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3 steps to healthy holidays

So you’ve made your decision! You won’t fall off the wagon over the holidays, right? This blog series should help you! We have already reviewed 4 simple strategies to stay healthy: dealing with unreliable stomachs, reducing unhealthy behaviors, targeting drinks, and finding methods to be selective and mindful during this busy season.

Happy and relaxed bicyclist using no handsNow there is one last thing we need to do if we don’t want a big mess to clean up in January: PREPARE. Prepare so we don’t eat like a horse and drink like a fish for 3 weeks straight. Prepare to get some exercise in our busy holiday schedule. Prepare to make sure we sleep and relax when we need to.

Now don’t fret! Preparing doesn’t mean that we have to start running 10 miles a day or go on a cleanse – although, you can do that if you want to! What I have in mind won’t be that hard! Let me tell you how you can spend a few minutes on this today using 3 easy steps to prepare, and then freewheel into the festivities.

Why prepare?

If we don’t plan for some of the holiday temptations, we will have to react on the spot when they arise. The problem with “reacting” is that it involves emotions and will-power. Emotions are quite unpredictable. Will-power is a limited resource. We all have will-power, and if you are reading those lines, my guess is that you actually do have a huge lot of it. But relying on will-power all the time is draining, and the strongest of us end up giving in.

That’s why preparation is key. When we prepare, we give ourselves a chance to control situations and respond to them rather than react impulsively and be ruled by them.

I won’t go into a very detailed preparation process in this article. We will just see how and why planning works. If you want to learn simple and effective techniques to prepare for your holiday struggles, I have put together a video workshop where I walk you through the process. In the video, we also go through many examples and strategies that my clients or myself have used successfully in the past.

1. Identify – 2. Plan – 3. Embrace

Good preparation doesn’t take forever. First, you identify the health struggles you might run into. Just pausing and visualizing specific challenges is about half of the work done. Let me give you an example. During the holidays, I won’t walk much because I won’t take the kids to school, swim practice, etc. Walking is my main exercise. If I cut it in half, that’s an issue.

Once you identify a challenge, think about a reasonable and pleasant way to handle it. Two very important words here: reasonable and pleasant. If we set the bar too high, we will fail, feel like crap, and give up altogether. If we forget to focus on pleasure, we will hate our holidays, feel discouraged, and give up again. So if I go back to my walking challenge, I could say I’ll replace walking with running or attending a boot camp class. But heh… I know I won’t enjoy that very much. So instead, I’ll plan on brisk walking in the neighborhood every time I call my family (during the holidays, there is a lot of calling going on!). It’s simple enough, it doesn’t add to my busy schedule, and I enjoy walking, so I know it won’t be a burden.

Whatever decision you make, be proud that you have a plan in the first place. Don’t feel guilty that it might not be perfect or that you are cutting yourself some slack. Remember that if you don’t have a plan, you will most likely fall off the wagon all together, so feel good about finding a compromise. Will I walk as much as usual over the holidays? Maybe. Maybe not. What counts is that I will walk.

Notepad with torn pages to show that wellness plan has been edited

Don’t forget to adjust your plan

You too will find good compromises to handle tricky situations. You might not get it right the first time around. If you see that you can’t follow through with your plan, don’t blame yourself. Blame your plan. Go back to it and find a more suitable compromise. And always remember: make your goal reachable and enjoyable.

Prepare with me, for free!

If you want to learn one simple & effective method to stay healthy until the end of the year (and after!), just watch my video “Healthy Holiday Workshop”. We will go over the strategy step-by-step and will review over 40 tricks my clients, myself, and other people have already been using successfully when preparing for challenging situations. Not to mention the free resources you will be able to download and an exclusive discount to one of my most popular Wellness Programs. Watch the video now, it will only be live for a limited time.

 


PLEASE REMEMBER, I AM NOT A DOCTOR AND I DON’T KNOW YOUR PERSONAL CIRCUMSTANCES. THIS INFORMATION CANNOT BE USED AS A SUBSTITUTE TO MEDICAL ADVICE, DIAGNOSIS OR TREATMENT.

©2017 Allons-y Coaching, LLC – Seattle, WA – All rights in all media reserved.

To stay healthy, focus!

One great way to stay healthy over the holidays, is to stay focused on what really matters to YOU. Why? Because this season is filled with temptations, invitations, solicitations, all of which lead to more stress, less sleep, and extra food & drink. As you can imagine, those don’t score very well on your health record. Not to mention the fact that because you are so busy, you can’t even find time to think about self-care. So, how can you avoid to lose your mind (and your health) during this stressful and busy time?

