you. YOU CANNOT THINK YOURSELF INTO A DIFFERENT WAY OF LIFE WITHOUT PUTTING IN THE EFFORT!! I wish I could scream that from the roof tops. I work with a lot of people that want results without putting in the CORRECT amount of work/effort. It is just not going to happen. Period. The end. Stop skipping from one fad diet to the next, wanting an easy out. If it sounds too easy/too good to be true/too effortless…IT IS. If it was SOOOOO easy, do you think we would have such an unreal problem with obesity? Just some food for thought.

 

The 5 Step Holiday Cleanup

After the holidays are over, it is quite common to feel ready for a fresh start. People are usually looking to get back on track, and into a better routine…one that isn’t laced with plates of cookies, caramel popcorn, and endless sugary sweets. icecreamI am a believer in moderation. However, it seems like during the holidays people tend to moderate the good foods they are eating…while binging on the less healthy options. SO. Let’s get back into it!

STEP #1: Get rid of the junk. Chances are, if it is still in front of you, you will probably eat it. So, get rid of it. Freeze it, box it, give it away, chuck it, feed it to the dog…do whatever you need to do to make your slate clean.

STEP #2: Restock. Once you have eliminated all of the unhealthy options from your kitchen, fridge, and pantry, you will have plenty of room to fill your shelves with fresh produce, lean proteins, and other good healthy options. It may not be a bad idea to map out your meals for the upcoming span of time to give yourself a plan to stick to. Planning ahead is ALWAYS beneficial to success.

STEP #3: Get your water in. Cleanse all of the garbage out of your system. Drink 100 oz of water per day.

STEP #4: Get moving. Get back into workout mode. You will feel SO much better when you do. Make it a goal to do something active every day. If you still have family and friends in town, include them in it. Go hiking, go for walks, go snowshoeing, go to the skating rink…just get moving. If you can get back into your real workouts, even better, but do what you can!

STEP #5: Keep it clean, lean, and green. Remember my mantra for December? Well, it’s back. The best way to get yourself back on track is to get rid of the sugar. Focus your meals around LOTS of healthy greens and lean proteins. That, coupled with a lot of water will have your back on track in no time!

Merry Christmas Eve!!

Merry Christmas muncher crunchers! santahatIn the spirit of the holidays, I thought that I’d list some of my own holiday fun facts…

My favorite Christmas movie: Home Alone, although you can get me to join you on whatever Hallmark/ABC Family/Lifetime Christmas movie you’ve got on at any moment.

My favorite Christmas tradition: I love watching Christmas movies, and baking holiday goodies.

My favorite gift as a child: My American Girl Doll, Molly.

My favorite Christmas memory: The time I knew I was getting a dollhouse for Christmas/ I was probably 12. and my mom overheard me feeling extremely confident about the exact dollhouse I thought I was getting. My family then spent extensive amounts of time creating a dollhouse from cardboard and placing it beneath a sheet, so that when I ran down the stairs in the morning and threw the sheet off, the joke was on me. They proceeded to go the rest of the morning without telling me that my actual dollhouse was in the garage. Ask me the details of this occasion in person sometime. It’s a pretty good story.

Favorite holiday food: Cinnamon Almonds

What I gave for Christmas: This year I gave my clients Skinny Pop and my Zucchini Cookies, two of my favorite healthy snacks!

What I hope Santa Brings me: Some Sorel boots & new workout clothes.

On my list every year: clothes, shoes, hair care products.

Favorite Christmas Song: O Holy Night

My wrapping of choice: Brown paper packages tied up with string. Really though. I wrapped all my gifts with brown wrapping paper and bakers twine. Simple and darling.

What are some of your favorite holiday memories, traditions, songs, and movies? What is on your wish list for Santa this year?

Healthily Surviving Your Holiday Activities

There are so many different fun holiday traditions that can throw a wrench in one’s healthy routines. For example…one thing my family does during the holidays is go to the movies. We do it all the time actually, but it is definitely more frequent during the holiday season. I LOVE this tradition of ours. However, I am also fully aware of one of my biggest weaknesses when I walk into the theater. The smell of that movie theater popcorn gets me. Oh man, I love it. Because i know this about myself, I think ahead. This is me: Processed with VSCOcam with m3 preset
Yep, I am the person who sneaks my own SkinnyPop into the theater. This way my hand doesn’t get away from me…cleaning out the bottom of the popcorn bag like I know I could easily do. Going prepared helps me to stay on track without feeling deprived. There are a lot of ways to be able to be a part of holiday traditions without feeling deprived. Here are some more tips…

