Holiday Survival Guide

Author: Alyssa, Certified Health Coach - December, 2nd, 2015 | Category: Blog Posts, Health Coaching, holiday, Massage, Skin Care, Wellness, Yoga

Tags: , , , ,

Holiday Survival Guide

The holidays can be crazy but they don’t have to be. Here are 8 tips to help you find your peace this holiday season:

1. HYDRATE! When the weather starts to cool down, we start to forget we are thirsty. It is so very important to remember to drink your water. I always recommend drinking about half your body weight in ounces per day. i.e. if you weigh 130 lbs, you would drink 65 oz. per day. WHY is it so important to stay hydrated? Our body’s organs will not function to the best of their ability if we are not hydrated. Water allows the body to function properly and work to the best of its ability. Remember, our body is made up of roughly 70% water. Water also helps to keep our skin hydrated and prevent drying out in the cold weather.

Tip: Carry a water bottle with you at all times. I don’t go anywhere without either my hydroflask or lifefactory bottle.

 shutterstock_217131628

2. MOVE it. The benefits of exercise are endless. Some of the top benefits include: increased energy, combat health conditions/disease, improved self-confidence and mood, and many, many more! If you are already working out regularly – keep it up! Do not let the holidays stop you. If you are not regularly working out, now is a great time to start. For newbies, consider adding in walks or some light cardio on the treadmill or elliptical. A yoga or Pilates class is another great option- I always recommend Bikram (suitable for beginners). You can gradually work your way up to more vigorous workouts.

Tip: I highly recommend scheduling your “workout appointments”.  Write your workouts in your daily planner and respect these appointments as you would any other. Your health is top priority. A workout buddy is another great way to help you stick to your workouts as long as they are dedicated and reliable, otherwise – they will help you make excuses!

shutterstock_234489328

3. EMBRACE it all. I absolutely love the holidays and I believe it’s because I embrace (almost) everything about them. I love the commotion and excitement. Lights, decorations, hustle & bustle. It’s a warm and fuzzy time of year. I have a very hard time letting such a good thing stress me out. Take deep breaths, embrace the craziness, and remember the true meanings of the holidays.

Tip: Think of a holiday tradition you can do every year to get you in the holiday spirit!

shutterstock_119217034

4. FUEL with Intention. Eating habits can become a vicious cycle around the holidays. Don’t let this happen. If you get derailed, remember that everyday is a fresh start. Unfortunately, flu season coincides with the holiday season so it is extra important to execute healthy eating habits. Doing this will keep your immune system strong and ready to fight off illness. Healthy eating will help you have more energy so you are able to more productive and you will feel better. Proceed with caution at all social gatherings. One of the worst ideas, in my opinion (and I have been guilty of this) is not eating much during the day in an attempt to “save yourself” for a gathering. More than likely, you will be starving by the time you get there and make not so great choices once there and/or end up overeating.

Tip: I LOVE my crock pot this time of year. I usually make something healthy on my day off that I can have throughout the week in order to prevent any last-minute, not-so-healthy-choices due to lack of time. Meal planning is HUGE. I try to eat extra veggies and greens the day of a party. By making better food choices the day of a gathering, you can crowd out the not so great choices. 

shutterstock_83679952

5. ALCOHOL with caution. Alcohol is very capable of being your biggest saboteur. We all know this. Commit to setting limits for your consumption. If I want to have a glass or two when I am out, I will skip having a glass at home during the week. I also find it helpful to decide before I go to a party whether I want to have a glass or two of wine OR dessert, then stick to it. The key is not having more than a glass or two otherwise, it is likely that my inhibitions will be lowered and I will end up having alcohol AND dessert. If that happens at every gathering -> NOT GOOD! To help me stick to my plan, I think about the hard work that went into my workouts leading up to now, the progress I have made, and the workout I want to get in the next day. If I feel like crap the next day, I will likely not feel like working out. It is not worth it to let the alcohol negate all of my hard work.

Tip: I often like to commit to being the DD when we go to parties (My fiancé lovingly supports this decision) because then drinking is not even an option, allowing me to feast mindfully and avoid the empty, liquid calories.