Camera lens focusing on target point in landscape

Don’t do things mindlessly

We have already mentioned food in our Healthy Holidays – TIP #1 and drinks in the Healthy Holidays – TIP #3. Now if we want to tackle the holidays in a healthy way this year, we have to be mindful not only of what we put in our body, but of every single thing we do.

Whether it’s sending holiday greeting cards, going to parties, or volunteering for charities, being truly aware of every single “decision” we make will help us be more selective. We will reduce stress, frustration, exhaustion, and even limit accumulating extra pounds.

Concentrate on what/who really matters

I am not saying “do only what you really wanna do”. Let’s be realistic, there are people we want to make happy, good deeds we can’t pass on, and chores we can’t avoid. But if we CHOOSE the things we do, there is a good chance we will eliminate a portion of our season’s load. And no matter how big or small that portion is, it will always help us with stress, sleep, and waistline!

It takes practice to be mindful though. So let’s not wait until the last minute. Let’s reflect NOW on what we usually do during the holidays, and ask ourselves:

  • Do I really want to do this?
  • Why is it important to me?
  • Will I feel better after I have done it or will I feel worse?
  • What will happen if I don’t do it?

Sometimes we do things to please others, to advance our career, to feel accomplished, to avoid guilt, or for the pleasure. Those (and many others) are all very good reasons to do what we do! And no one besides ourselves should be judging our own personal motivations. But when we do things just because we assume we should, or because we have always done it this way, or “just ‘cuz”… that’s when it’s worth pausing for a second, and taking the time to make a mindful decision.

You don’t have to please everybody

Just say no written on tree trunkOne big drive for our actions is wanting to make people happy, especially during the holidays. And that’s commendable; we want to make the world a better place, right? But can we take a second to make sure that what we are about to do will really bring joy around us? Is there maybe another way to spread the love, or another time? What if we say “no” once in a while? Will that make a big difference?

If you find it hard to pick what is and isn’t important to you, ask yourself who the people are who matter the most in your life. Don’t answer “my family, my friends, my loved ones…” Write down their names. Make a list of specific people you care the most about. And those who don’t make it on your list, well, maybe you can see them in January! Do the same for causes, charities, traditions. Come up with a list and stick to it. And if you feel that being selective and prioritizing is a tough thing to do on your own, send me a note (stella@allonsycoaching.com). I can give you some tips and help you through the process.

Cut yourself some slack!

It’s all about being selective and making decisions rather than going with the crazy flow of things. Mindfulness. That’s what it is. And once you have decided that a certain party, a certain food, a certain group of people, or even a certain cause lies toward the bottom of your priority list, stick to your decision and DON’T FEEL GUILTY. You are not Santa Claus! You don’t have a flying reindeer (do you?). You cannot do it all and please them all while caring for your health and happiness. Let go of what doesn’t matter THAT much (even if it’s still important to you) and throw yourself entirely into what/who counts the most. You will be able to make things more special and exceptional, because you won’t be stretched so thin. Try it this year, and let me know how it works for you!

And don’t forget to share this article if you think some of your friends might be overwhelmed too. THAT is not going to add stress to your day, it’s just one click! And it will help others be more selective and less stressed out too. So, here you go, one good deed checked already! 😉

That’s it!

If you want more tips like this before the holidays, you should like my Facebook Page. You can also follow me on Instagram.

As always, if you feel that you need a bit of extra help figuring out what to do and how to do it, contact me or make an appointment for a FREE 20-minute consultation. I’ll be happy to chat with you and see how you can stack all the odds in your favor. Allons-y! Let’s Go!


PLEASE REMEMBER, I AM NOT A DOCTOR AND I DON’T KNOW YOUR PERSONAL CIRCUMSTANCES. THIS INFORMATION CANNOT BE USED AS A SUBSTITUTE TO MEDICAL ADVICE, DIAGNOSIS OR TREATMENT.

©2017 Allons-y Coaching, LLC – Seattle, WA – All rights in all media reserved.

The ONE thing to do for your health

Holidays are a tough time for our healthy routines. Some of us have a straightforward attitude toward the season, which can be summed up like this: “No way I’ll deprive myself of the delicious holiday goodies. I’ll check back with my body in January and work twice as hard in the new year.”

And I’ll be honest with you, if that’s YOUR line of thinking, I don’t blame you!

The ONE thing you should focus on

Now if you plan on eating all you want until the end of the year and collapse on the couch rather than sweat on your favorite gym’s elliptical, may I still suggest that you try one thing? Just one thing! Do you think you could keep an eye on your drinks? Oh, I hear some of you already: “I don’t drink! I’m off the hook!” Well, actually, I am not just talking alcoholic beverages here. I am talking juices, sugary drinks, enhanced coffee, etc.