  • Make sure you eat before you do your holiday shopping, and stow some healthy snacks in your purse if need be. Shopping tends to take longer than we think it will, and we all get hungry. During these times we go for whatever is quick and convenient, which usually isn’t all that healthy. If you are prepared, you won’t find yourself chowing on unhealthy quick options.
  • Contribute to the holiday party spread. When you know family dinners and holiday get togethers are going to be offering a spread of unhealthy options, offer to bring something. Bring a veggie tray and hummus, a big healthy salad, sliced apples and fruit dip, or a healthy dessert. I love to bring these zucchini cookies. People don’t usually even realize they are eating something healthy with these guys. 😉 You can save a few of these to leave out for Santa. (Help save him a few calories!)
  • Check your menu options. If you are going out to eat, which is something my family and friends do a lot of during the holidays, give the menu a look online to check what they have to order. Choose a healthy option before you go, so you won’t even have to think twice about it.
  • Include some physical activity in your holiday outings. Go ice skating, skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing, take a walk to see the neighborhood lights, walk around to go caroling, or go for a hike.
  • Think before you grab. While there may be Christmas treats everywhere…that doesn’t mean they are all good. Just because your neighbor leaves you a plate of cookies on your porch doesn’t mean you have to eat them. Take the kind gesture, appreciate it, and throw them away. OK, maybe that is harsh, but eating a whole plate of cookies that are sub-par = not worth it. If they are AWESOME, then keep the good stuff. Freeze them for later. Share them. Just be wise with your choices. You’ll be glad, post-holidays. I promise.

Enjoy your holiday season. It really is the best time of the year! Just do it in a way that will have you feeling healthy and happy! After all, you want to be able to enjoy as many holiday seasons as possible. Right? 😉

Healthy Gift Ideas for the Holidays!

For those individuals who are wondering what some great HEALTHY gifts ideas may be for their friends and family…I’ll share a few of my favorites.

  1. Nike Flyknit trainers. Screen Shot 2013-12-17 at 9.20.01 PMI have a pair of these, and I LOVE them. They are so incredibly comfortable. They are lightweight, but still sturdy. I’m a huge fan. Get them in your life. You can find them HERE.
  2. Old Navy compression capris & pants. Screen Shot 2013-12-17 at 9.23.57 PMOld Navy absolutely NAILED it with these workout pants and capris. I may or may not have 4 pairs of the capris and 2 pairs of the pants. They wear well. They wash well. They stay put. They are comfortable. They are thick enough, but not suffocating. They are awesome. Find them HERE.
  3. Sorel Boots. Screen Shot 2013-12-17 at 9.27.19 PMThese are on MY wish list this year. These are an awesome way to take your exercise outside. They are super warm, and perfect for winter walks, hikes, snowshoeing, and just looking darling. Find them HERE.
  4. Skullcandy earbuds. Screen Shot 2013-12-17 at 9.32.00 PMAs you know, I love my music. It is what gets me through my workouts. These awesome Skullcandy ear buds from Target are inexpensive, and still awesome. They are my absolute fave because they stay in my ears, and they are comfortable. Find them HERE.
  5. A warm shell jacket.Screen Shot 2013-12-17 at 9.35.26 PM I have this Patagonia shell in black and I’m in love with it! I seriously wear it every day to work. It is lightweight, but super warm. It isn’t bulky, so it’s perfect for layering. Find this jacket HERE.
  6. Healthy goodies. I would love some Questbars, Screen Shot 2013-12-17 at 9.39.58 PMa bag of Skinnypop, Screen Shot 2013-12-17 at 9.43.09 PMsome Turkey Jerky, Screen Shot 2013-12-17 at 9.45.05 PM Extra Gum, Screen Shot 2013-12-17 at 9.47.38 PMand any assortment of nuts in my stocking.
  7. Other ideas…water bottles, a kettle bell, a foam roller, resistance bands, a jump rope, any assortment of workout clothes, an iTunes gift card, a netflix subscription, healthy reads, a subscription to a fitness magazine, new socks, workout headbands, a gift certificate for a massage or to try some new fitness classes, a gym pass, or a new gym bag! The healthy holiday possibilities are endless!

Muncher Cruncher Healthy Travel Tips

I am ALWAYS so excited to leave on trips. Traveling is so fun. However, I always get a little stressed too…probably because I hate packing. I leave tomorrow for my Arizona/Austin Christmas, and I can hardly wait! It was 10 degrees when I got in my car this morning…get me out of here. If you were wondering how the packing is coming, it is looking a little something like this…

and that is only just the beginning. According to my dad I have inherited my inability to pack lightly from my mother. What can I say? She is a good woman, and she always looks fantastic! 🙂

When it comes to traveling people will quite often use it as an excuse to throw in the healthy towel, if you know what I mean. Here are a few tips that will help you to avoid doing just that.

Muncher Cruncher Healthy Travel Tips:
– Bring your own snacks! Sometimes traveling puts us in situations where we are foodless for quite a while. These are the times we usually get so hungry that that the…”I don’t even care give me that entire Cinnabon NOW,” monster kicks in. Instead of letting your body get there bring your own snacks. Some of my favorites are almonds, turkey jerky, Larabars, protein bars, string cheese, apples, bananas, clementines, oranges, healthy cookies, etc.
– Bring a water bottle. When we aren’t at home or in our normal element, we tend to drink much less water than normal. Bring a water bottle with you so you can fill up wherever you are and keep yourself healthy and hydrated.
– Eat before you go. If you know food may be an issue on your travel day, don’t wait to see what the airport or convenience store may have that fits into your healthy eating plan, eat something beforehand that will fill you up and keep you from becoming ravenous.
– Bring your workout clothes! Even if you are going to an unknown destination in which you may not have a lot of options as far as working out is concerned, there is always something you can do. Bring your own workout DVD’s, bands, or a jump rope if you are worried your options may be limited. If you are staying with family, go for a walk! If you are staying at a hotel, find out before hand what their amenities are. You can always use their gym, or swim some laps in the pool.