6. Keep it simple and BUDGET. Make a list and check it twice. It can be tempting to go overboard with gifts but it’s unnecessary. I like to make a list of every person I want to buy for and then write down about 3-5 ideas for each person of things they can really use. I also set a total holiday budget and then a budget for each individual on my list. The list helps prevent impulse buys and having three to five ideas allows for flexibility while I am out shopping.

Tip: Really consider what the person you are buying for needs, not what you want them to want. I always appreciate getting gifts that I can use rather than something I could take or leave that ends up creating clutter or I have to return. 

I love The Center for a New American Dream, Simplify the Holidays resources. This site has so many resources to help you really appreciate the true meaning of the season and enjoy the holidays. I love their holiday calendar and  alternative gift tracker. They also have a free, downloadable booklet filled with practical tips for more joy, less stress.

7. DONATE. It is not the holiday season if you haven’t helped someone in need. Clothes, food, toys, shoes, books, your time, *SOCKS. The possibilities are endless. Choose a child/family to “adopt” for the holiday. It’s so much fun. You get the child’s/children’s ages, wish list, etc. It feels really good to be able to help people in need have a merrier holiday. Every year I am thankful I am in a place to be able to help those in need. Wegman’s sets up a donation box for new toys. Many books stores, gyms, hospitals, churches, and others do the same. Veterinary offices and animal shelters usually collect food/toys for shelter animals. Also, consider donating after the holidays. If you have kids who tend to get tons from relatives, encourage them to donate some of their “excess” to kids in need.

Tip: Make this your holiday tradition.

*Socks are one of the most needed items that are rarely donated. Read more here.

extra2

8. ME TIME. Give this to yourself. This will keep you going merrily. You deserve it and don’t convince yourself otherwise. Enjoy a massage, facial, pedicure, etc. Take a nice bubble bath and just relax or read in there. Curl up with a blanket and a book. Watch your favorite Christmas movie while drinking hot chocolate. Make cookies (if you find that therapeutic). Meditate.

Tip: LOSE THE PHONE (and other electronics) for your me time. I’m serious. Give this time to yourself. Put your phone on silent and leave it in another room or stash it in a drawer. If you are having a spa service, leave it in the car.

shutterstock_264432407

AME SPOTLIGHT

FullSizeRender

December’s Spotlight is on AME Nail Technician, Brittani DiPietro!

About Brittani: I am a licensed cosmetologist and I have been in the industry for 10 years. Nail care is my specialty and my passion.

When I am not working at the spa, my hands are usually covered in stain or paint! My hobby is repurposing furniture – nothing like bringing an old antique piece back to life.

I also enjoy spending time with my husband and 4-legged son Vice!

Favorite Product: I am obsessed with CND VINYLUX! Who doesn’t love a 7-day wear nail polish? With 100 colors to choose from, you are sure to find your next favorite shade.

Best Kept Tip: The Wet Brush! With having long hair I get so many tangles after I wash my hair. The Wet Brush allows me to brush through my hair pain and damage free.

To schedule an appointment with Brittani, call AME: 610-995-2631

12 Days of Christmas facebook Contest

holidaygiving

Our 12 Days of Christmas facebook Contest is back! Starting December 13th, we will be giving away one gift each day until Christmas. The day after Christmas, all those who entered throughout the 12 days, will be entered to win a
$50 AME Gift Card! Contest will take place on our facebook page so be sure to like us and follow to play!
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmailby feather

Pick Me Up, Peppermint.

Author: Alyssa, Certified Health Coach - November, 4th, 2015 | Category: Blog Posts, Happenings at AME, Health Coaching, holiday, Massage, peppermint, promotion, services, stylist spotlight, Wellness

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

peppermint

Not only does peppermint smell wonderful (the scent alone is a pick me up), taste fabulous, and remind us of the holidays – it also has tons of health benefits! People have used peppermint for its medicinal uses for many, many years now. The most common medicinal use for peppermint has been as a digestive aid; typically treating symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Some other ways peppermint has been known to help:

How to use it? How you use peppermint depends on what you are using it for. If you are suffering from a headache or a migraine, cold or congestion, as well as stomach cramps, hot peppermint tea is a great option. Another option for headaches and migraines is to apply a small dab of organic, peppermint essential oil on your temples and massage it in using circular motions or just breathe in the smell of the oil. For muscle aches and pains as well as rashes and skin irritations, you can use a topical peppermint ointment or balm – just be sure to read the product directions prior to applying as some peppermint ointments are not meant to be applied to certain skin conditions.

