healthy

How To Stay Healthy With The Season

Yesterday, I all of a sudden had a HUGE craving for a big salad. 

I like salad and all, but it’s not typically a staple of mine when it’s cold out, it’s more of a warm weather food for me.  I also noticed that I was feeling a little more antsy than usual, and also SUPER inspired to keep working through most of the day yesterday. 

This feels more like spring energy, but I’m sitting here with a Winter Weather warning in Baltimore.  What gives? 

Then I remembered that the Chinese elemental calendar start seasons on different dates, and when I googled it I realized that yesterday, Chinese New Year/Lunar New Year, marks the start of the Spring season.

To. The. Day.  I called it, because I felt that shift.  Crazy, huh?

In Chinese medicine, the Spring or Wood season marks a sense of renewal and inspiration.  The worst of the winter is (hopefully) over, the days are noticeably longer, and we start to plan ahead for the warmer months. We start to make plans for our gardens, getting ready to plant seeds and eventually we break through the tough soil to allow for movement and growth.

As we get into this season, as lovely as it is, many folks tend to experience some not so fun emotions as well.  Anxiety, depression, and irritability are common as we deal with the build up of energy from winter to spring. 

And oh boy, I’m feeling that too.

With that being the case, this is a great time to refocus your self-care practice, and there are a few things you can specifically do to help ease yourself into this time.

      ·      Begin to incorporate more raw vegetables into your diet.  As it’s still chilly on the east coast         of the US, I’d say don’t rush into it and suddenly eat salad or juice for each meal, but here and         there start to add some in!

      ·      Drink 60 to 80 oz of water per day to help flush out the liver.  The liver is responsible for             detoxifying the blood, so you want to keep that shit moving!

      ·      On a similar note, start incorporating more movement into your days to also get the liver             going.  Take a walk a few times per week.  Join a yoga class.  Or friend me on Couch to 5K               (caitbyrnes) so we can keep each other motivated!

      ·    Re-organize your space!  This is a great time to get rid of all the crap that builds up during           the winter (hello KonMari method!).  Throw out old papers, dust those ceiling fans, and get             your shit in order.  You’ll feel so much better after.

 

How are you feeling right now?  Still feeling the winter blues?  Caught the spring anxiety? 

Leave me a comment below and let me know!

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4 Tips for a Healthier Halloween

Halloween is probably my second favorite holiday (4th of July is my first, duh )What’s not to love? Horror movie marathons, an excuse (that isn’t a burlesque show) to wear a totally insane costume, parties all weekend, trick-or-treating, and a reason to scare the shit out of the people you love most.

In my hometown, we actually got an extra day of Halloween fun times.  Toms River, New Jersey is home to one of the longest running Halloween parades in the country, so kids trick-or-treat on the 30th, since everyone is at the parade on the 31st.  That means we get mischief night on the 29th, trick-or-treating on the 30th, and parade madness on the 31st.

So fucking amazing.

But let’s be honest, it’s suuuuuper easy to go overboard with the candy, even if you only celebrate one day of Halloween.   The huge influx of sugar (ehem, and booze) can leave you feeling lethargic, exhausted, nauseous or even sick with a cold in the days after the parties (yup, excess sugar can weaken your immune system). 

Don’t get me wrong, I think you should enjoy yourself so here are a few tips to make the holiday a little healthier.

Go easy on the candy.  Pace yourself. Take 5 minutes in between your fun sized snicker bars to let your body register that it’s actually satisfied.

Get some fun movement in. Halloween is actually an awesome holiday for fun movement.  Have kids?  Walk with them through the neighborhood to go trick-or-treating! Don’t have kids? Borrow some from your friends!  Or, head to a spooky corn maze with your buds and make it a point to hide in the stalks and scare each other.  That will get you running, guaranteed.

Pre-Game.  Drink lots of water all day and have a healthy snack before heading out for your fun (whatever kind it may be). If you show up starving to a party you’re gonna go hard on those Kit-Kats.

Non-Food treats.  If you get trick or treaters I know it’s wildly tempting to snack on the candy between kids.  Consider giving out a non-food treat if the leftovers haunt you in your sleep.  Like this adorable lego pumpkin gift bag!

Plus, bonus, you’ll be the star house for kids with food allergies! Check out the Teal Pumpkin Project website for ways to mark your house as allergy friendly, and for more non-food ideas.

Your turn.  What are your Halloween plans this year?  Let me know how you're planning to stay healthy in the comments below!

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