Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Holiday Balance, Spin & Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Holiday Balance
As a FitFluential Ambassador, I am finding myself inspired by some amazing people. I also see "fitfluential" as an adjective. I want to be more fitfluential for others and inspire others. Recently, ambassadors were given a writing prompt to talk about our five tips for maintaining balance throughout the holidays based on four key aspects of balance: Eat, Sleep, Move, and Enjoy.

You guys know how my posts normally work. I just blab about my day - typically either raving or ranting about my workout and then a recipe. But, sometimes it can be fun, inspiring to have a goal for a post, a theme or topic to discuss. Especially when it's something you are passionate about - like being fitfluential.

While I love the holiday seasons, they can be stressful. On top of your normal day-to-day affairs, you have invites to holiday parties, cookie exchanges, family events, then there's the decorating, shopping, baking, cooking.

It also doesn't help that the weather is often less than stellar this time of year - depending on where you live of course. It's been days since we've seen sunshine here. Gray, dreary days certainly don't help the mood when you're already taxed to the max.

So what can we do this time of year to maintain some semblance of balance? Or do you just let loose, forget workouts, eat tins of cookies, drink gallons of nog and go wild? I'm thinking balance is probably the better option, though the nog might help improve the mood temporarily when spiked ;-)

I try to keep myself balanced throughout the holidays just as I would throughout the year. I know some people would argue to let loose a little more, indulge in an extra cookie or two. Don't get me wrong, I'll have a cookie I'm sure, but for the most part, it's business as usual with the exception of the extra events to attend.

My tips for finding balance through the holidays are pretty basic actually. Honestly, really only two things to keep in mind: maintain your routine but be flexible. Is that an oxymoron? Maybe not.

Eat...
  • Regularly - don't skip meals to save calories or wait until you're famished and can't resist the company potluck or trays of treats
  • Healthy, whole foods - protein/fiber/carbs
  • Treats sparingly - no free-for-all
  •  Slowly - take the time to enjoy your meal
  • Something new - take the opportunity to try a new, healthy version of a classic
Move...
  • Your legs - run, spin, bike, swim, dance...
  • Your muscles - resistance train
  • Your booty - have fun and dance at the holiday parties (on the dance floor, not the tables)
  • Your workouts - be flexible and move them around if you have to
  • Your feet - go ahead and park at the far end of the lot, your car won't get dinged up and you get in a few extra steps for the day
Enjoy... 
  • Family & friends - they might cause some stress, but enjoy the time with them, enjoy catching up with them, life's short
  • Being happy for others - find the joy in someone else's good fortune and joy, be happy for family, friends, or even strangers
  • Giving - remember to give back and give thanks
  • Relaxing - do take the time to sit back and relax, zero guilt
  • A to-enjoy list - I'm a firm believer in my daily-to enjoy list
Sleep (or rest)...
  • Regularly - try to maintain your normal bedtime routine
  • Your body - take that rest day
  • By not taking on too much - with a too-full calendar it's hard to rest or sleep properly, it's ok to say no
  • Your computer - log off for a bit
  • In - sleep in once in a while with no guilt, just enjoy taking it slow to get up and get going for a change

What would be your fitfluential holiday balance tips? How do you get through the holidays with your sanity in place...or do you ;-)

Following My "Move" Tips
With these tips in  mind, today I tried to maintain balance by being flexible with my workout. I am getting desperate to get in a good outdoor run. But the weather is just crummy. While it was warmer today, the air was so heavy and damp that it looked like it had been raining.

So, I went with my Plan B and hit the gym for spin. Meaning, I am not skipping out on a good workout, I'm just switching things up a bit. I did start with triceps as 3x8 before spin class.

Double-arm overhead triceps extensions
Double-arm kickbacks (increased weight today)
Dips

While I would have preferred to have been outside running, spin was fun today. Sometimes it's good for the sole to enjoy a hard workout in the company of others. We were working our butts off, but still managing to laugh along the way. And laughter is a good thing.

Dinner Balance
See, I'm thinking writing out these tips is going to work in my favor too. It's a good reminder for myself actually. Eat a healthy meal, but enjoy relaxing a bit too. Don't over-complicate basically. With that in mind, I didn't go crazy with dinner, I kept it fairly simple, but healthful.

I opted to make stuffed poblano peppers tonight. I could have gone crazy with this plan of course. I have in the past. Today all I did was open up the peppers and removed the ribs. I roasted for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees.

In the meantime, I made a small amount of quinoa (because it cooks in no time at all). I did add some seasonings to the quinoa (chili powder, cumin, garlic, salt, pepper, red pepper) while it was cooking.

At the same time, I sauteed onions, bell peppers, frozen corn, and a some Field Roast Mexican Chipotle "Sausages." At the very end, I tossed in some diced cherry tomatoes and the quinoa.

The next step is to just stuff the peppers, top with Daiya Vegan Cheese (or cheese or your choice) and bake in a covered casserole dish until the peppers are soft and the cheese is melted, approximately 20 minutes.
 
 This was some major, ooey, gooey goodness. 

Daily To-Enjoy List:
  • Spin class
  • Being happy for a friend
  • Easy dinner