You can find peppermint in tea form, ointments, essential oil, essential oil capsules, throat lozenges, or fresh leaves.

Week1-Thanksgiving-week

If you like hearing about the benefits of peppermint and other foods, you will love our Holiday facebook group! I will host this 6-week, free of charge, wellness group starting November 23. We will focus on nutrition, exercise, gratitude, and giving. This group is not an intense fitness or dieting group. The purpose of this group is to enhance your holiday season by providing accountability and support in order to keep this season a healthy one. For more information and to sign-up, email: alyssa@www.amesalonandspa.com

NovDecSpaPromo

Start reaping the benefits of peppermint now! Our holiday specials are here and they’re fabulous! Learn more about our peppermint hot chocolate pedicure, peppermint massage, and peppermint mocha body polish here!

Notes: Peppermint should not be given to children under three years. Do not apply peppermint oil to the face of children under 5 years, as it may inhibit breathing. Do not use peppermint if you have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or if you have a hiatal hernia. (Johnson & Foster, Dog & Kiefer, 2014)

Reference:

Rebecca L. Johnson, Steven Foster, Tieraona Low Dog, David Kiefer, MD. (2014). Guide to Medicinal Herbs: The World’s Most Effective Healing Plants. National Geographic, 37, 170-173.

AME SPOTLIGHT

IMG_3689

November’s Spotlight is on AME Designer Director, Theresa Surprenant! HaPpY BiRtHdAy, Theresa!

About Theresa: I love doing colors and cuts that add the “WOW” factor to my client’s style!

I have been in the hair industry for 38 years and with AME for a total of 25 years. I worked for the salon in its original location in King of Prussia and have worked at this location since its start.

Favorite Hair Product: I absolutely love Redken Fashion Work. It adds great shine and the right amount of a workable hold. It’s a great product to use while blow-drying.

Best Kept Styling Secret: The Blow-dry set with a round brush and hair clips. This method adds body and movement without damaging the hair.

To schedule an appointment with Theresa, call AME: 610-995-2631

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmailby feather

How Healthy is Your Hair?

Author: Alyssa, Certified Health Coach - October, 7th, 2015 | Category: Blog Posts, hair health, Happenings at AME, Health Coaching, holiday, stylist spotlight

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

healthyhair

As AME’s Health Coach, I think it’s pretty obvious health is a top concern for me. When Designer Director, Beth Forte came to me to talk about how our overall health affects the health of our hair, I couldn’t have been more excited. I’m a ponytail wearing kind of girl so I sometimes forget to check in on the health of my hair. This was a great reminder. Here’s what Beth had to say:

Fall has officially arrived at AME Salon! We have been in full swing using the latest methods in cutting and coloring on our fabulous guests. However, babylights, ombré, and the Lob will only look as good as the health of your hair. Healthy hair is shiny, manageable, and nourished. Brunette’s and Red’s will appear richer, Blondes will be brighter, and haircuts will flow better if hair is in good health.

Here are four tips to get your hair in the best condition:

  1. Be healthy and it’ll show in your hair. When your body is not being cared for by poor nutrition and dehydration, your hair suffers too. Your body will give your major organs what it needs first.  Dr. Mark Hyman states, “Your entire body and all the core systems in it interact as a single sophisticated symphony.” To strengthen and moisturize your hair follicle you need to eat foods rich in biotin, vitamin B, healthy fats, and beta carotene. Almonds, eggs, avocados, salmon, chicken, dark leafy greens, chia seeds, sweet potatoes, carrots, and mangoes are full of those vitamins and minerals. To dig further into this topic, I would suggest meeting with our health coach, Alyssa.
  2. Get trims regularly. Every 6-8 weeks or however long your stylist recommends. It’ll prevent split ends from splitting further up your hair shaft and prevent breakage.
  3. Limit heat styling tools. Too much heat can damage the cuticle. Kevin Murphy’s ‘Damage Manager’ is an instant heat shielding spray used before heated appliances. KM’s ‘Fresh Hair’ spray can be used to stretch out blow-drys. It removes odors and oil and gives body and texture.
  4. Olaplex in salon and take home Treatment. Olaplex links broken bonds in the hair during and after chemical services making them stronger than they were before. The results are amazing!

