November 2015

Master Your Metabolism During The Holidays

Thanksgiving Struggles

With Thanksgiving around the corner I have a lot of my clients coming to me with questions and concerns about surviving the holiday. I not only think you should be able to merely "survive" Thanksgiving, I think you should be able to actually enjoy it! What a great opportunity to have fun with family and eat your "relaxed meal"!


With so many tempting options on Thanksgiving, you want to be able to enjoy the food without guilt, right? Then I say, do it! Come up with a plan in advance, such as: "I will have one plate of food and then be done, no seconds" or "I will skip the foods that I can have any old day, and only eat the special home made recipes" or you can tell yourself "Yes, I will eat the food, and dessert, and then I will do an extra workout tomorrow morning and get right back on track with my goals". All of these are examples of ways to take responsibility and control of your food intake. It depends on your goals, and what strategy will be most "doable" for you.


I have three kids, and I personally find it hard to find time to sit down and eat a hot meal anytime, especially during holiday events and parties. When it's time to eat, I will get 3 plates of food for my kids, and then I will get myself a plate of food. As soon as I sit down one of the kids has to go potty, or someone needs a drink, or someone needs more food, etc. If you have kids, you know the drill. By the time I get to sit down and eat, my food is usually cold, and not very appetizing. Usually I plan for this in advance so I will pick and choose a few foods that I really want, not the foods that you can eat any old day. I'm talking the special family recipes, and the special occasion dishes and desserts. I don't want to "waste" my calories on foods that I don't absolutely LOVE! This is my strategy, and it has helped me maintain my goals over the years.


If you do over-do it and eat half the dessert table, do not stress! When you feel that guilt and failure, that is toxic to progress. One bad meal will not do too much damage to your progress. It is important to wake up the next day and get back on the bandwagon. When you dwell on it, and feel that stress and guilt, that can make it even harder to keep going and get back on track. Take ownership "yes, I ate too much last night, but that's okay, I will take responsibility and eat right today and do an extra workout." Positive self-talk is important to success.


The key is to find out what strategies work for you, and your lifestyle, and make these habits! I don't think anyone should have to make a huge sacrifice and skip dessert, or skip their favorite cheesy creamy casserole, but I do think if you plan ahead and pick and choose, it makes a huge difference! If anyone has any other helpful tips I would love to hear your input, and what has worked or hasn't worked for you in the past.

Spicy Chicken White Chili

This is an awesome meal to come home to in the crockpot on a chilly fall day. This time of year is a busy time for everyone, I use the crockpot almost every night for our family dinner. This is one of our favorites. You can use left over turkey for this also!


Spicy White Chili


2 pounds boneless skinless chicken (or turkey) breasts, cubed 1 small onion, chopped 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth 1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies ½ teaspoon garlic powder ½ teaspoon dried oregano ½ teaspoon minced fresh cilantro or parsley ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 can (15 ounces) white kidney or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained In a saucepan coated with nonstick cooking spray, sauté chicken and onion until juices run clear; drain if desired.


Stir in broth, chilies, garlic powder, oregano, cilantro, and cayenne. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes (or on low in crockpot 4-8 hours). Stir in beans; cook 10 minutes longer.


Yield: 8 servings Nutritional Analysis: 1 serving equals 220 calories, 4 g fat, 14 g carbohydrate, 32 g protein

About Sarah

Sarah is a mother of three children and lives on a small family farm. She believes in knowing where all her food comes from and living green. Sarah has a passion for a natural diet and enjoys helping others. She gets excited about eating whole foods and obtaining nutrition from natural sources, and avoiding processed foods. She has a blog you can check out to learn more:https://crunchyfamilyfitness.wordpress.com/

Sarah is a Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC) who received her undergraduate degree in athletic training from Bowling Green State University. She earned her Master's of science in Sports Medicine from Armstrong Atlantic State University. Her master's’ thesis involved studying the effects of prophylactic ankle stabilization on lower extremity stiffness. Sarah’s published article; “Vertical Leg Stiffness Following Ankle Taping and Bracing” was featured in the International Journal of Sports Medicine.

Sarah's passion for fitness and nutrition began in high school where she was involved in working with the athletic teams as a student athletic trainer. She has worked and traveled with D1 athletic teams. Sarah has developed strength training programs for various teams that include off season, in season, and postseason weight training and exercise routines. As an athletic trainer she has worked on an individual basis with athletes and coaches in meal planning and sports nutrition.

As a personal trainer she worked with various populations in a fitness club setting.

Sarah also has experience working in a physical therapy office. In the physical therapy setting she assisted patients in rehabilitation of athletic injuries and surgeries. She has had experience in aquatic therapy and rehabilitation on an underwater treadmill.

Sarah's education and support will empower the entire family to get fit and healthy with her partnership.

Mission Statement:

To empower people of all ages to become healthy and confident, while meeting the nutrition goals for the entire family with science and support.