Lady drinking coffee during holiday season

Beverages can add so many calories to your diet!

Yep! Keeping an eye on liquids will go a long way toward staying healthy during the holidays. Here is why.

Know what you drink!

Let’s consider that an average person needs about 2200 calories per day. If you take 3 meals per day, that’s about 700 calories per meal, right? Did you know that a medium size eggnog latte has about 450 calories? Same thing for a peppermint mocha! 12 oz of apple juice have about 180 calories, even more than 12 oz of beer.

I am not asking you to track calories during the holidays. Oh no, far from it! But if you know approximately how many calories are in the beverages you consume during the holidays, it might scare you a bit. And you might end up cutting a few. You know, the ones that are actually not THAT DELICIOUS!

Here is the thing with drinks. We have a tendency to wolf them down without really noticing and without getting much pleasure from them. Yet, drink 1 piña colada and 2 sodas tonight and you will swallow the equivalent of a meal calorie wise. Not to mention the effect of alcohol on your system, but that will be material for another article.

Tweak your drinking habits

So here is what I suggest: write down a list of the beverages you usually consume and their approximate calorie content. Here is a list to help you, with average values:

  • 16 oz hot chocolate: 320
  • 7 oz Gin & Tonic: 200
  • 16 oz latte: 190
  • 12 oz apple juice: 180
  • 12 oz lemonade: 170
  • 12 oz beer: 160
  • 8 oz whole milk: 150
  • 12 oz regular cola: 140
  • 5 oz glass of wine: 120
  • 4 oz Martini: 120
  • 12 oz sports drink: 100
  • 12 oz unsweetened iced tea: 2
  • water: 0
  • sparkling water: 0
  • unsweetened tea: 0
  • black coffee: 0

For more, you can go to USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference

You can also use the Alcohol calorie calculator from the US Department of Health and Human Services. Very convenient!

Having your own list will help you identify the most “risky” drinks. Next time you are about to drink one or the other from your list, just think twice about it and ask yourself a few questions:

– Do I really want this drink? Will I really enjoy it?

– Could I pick a smaller size and still be satisfied and happy?

– Is this drink worth the calorie content? If yes, could I cut my snack, or maybe skip dessert?

– Can I replace this drink with one that would be healthier and/or “lighter”?

– Can I make this same drink healthier and lighter by using slightly different ingredients?

– Am I drinking this because I am thirsty? If the answer is yes, drink WATER!

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Are there forbidden drinks?

Holiday celebration with two glasses filled with a wine-based cocktailI won’t go into the detail of each type of drink, but I would like to add a word of caution regarding diet sodas. Yes, their calorie content is very low or negligible. BUT! Because they are so sweet, they make you crave sugar, they make you want more, and they don’t quench your thirst. So don’t try to replace all drinks with diet sodas. It might help a bit, but not that much in the long term. Instead, whenever you can, favor the following beverages: water or sparkling water (plain or with a slice of lime or lemon), herbal tea, unsweetened iced or hot tea, black coffee (decaf or not). If you are hesitating between a cocktail and a glass of wine or a beer, your best bet is usually to go for the wine or beer. And stay away from sports drinks, unless your workout is quite intense and lasts an hour or more.

Again, I am not telling you “stop drinking”, “no alcohol!”, “no sodas!”. Although honestly, I am not far from suggesting the latter, sorry! But be aware of their effect on your health and on your weight. Because sometimes, they are not worth it.

Strategies to drink less

I have very specific strategies that my clients have successfully used to reduce their drink consumption in real life situations. I have summed them up in a 25-minute video that you will soon be able to watch. In this webinar, I give you what I believe is, for most people, THE most efficient technique to stay healthy during the holidays. Stay tuned and follow this blog to make sure you get a heads up as soon as the video goes live!

That’s it!

If you want more tips like this before the holidays, you should like my Facebook Page. You can also follow me on Instagram. And if you think this article can be helpful to someone you know, please share! Together, we are healthier 🙂

As always, if you feel that you need a bit of extra help figuring out what to do and how to do it, contact me or make an appointment for a FREE 20-minute consultation. I’ll be happy to chat with you and see how you can stack all the odds in your favor. Allons-y! Let’s Go!

 


PLEASE REMEMBER, I AM NOT A DOCTOR AND I DON’T KNOW YOUR PERSONAL CIRCUMSTANCES. THIS INFORMATION CANNOT BE USED AS A SUBSTITUTE TO MEDICAL ADVICE, DIAGNOSIS OR TREATMENT.