Focusing on your overall wellness and nutrition, seeing your stylist for trims, blow-drying less, and using good quality products will guarantee beautiful, shiny, healthy hair!

AME SPOTLIGHT

FullSizeRender

October’s Spotlight is on Kimberly Stark! Kimberly is a massage therapist and has been with AME since February.

About Kimberly: I’m a history nerd, animal lover, and massage therapist with a passion for holistic healing and wellness.

Favorite Product: I LOVE Sombra pain relieving gel! Everyone has aches and pains and it eases my mind knowing there’s a product with all natural ingredients I can use on and recommend to my clients to help with those pains.

Best Kept Self-Care Secret: I’m a coconut oil enthusiast. That’s why I love that our massage oil for our clients is coconut oil. I use it as an overnight conditioner, makeup remover, mouthwash, and as a moisturizer.

If you would like to schedule an appointment with Kimberly or Beth, call AME: 610-995-2631

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmailby feather

May is for Mothers

Author: Alyssa, Certified Health Coach - April, 29th, 2015 | Category: Blog Posts, Happenings at AME, Health Coaching, holiday, Mother's Day, promotion, Skin Care

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

IMG_4187

AME has all of your gift giving needs for Mother’s Day! We have put together some of our favorites to make your gift giving easier:

Brittani, one of our lovely nail techs-recommends one of our newest nail products; CND Nail Rescue. This is a great option for those who often receive shellac polish. CND Nail Rescue repairs damaged nails with the power of Keratin protein and moisturizing jojoba oil.

CND_RescueRX

IMG_4395

Jackie is a fabulous estetician here at AME. Jackie recommends trying our Ferulic acid and retinol brightening solution as well as the Ferulic & Retinol Anti-Aging Moisturizer by Dr. Dennis Gross. This solution feels so great on your skin and helps prevent and treat sun damage and wrinkles. The moisturizer helps to counteract the visible signs of aging, increase its natural moisture barrier, and restore elasticity to sagging skin. Jackie also recommends the Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel pads- one of my favorites. These pads are like wiping a magic wand over your face. Especially suited for stubborn skin conditions that have not responded favorably to other anti-aging treatments, this peel improves the appearance of fine lines, reduces pores, and treats breakouts. Regular use can visibly improve dark spots and skin tone.

                                                                                               IMG_4396

IMG_4402

A few of my favorite things…

I absolutely LOVE the Farmhouse Fresh product line. One of my very favorites is the Nectar Bath Soak. This is a powder you add to your bath water that smells wonderful and leaves your skin silky smooth. Encourage mom to relax with a nice tub soak this Mother’s Day.

IMG_4397

Library of Flowers is a new fragrance line for us and I am loving it. My favorite scent is Honeycomb. These scents are all clean, light, and refreshing. Library of Flowers has lotions, cremes, bath milk, bath oil, shower gel, perfume, and candles as well as gift sets. Not to mention, the packaging is beautiful making this line perfect for gift giving. I am loving the coco butter handcreme in the Honeycomb scent and it comes in a cute, little tin. If you’re not sure which scent to try, we have sampler tins that include 3 different roll-on scents. Now through the end of May 2015, Library of Flowers products are 20% off!

IMG_4398

IMG_4400

Another fabulous gift that is sure to please is the gift of choice: an AME Gift Card! Let the mothers in your lives come on in for the salon and spa services of their choice! We also offer packages for facials, massages, and pedicures at a discounted price.

*Free gift with every gift card purchase of $200 or more. While supplies last!

AME would like to wish all Mothers the happiest and most joyous Mother’s Day!

                                                                                                   HappyMother's Day

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmailby feather

Valentine’s Day at AME!

Author: Alyssa, Certified Health Coach - February, 10th, 2015 | Category: Blog Posts, Happenings at AME, Health Coaching, holiday, Massage, promotion, Valentine's Day, Wellness

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

10914788_10153051311957232_6934377758059454199_o

We LOVE Valentine’s Day here at AME and for that reason, we have a lot of exciting happenings taking place!

