6 healthy hacks for Thanksgiving!

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It’s Thanksgiving week and this marks the beginning of the Holiday season! We say a collective “how is it the holidays already?!”, I feel you.    

 So many of you have told me that your biggest health struggle over the holidays is related to food anxiety, over eating, food guilt and less time for workouts. That’s a lot. You feel like you undo all of your hard work throughout the year in these last few months, only to start Jan 1 off with new plans of getting your health in order again.  Again, I feel you!  Many people stay on that cycle for our whole lives.  Read again, same cycle…for their whole lives. Ugh. It’s my goal to help you end that cycle!  

True story: There was a time when I was so overly obsessed with food that my brother didn’t want me to sit next to my nieces at the dinner table. Ouch, my heart. He didn’t want them to be influenced by my “weird” eating habits. At that time I would probably only eat the white meat turkey and maybe the green beans if they weren’t in a casserole. No potato - too many carbs, no gravy - too many calories, no squash - too much butter, no yummy festive foods. Of course my nieces still sat next to me (they freakin love me duh) and I pretended to eat a little of everything. Those years were full of food anxiety for me and it was not fun. The girls were really young then so I don’t think they noticed BUT I can say with 100% certainty my relationship with food as done a 180 (or is it a 360, whatever, you get it) and now I hope to be a positive example for them and of course my daughter too.

This year can be different for you too. You can stay healthy and enjoy your day without sabotaging your hard work, gaining weight or feeling like shit. I want to help you find the balance (balance, one of my least favorite concepts but it applies here) of staying on track while enjoying every bite of your holiday meal.

Here are a few healthy hacks to help you mentally and physically during this food/party/wine/desserts focused time of year.  Again, I want you to enjoy your food, no depriving yourself but also, remember how you want to feel and eat according to your goals. Do you want to feel sluggish, lethargic and weighted down? OR does energized, healthy and strong sound better?   

1. Walk it off

Instead of just lounging all day waiting for the big meal to arrive on the table, go for a walk or find a local class to take. How about a quick 5k Turkey Trot? Maybe even get a family member to go with you! If I wasn’t hosting I would 100% have my ass in class.  Side note: you can call it an excuse if you want but you try hosting while sober/pregnant with a 2.5 yr old that insists on being held while you cook ok?! I need my energy damnit! Enough about me, a little exercise helps keep you in that healthy mindset and sets the tone for the day.  A post-dinner walk is a great idea too.  Get the family involved. While some are passed out on the couch, you’ll be actively helping your food digest, getting fresh air and moving that bod.

 2. Eat breakfast!

This is a huge one for me.  Start as if it’s a normal day. Well a really healthy day. Enjoy a breakfast of oatmeal with nuts and fruit or an egg with avocado and spinach, something nourishing that has fruits/veggies/protein/healthy fat. You may think it’s best to skip breakfast since you’ll be eating so much later (save the calories, been there done that), but by the time you get to that big Thanksgiving dinner, you’ll be so hungry you’ll most likely overeat. OR have the mindset that you skipped bfast so what the hell, pile on those taters and extra gravy. No no no! Make a healthy breakfast choice, and have a hearty salad for lunch, depending what time dinner starts. I feel like people eat Tday meals so early, drives me nuts. Healthy meals pre-dinner will keep your blood sugar balanced and your metabolism working as it should. You won’t be starviiiiiiiiing by dinner time, and you'll have made great choices all day. Fab!

 3. Eat as if it’s a regular meal

I don’t want you to go into this feeling like it’s the last meal you’re ever going to have and you need to eat ALL the things.  This is important: take a breath, observe all that’s going on around you and be grateful for the amazing food on the table and the family that’s surrounding you (even if some of the people drive you cray).  Fill your plate with a normal portion sizes of all your favorite foods. Enjoy it.  If you want 2nds, go for it but my guess is if you truly savored each bite you won’t be hungry for more. Listen to your hunger cues just as you would any other day. Satisfied? Then you’re done and have room for dessert. Yum.

4. More about portions

When filling up your plate, load it up with nutrient dense veggies first, then white turkey meat, then the rest of the goods - think stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, gravy etc.. When you make the majority of your plate veggies, you’ll feel fuller without feeling overstuffed. Holiday foods often have lots of butter, sugar and oil so just be mindful (and see the next tip).  

5. Bring a healthy side

Most likely you know what will be served Thanksgiving dinner, so contribute by making a healthy side dish.  There are lots of tasty options that everyone will love. How about you make a salad with seasonal ingredients and a simple dressing, or bake sweet potatoes and dress them with sprinkles of cinnamon and pecans.  These are super simple and will be appreciated by others that want to have healthy options too.  Pinterest is my go-to for recipes. I look up “healthy sweet potato casserole” or “fall salad” etc.  

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6. Savor the desserts

This is not a pass to eat everything on the dessert table, however, if your grandmother makes the best pumpkin pie, don’t feel like you have to deprive yourself, that will make you crazy. This is the time when you should 100% eat a piece of pie. If you buy a pumpkin pie on a random Weds night and eat the whole thing, we have an issue BUT enjoying a homemade piece on a holiday with the fam is always a good idea! No food guilt allowed. If there’s more than one dessert you want to eat, just take small pieces or bites of each and again, enjoy it.