©2017 Allons-y Coaching, LLC – Seattle, WA – All rights in all media reserved.

My true motivation for coaching

Today is a big day for me! I am celebrating my one-year anniversary as a Certified Health Coach. After being involved in nutrition and coaching part-time for years, I finally decided last year to focus 100% on my passion. So I studied, got accredited by the American Council on Exercise (ACE), acquired my business license, and got to do what I really love day in and day out: help people become healthier, thanks to a gentle French approach. Yay!!!

I am getting ready to celebrate this anniversary with my husband and 3 daughters, but first, I want to tell you why I got into the health industry in the first place. It’s actually because I got scared out of my wits!

Stella Loichot, Certified Health Coach, scared by confusing health trends

Scary stuff all around

It’s pretty clear that more and more people are trying to be healthy. Health and wellness are super trendy. They are all over the internet, on TV, in books, magazines, everywhere. And yet, so many of us struggle the reach our health goals. Why is that?

Well, of course, there are many reasons, one of which is that there is so much information everywhere, and especially so much crap, that it makes it impossible to sift through all the junk, focus on what really matters, and get back to common sense. So we try all kinds of tricks, diets, workout programs, and of course, we fail. Not because we are not good enough… but because this is not the way to do it! Don’t get me wrong. There is sensible and wise advice out there. Unfortunately, it’s mostly lost amidst foolish recommendations and completely out-of-reach expectations.

What you’ve been told is wrong

The general trend is to have you believe that if you want to be healthy and keep your weight under control, you have to deprive yourself, be on a diet, sweat on a treadmill. In short, you have to suffer and “be good.” This message is wrong! And it has devastating effects, on people in general and on women in particular. And it’s actually when I realized firsthand the impact it has on teenage girls (my daughters and their friends!) that it became clear to me that I HAD to jump into the fray and do something about it. I really wanted to set the record straight and show that there is a different approach to wellness, a practical approach that works in the long term.

There is another way to be healthy

The framework I want to share with you is a wellness program that relies as little as possible on self-control and will-power. Instead of self-control, we rely on establishing good habits by tweaking our environment and focusing on pleasure. Pleasure in eating, in moving, in social connections, in sleeping, and most importantly, pleasure without guilt. It might seem counter-intuitive and it often takes time for my clients to embrace that system, but in the long run, this approach is the only way for many people to succeed.

Photo of couple strolling along a boardwalk

Let me be clear though, it still takes work! One has to learn, build awareness, think outside the box, and be patient because it takes time to slowly change all those little things in your daily life that will make a huge difference in the end. It’s not straight-forward, because there is no “one-size-fits-all” rule that you can follow. You have to be willing to create your own rules, your own balance, your own lifestyle. You have to reinvent some of your routines and change your environment so that it’s supporting your goals in the long run. And you have to consciously make health a habit rather than a struggle.

With some help, we can all do it!

And that’s why I became a Health Coach. Because I want to help people through that process. I want to help YOU through this. Provide you with as much (or as little!) support as you need, and give you all the tools and tips that will make the whole journey easier, smoother and more efficient. I want to help you make health part of yourself rather than make it an extra burden in your life and busy schedule. That’s what drives me. I want to help change lives, one at a time, and this is exactly what happens when I work with clients. I can see it with my own eyes, and this is why I love my job so much!

That’s it!

If you have been thinking about being healthier or losing some weight, email me, I’d be happy to hear from you! And don’t forget to share your own tips or remarks in the comment section, because together, we are healthier:-). To receive an email every time I write a new blog post, follow this blog!

Of course, if you feel that you need a help figuring out what to do and how to do it, contact me or make an appointment for a FREE 20-minute consultation. I’ll be honored to chat with you and see how you can stack all the odds in your favor. Allons-y! Let’s Go!

 


PLEASE REMEMBER, I AM NOT A DOCTOR AND I DON’T KNOW YOUR PERSONAL CIRCUMSTANCES. THIS INFORMATION CANNOT BE USED AS A SUBSTITUTE TO MEDICAL ADVICE, DIAGNOSIS OR TREATMENT.

©2017 Allons-y Coaching, LLC – Seattle, WA – All rights in all media reserved.

Healthy Holiday Workshop

Please don’t use “full screen” mode or the display will be crappy. I wanted to bring you good helpful content before the holidays and obviously didn’t focus enough on the form 🙂

Download for FREE all the resources you need to prepare NOW for healthy holidays and get almost 30% OFF my most popular Wellness Program.

Please type all your questions and comments in the “Leave a Reply” section underneath. I will do my best to give you useful answers!