10827950_10153051313737232_9135460334813920323_o

I absolutely love the Farmhouse Fresh products we are using for our Valentine’s promotions. Your skin will thank you over and over again after these treatments and if you’re like me – you’ll be hooked on Farmhouse Fresh! Our V-Day promotions are available from February 12 – February 15, 2015 so be sure to visit our website ASAP for more information and call to reserve your appointment TODAY!

SelfLove

Our Valentine’s gift to YOU! In recognition of Heart Month and Valentine’s Day, AME will be hosting a complimentary, online wellness group focusing on Vitamin L (yup, you guessed it – LOVE). This group will run from February 15 – February 28, 2015. This wellness group will be different from our previous wellness groups in that we will focus more on primary food and self-care. Contact me if you would like to join, I look forward to hearing from you! Alyssa@www.amesalonandspa.com

IMG_3832

I recently attended Kris Carr and Gabrielle Bernstein‘s Crazy, Sexy, Miracles lecture in NYC with Lori, AME’s founder. If you are not familiar with them, definitely check them out. Kris Carr is the author of Crazy, Sexy, Diet and Gabrielle Bernstein wrote May Cause Miracles. These ladies are full of valuable information and advice. A few key insights from their lecture that I wanted to share with you:

The last one is my favorite and one that I most needed to hear. It made me think about one of my favorite quotes: “Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.” Arthur Ashe

things_you_take_for_granted_someone_else_is_praying_for-377481

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmailby feather

AME’s Holiday Gift Guide!

Author: Alyssa, Certified Health Coach - December, 19th, 2014 | Category: Blog Posts, Happenings at AME, holiday, Wellness

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Still searching for the perfect gifts for your loved ones? Dillon, one of AME’s talented estheticians just made your gift-giving a little easier. Enjoy Dillon’s gift recommendations that will make the rest of your holiday shopping a whole lot merrier. The best part – you can find all of Dillon’s picks right here at AME Salon and Spa!

Give, Give, Give:
scarf

Back by popular demand we have our Nirvanna Designs scarves, hats, gloves, and other accessories perfect for the colder weather! I get asked all the time about my knit gloves and matching hat that I got right here at Ame.

300

Like a warm hug, our Dreamtime neck wrap or sinus soother are perfect for aches, pains and headaches as well as cold nights!  Come summertime they can also be used cold!

lafco-tree-candle_1rasmopolitan-lotion-11merben_jute_body_brush_brown_1

As always, we have an array of beautiful holiday candles, body scrubs and brushes* as well as hair care gift packs and plenty of other fun stocking stuffers including our no-crease hair ties!

Not sure what to choose? An AME gift card is sure to please-and don’t forget! AME offers discounted packages for facials, massages, and pedicures as well as holiday gift card packages. Need help deciding? Our spa coordinators are always happy to assist you.

 I hope you all have a Merry and Bright holiday season with friends and loved ones. We hope to see you all soon!!!

 Cheers,

Dillon

*Some dry brushing benefits and how-to.
Be sure to shower right after brushing and don’t forget to moisturize after your shower!
dry-brushing dry_skin_brush_how_to
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmailby feather

Give the Gift of Health

Author: Alyssa, Certified Health Coach - December, 17th, 2014 | Category: Blog Posts, Health Coaching, holiday, recipes, Wellness

Tags: , , , , , ,

Still looking for the perfect gift for someone or maybe even for yourself? Why not give a gift that counts? Your health is the most important thing you have.

IMG_3215

People are always asking me what exactly a Health Coach does. I respond that as a health coach, I help people find balance and learn to live their best life possible. Health coaches help you understand your lifestyle habits and then work with you to address those habits and improve on them. One of the best things about Health Coaching is that it is customized to fit each individual’s needs and goals. Since every one of us is different, there is no one size fits all approach to health coaching. Health coaching sessions can cover everything from stress reduction to weight loss/gain, healthy eating and learning how to grocery shop efficiently to healthy relationships as well as everything in between. The majority of people can benefit from health coaching as long as they are committed and ready for change.

