Shedding Through the Season: Week 1

Welcome to my 2011 Shedding Through the Season Guide!

For the next three weeks, I will be posting a weekly entry (on Mondays) that will guide you through the crazy holiday season.

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Each post will include:

  • Weekly “Condensed But Intense” workouts
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack ideas
  • Tips for surviving the holidays

The Goals:

  • Keep you healthy and happy through the holidays
  • De-stress
  • Avoid holiday weight gain
  • Make time for exercise
  • Boost energy

Ready?

Set?

Okay, let’s go 🙂

FOOD

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(Remember, I’m not a registered dietician – please refer to my disclaimer!)

Breakfast Suggestions

  • Low-fat cottage cheese with cinnamon and blueberries (a personal favorite)
  • Greek yogurt of your choice with a tablespoon of almond butter and fresh fruit
  • Egg white scramble with fresh veggies and a slice of whole wheat or multi-grain toast

Lunch Suggestions

  • Salad greens with veggies of your choice + shrimp + low-fat balsamic vinaigrette dressing
  • Tabbouleh with chicken and red pepper, and a side of whole wheat pita chips
  • Tuna salad with lemon juice, paprika, and chopped onion on a Arnold’s multi-grain sandwich thin

Dinner Suggestions

Snack Suggestions

  • Fresh sliced peppers with hummus
  • 1 serving of almonds (23!)
  • Celery sticks topped with Laughing Cow cheese

FITNESS

For my fitness section, I will posting a weekly “Condensed But Intense” Holiday Blast.  These are total body routines geared toward those trying to find the time to squeeze some form of exercise in amongst the shopping, get togethers, gift wrapping, baking, etc.  Remember that any workout at all, no matter how long, is better than none!

I will still be posting my longer workouts throughout the week for those of you who I know will be upset if I stop.  🙂

(Remember to never start a new fitness regimen without consulting with a physician first.  Also remember to always honor your body and injuries.  If it hurts, stop!  You can always modify).

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Condensed But Intense Holiday Blast – Week 1

What You Need:  Jump Rope, Dumbbells
Time:  Approximately 30 minutes

WARMUP (5 minutes)

  • 1 minute marching in place (alternate between narrow and wide marches)
  • 1 minute jogging in place
  • 1 minute single hop jumps
  • 1 minute jumping jacks
  • Stretch

STRENGTH & CARDIO CIRCUITS
Each circuit will contain one move that combines both lower body and upper body (this cuts the time you need in half and works you harder), one move for abs, and one jump rope circuit for cardio.

SET 1

  • Alternating front lunges with bicep curls:  Do 3 sets of 10.  Finish by pulsing both legs and arms, 10 seconds on each side.
  • Torso twist with one dumbbell:  Do 3 sets of 10
  • Jump Rope:  Basic Jump (1 minute), then Alternating Foot Jump (1 minute).  To make the alternating foot jump harder, raise each knee to 90 degrees while jumping.

SET 2

  • Plie squats with overhead tricep extension:  Do 3 sets of 10.  Finish by pulsing 10 seconds.  To make it even harder – pulse with heels popped!
  • Mountain Climbers:  Do 30 seconds of fast followed by 15 seconds of slow.  Repeat three times.
  • Jump Rope:  Combo Jump – 8 basic jumps followed by 8 alternating foot jumps – for a total of 2 minutes.

SET 3

  • Regular squats + lateral raise / leg lift:  Do 2 sets of 10 on the right (squat and lift right leg to the side at the same time you lift your arms) and finish by pulsing the leg 10 seconds while holding the dumbbells out to the side.  Repeat on the left.
  • Plank Variations:  In plank position, add a different plank variation every 15 seconds.  For example start in regular plank.  After 15 seconds, roll front & back over the toes.  After 15 more seconds, add in alternating 1 inch leg lifts.  After 15 more seconds, add in superman knees to the side.  Total = 1 minute.
  • Jump Rope:  Basic Jump for 2 minutes

COOLDOWN & STRETCH

TIPS

This week’s survival tips!

  • You can say no.  Not sure about you guys, but I already know of 7 holiday related get-togethers, parties, and / or outings taking place between today and Christmas Eve Eve.  Note that doesn’t even count Christmas Eve and Christmas itself!  You do not need to commit to every single event you get invited to.  Doing this may just add unnecessary stress that you’ll have burned away with the weekly workout!  Be realistic, and pick and choose.
  • Take some time for yourself.  Stemming off tip #1, there will be a LOT of opportunity for friends, family, and loved ones throughout the season.  While this is certainly important, it is equally important to fit in some YOU time.  Try to take even just 20 minutes a day to be by yourself.  Read a little before bed, listen to some calming music, sit in a steam room, or even just take the time to breathe.
  • Make a to do list!  Feel like you have so much to do that you will never get it all done?  Write out your action oriented items for one day at a time, or even the week at a time if that doesn’t feel overwhelming.  Doing this will help keep you on track, allow you to cross things off the list and feel accomplished, and ensure you don’t forget about any important tasks.  Sometimes it’s just too much to keep it all upstairs!

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Each time you complete a workout, use one of my food suggestions, or honor one of the survival tips, I want to know about it.  Please leave a comment on this post – we’re all in this together!

Question of the Day:  What do you do to survive the holiday season?  Any food or fitness advice?  Tips of your own? 

Have a great day.