These are just a few simple things that you can do that can certainly make a big difference in how well you do on your vacation. I’ve said it about one million times, the key to success is preparation and planning. If you don’t set yourself up for success, finding it may be a wee bit difficult.

Happy and SAFE travels to all those who are venturing to their Christmas destinations this week!!

Muncher Cruncher Healthy Holiday Gift Guide

Oh my goodness…I love Christmas so much I can hardly stand it! This weekend was spent delving into all sorts of Christmas festivities! Christmas shopping…Christmas music…

 Christmas treats…Christmas concerts…

 Christmas wrapping…

I love it all! I really do. It really hit me this morning how magical and wonderful the Christmas season is. It is such an incredible time of gratitude, giving, and love. I hope you feel the same way! 
I always like to throw out some healthy holiday gift ideas that may give you some ideas for a few items to add to your own list, or may help you to determine some fun things to give your family members and friends this year to keep them feeling and looking great! In no particular order…
Muncher Cruncher 2012 Healthy Holiday Gift Guide
1. Gift cards to healthy restaurants or health food stores (Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Sprouts, etc.)
2. A gym membership or class passes
3. Healthy Treats (fresh fruit, nuts, natural foods, popcorn, nut butters, etc.)
4. New workout clothes/shoes
5. An Ipod or MP3 player
6. New workout headphones
7. A new gym bag
8. Gift card for Itunes
9. Workout socks
10. Water bottle 
11. Exercise DVD’s 
12. A Foam roller 
13. A gift certificate for a spa treatment or massage
14. Fitness & health related books 
15. Cold weather workout accessories (hat, gloves, scarf, neck warmer)
16. Garmin 
17. Heart rate monitor 
18. Exerspy 
19. Subscriptions to healthy eating or fitness related magazines
20. At home workout gear (kettle bell, TRX trainer, dumbbells, treadmill, elliptical, bike, etc.) 
21. Skincare products
22. Healthy cookbooks
23. Fun headbands, hats, hair elastics 
24. Lift tickets to a local resort 
25. Outdoor sport gear (snowboard, skis, snowshoes) 
26. A road bike (If you’d like to get me this I would gladly accept…) 😉 
Hopefully these ideas help you find ways to give and receive the gift of health this year!

Beware: The Holidays are Heavily Upon Us

If you haven’t noticed, we are in full swing of the holidays. I love it. I love it. I love it! I hope you are loving it too! It is definitely the time of year that stresses people out the most as far as their health is concerned. We seem to have less time to work out, and the food is abundantly before us. So much food…everywhere…and most of it is not greens and lean protein. Just saying. When times get crazy (and the food abundance gets crazier) a reminder of a few healthy holiday tips might just be beneficial.

Don’t skip meals. Instead of not eating all day to “save up” your calories, try to eat clean and healthy (and normally) and when you get to your holiday parties eat sensibly. If you skip meals you will be more likely to overeat when you get to your holiday functions.

Journal your food. You may consider this a nuisance, but if you are wanting to avoid the extra calories from excess bites here and there, the best way to do so is to write down your caloric intake. Keeping a food journal can help you to be more aware of what is going into your mouth.

Make your food choices worth it. There is going to be an abundance of sweets and junk, that is just the way it is. However, not all of it is going to be worth it. If there is some kind of sweet treat or divine indulgence that you make once a year and absolutely die for, by all means, have some. If you arrive at party with a table full of day old store bought cookies, passing them up is probably going to be OK. 

Get moving. When time seems short, the first thing that we let fall through the cracks is our workout time. Don’t let this be the case. Try to keep your workouts regular, and you will feel so much better. (Especially if you aren’t eating as well as you usually do.) If you don’t have lots of time for exercise, get your family moving instead. Make some holiday memories by going snowshoeing, walk around the neighborhood to look at the lights, deliver your neighborhood treats on foot, go ice skating, etc.

Try to get some sleep. Believe it or not there is a direct correlation between not getting enough sleep, and not losing weight. Your body needs your sleep time to recharge and repair itself.
Get adequate amounts of sleep and you will help keep your body in a healthy place during the holidays, and your mood will be better too!

Bring your own healthy additions to the holiday spread. If you are attending a holiday party, bring a healthy side, salad, or appetizer to share. If you do this you will know that there is something there that you can eat and feel good about. Veggie trays and fruit platters are a great and easy contribution.

Don’t give up! The worst thing you can do is throw in the towel, and say you’ll start over in January. Just keep going doing the best you can, and then sure…kick it into high gear in January. There is no reason not to continue on with your progress throughout the holiday season. It IS possible!

Have a happy, healthy, holiday season!