IMG_1873

There are many reasons people seek the help of a Health Coach, accountability being one of the most important. More often than not, it is very hard to make lifestyle changes and stick to them long-term. Checking in with someone on a routine basis holds you accountable and keeps you honest with yourself. Health coaches help you find the motivation and resources needed to keep on going in the direction of your goals as well as give you support every step of the way.

photo 2

What are some of the reasons people have a health coach? There are numerous reasons to have a health coach, the following are some of the more common reasons:

  • Feeling constantly stressed out
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Being ready to make lifestyle changes (i.e. working out regularly, healthy cooking) but unsure how to start
  • Tired of being overweight or you recently gained weight and have been unsuccessful in losing it
  • You want to prepare more of your own meals and avoid processed foods
  • Tired of going on and off diets and ready to make healthy living your lifestyle
  • Constant cravings
  • You feel bad more often than good
  • You are confused about all of the food lingo i.e. GMO’s, organic, all natural, erythritol, gluten-free, etc.

IMG_2699

To learn more about the concepts discussed and what is included with your health coaching sessions, click here. AME offers different options depending on your health coaching needs, to find out more, click here and/or send me an email: Alyssa@www.amesalonandspa.com or call AME today to schedule a Words of Wellness session. What are you waiting for? You deserve this. I’m looking forward to talking with you!

Recipe Time!

I found this recipe for Rosemary and Thyme Loaf on Food Matters and it was delicious. I’m not gluten-free but this recipe is! Next time I make it, I plan on adding some pecans.

IMG_3006

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmailby feather

Holiday Survival 101

Author: admin - December, 8th, 2014 | Category: Blog Posts, Health Coaching, holiday, Massage, Skin Care, Wellness, Yoga

Tags: , , ,

Holiday Survival 101

The holidays can be crazy but they don’t have to be-seriously. Here are 8 tips to help you find your peace this holiday season. Please feel free to share some of your tips!

1. HYDRATE! When the weather starts to cool down, we start to forget we are thirsty. It is so very important to remember to drink your water. It is recommended we drink half of our body weight in ounces per day. i.e. if you weigh 130 lbs, you would drink 65 oz. per day. WHY is it so important to stay hydrated? Our body’s organs will not function to the best of their ability if we are not hydrated. Water allows the body to function properly and work to the best of its ability. Remember, our body is made up of roughly 70% water. Water also helps to keep our skin hydrated and prevent drying out in the cold weather. Tip: Carry a water bottle with you at all times. I don’t go anywhere without either my hydroflask or lifefactory bottle.

2. I like to MOVE it. The benefits of exercise are endless. Some of the top benefits include: increased energy, combats health conditions/disease, improved self-confidence and mood, and many, many more! If you are already working out regularly – keep it up! Do not let the holidays stop you. If you are not regularly working out, now is a great time to start. For newbies, consider adding in walks or some light cardio on the treadmill or elliptical. A yoga or Pilates class is another great option- I always recommend Bikram (suitable for beginners-no lie). You can gradually work your way up to more vigorous workouts. Tip: I highly recommend scheduling your “workout appointments”.  Write your workouts in your daily planner and respect these appointments as you would any other. Your health should be your top priority. A workout buddy is another great way to help you stick to your workouts as long as they are dedicated and reliable, otherwise – they will help you make excuses!

3. EMBRACE it all. I absolutely love the holidays and I believe it’s because I embrace (almost) everything about them. I love the commotion and excitement. Lights, decorations, hustle & bustle. It’s a warm and fuzzy time of year. I have a very hard time letting such a good thing stress me out. Take deep breaths, embrace the craziness, and remember the true meanings of the holidays. Tip: Think of a holiday tradition you can do every year to get you in the holiday spirit!

4. FUEL with Intention. Eating habits can become a vicious cycle around the holidays. Don’t let this happen. If you get derailed, remember that everyday is a fresh start. Unfortunately, flu season coincides with the holiday season so it is extra important to execute healthy eating habits. Doing this will keep your immune system strong and ready to fight off illness. Healthy eating will help you have more energy so you are able to more productive and you will feel better. Proceed with caution at all social gatherings. One of the worst ideas, in my opinion (and I have been guilty of this) is not eating much during the day in an attempt to “save yourself” for a gathering. More than likely, you will be starving by the time you get there and make not so great choices once there and/or end up overeating. Tip: I LOVE my crock pot this time of year. I usually make something healthy on my day off that I can have throughout the week in order to prevent any last-minute, not-so-healthy-choices due to lack of time. Meal planning is HUGE. I try to eat extra veggies and greens the day of a party. By making better food choices the day of a gathering, you can crowd out the not so great choices. 

autumn-cornucopia-2

5. ALCOHOL with caution. Do not hate me but this has to be said. Alcohol is very capable of being your biggest saboteur. We all know this. Commit to setting limits for your consumption. If I want to have a glass or two when I am out, I will skip having a glass at home during the week. I also find it helpful to decide before I go to a party whether I want to have a glass or two of wine OR dessert, then stick to it. The key is not having more than a glass or two otherwise, it is likely that my inhibitions will be lowered and I will end up having alcohol AND many desserts. If that happens at every gathering -> NOT GOOD! To help me stick to my plan, I think about the hard work that went into my workouts leading up to now, the progress I have made, and the workout I want to get in the next day. If I feel like crap the next day, I will likely not feel like working out. It is not worth it to let the alcohol negate all of my hard work. Tip: I often like to commit to being the DD when we go to parties (Danny always lovingly supports this decision 😉 ) because then drinking is not even an option allowing me to feast mindfully and avoid the empty, liquid calories.

6. Keep it simple and BUDGET. Make a list and check it twice. In my opinion, people go way overboard and it’s unnecessary. I like to make a list of every person I want to buy for and then write down about 3-5 ideas for each person of things they can really use. I also set a total holiday budget and then a budget for each individual on my list. The list helps prevent impulse buys and having three to five ideas allows for flexibility while I am out shopping. Tip: Really consider what the person you are buying for needs, not what you want them to want. I always appreciate getting gifts that I can use rather than something I could take or leave that ends up creating clutter or I have to return. 

With our Simplify the Holidays campaign, New Dream is here to help you get started. We hope our tips and resources will help you reduce stress and increase personal fulfillment during this holiday season. Simplify the holidays calendar.

10175996_1564213000481227_7307098335613390532_n 10696193_10152890283768728_6451598245831535681_n

7. DONATE. Period. It is not the holiday season if you have not helped someone in need. Clothes, food, toys, shoes, books, your time, *SOCKS. The possibilities are endless. You can choose a child/family to “adopt” for the holiday. This is what I do every year and it is so much fun. You get the child’s/children’s ages, wish list, etc. It feels really good to be able to help people in need have a merrier holiday. The first year I “adopted” a family, I learned they had never had a Christmas tree – they had an 8-year-old and a newborn. This was also the first year I broke my rule against artificial trees-this way they would have a tree every year. Every year I am happy I am in a place to be able to help and so appreciative for all I have. Every year, the kids I get ask for socks, coats, gloves something warm. Some people have asked me “What kind of kid wants socks for Christmas?” I always respond with, “The kind of kid who doesn’t have any.” Wegman’s sets up a donation box for new toys. Many books stores, gyms, hospitals, churches, and others do the same. Veterinary offices and animal shelters usually collect food/toys for shelter animals. Check out my favorites page for some of the charities I love. Also, consider donating after the holidays. If you have kids who tend to get spoiled by relatives, encourage them to donate some of their “excess” to kids in need. Tip: Make this your holiday tradition.

*Socks are one of the most needed items that are rarely donated. Read more here.

Unknown

454511787363062324_JGyU1H5A_c

8. ME TIME. Give this to yourself. This will keep you going and merrily. You deserve it and don’t convince yourself otherwise. Enjoy a massage, facial, pedicure, etc. Take a nice bubble bath and just relax or (carefully) read in there. Curl up with a blanket and a book. Watch your favorite Christmas movie while drinking hot chocolate. Make cookies (if you find that therapeutic). MeditateTip: LOSE THE PHONE (and other electronics) for your me time. I’m serious. Give this time to yourself. Put your phone on silent and plug it in to charge in another room or stash it in a drawer. If you are having a spa service, leave it in the car.

images

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmailby feather