Thanksgiving should be a relaxing holiday that you enjoy. Having a healthy mindset and some healthy tips in your back pocket will help you enjoy the day even more.

Hit reply and let me know what your favorite Thanksgiving tradition or side dish is. I’d love to share them!

NEXT order of biz - what to do AFTER Thanksgiving for your wellness. I’ve got you! My Feel Good in 5 Days detox is the exact break your digestive system needs! It’s a simple 5 days where we focus on nourishing foods and cut the crap that brings your body down. That energized and strong feeling that I talked about earlier…that’s the goal! It’s so common to gain a few pounds over the holidays but I want to help you and change your story! Don’t wait for January to start feeling better in your body, start NOW…or after Thanksgiving, whatever works ;). Click here to check out the program and let me know if you have any questions. Would love to have you join the 30+ ppl that are already in!

Xoxo, Meagan

3 ways to stay healthy this Fall!

Oh hey! If you follow me on Instagram (ahem @meg_thrivebody) or FB you know life has been busy as I'm prego with my second baby girl, currently 28 weeks yay! My client/class schedule is full, my toddler is amazing, active, busy, all the things and TODAY I released a new program! More on that later.  I'm so grateful but because of all those good things, I've let my blog posts fall through the cracks. BUT here I am, and thank YOU for being here too :).

How am I feeling?  Thank you for asking!  Here's the quick answer: the 1st 17 weeks of pregnancy was ROUGH.  Super nauseous, couldn't eat much besides my GF toast, and basically in survival mode. Now, much better just a bit low on energy but it's all good. 

So many of you love Fall and all the fun festivities that go along with it. I'm trying to get into the spirit haha. I created TWO new resources to help you eat seasonally and get into the Fall spirit. Maybe it comes naturally for you anyway…lucky ;).

Resource 1:

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Healthy ideas for all things Pumpkin that are WAY better than a PSL ;).

Resource 2:

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Feel good/nutritious Fall recipes


Also, I know Halloween is basically here so I’m not going to bore you with how to avoid candy. However, I will strongly encourage you to be mindful about your choices. Do you REALLY want that snickers or you just want it because it’s there in front of you. Could you buy yourself a high quality treat rather than the crap that’s in our traditional candy? Or maybe choose fruit or flavored hot tea to curb the cravings (try not to roll your eyes at that one…it’s just a suggestion ok?!).

Last but certainly not least…my NEW GROUP PROGRAM! I am sososo excited to introduce you to this fast but effective healthy detox. It’s called Feel Good In 5 and will remind you that just because the holidays are coming doesn’t mean you have to let go of your healthy habits. The holidays and specifically holiday food used to create so much anxiety for me. More on this in my next post but it was tough and I know so many people feel my pain!

This isn’t a crash diet but rather a check in and reminder that you are strong and capable of looking/feeling your best during this busy time of year all while maintaining a healthy mindset.

Well, that was a lot for now! More on overcoming food anxiety plus holiday wellness tips soon.

Is there a topic you need help with? Just let me know!

xoxo

French fries don't make you fat...keep reading ;)

 fRENCH fRIES dON’T mAKE yOU fAT! | kEEP rEADING…

We've all been on a diet.

Maybe several diets...that worked for a month or two then back to the old way of eating. I was a serial dieter. Constantly trying to lose 10-15lbs. I would torture myself with food labels, obsessive calorie counting and over exercising. Diet starts Monday - was my mantra when I was "bad" over the weekend. I've tried Atkins (when I was just back from study abroad in Florence...that's a whole other story), South Beach, Weight Watchers, The Dukan Diet, The Zone, low carb, The Master Cleanse, diet pills (for years. Makes me so sad that I spent so much money putting garbage in my body) and probably a few others I'm forgetting. 

Here's what I missed:
I was completely missing the mindset piece. The idea that food is NOT the enemy. French fries are just french fries people! Why give them so much power - they don't make me fat. ME eating an excessive amount of fries will lead to weight gain but it's MY choice. When I make a better choice that's aligned with my goals I feel better.

It's not just about weight loss either. When I know I need energy for a busy day (ummm everyday), I'm not going to eat a stack of pancakes for breakfast. I'm going to choose the foods and actions that are aligned with my goals. Avocado toast on gf bread w/ a sliced hard boiled egg on top will get me to my goal of having energy. Make sense? Add some coffee in there and I'm golden. 

Food is not the enemy. Take the power back and realize this is actually all in your control and way easier than the diet industry wants you to believe.  Counting carbs or calories is NOT a must to lose weight. It doesn't have to be difficult guys. Keep it simple - real, whole foods. Find what feels good in your body. 

 Chop it up.

Chop it up.

You might be saying - Ok Meagan...great idea in theory, but if I eat what feels good in my body I'll be eating chocolate or pizza. Don't get it twisted, I'm not talking about cravings here...I'm saying what makes you feel energized, what sits well in your stomach and relieves bloating, what clears your brain fog. What gets you CLOSER to your goals. 

There's a lot of confusion out there with all the diet trends and quick fixes being offered. That's why I created The Reset. I want to help you a) get clear on your goals b) achieve them without it taking over your life and c) change your relationship with food and your body. 

This program is for you if:

  • you've ever struggled to lose weight

  • you want to be healthy and feel good but don't know where to start

  • you're open and excited to make changes even if they are challenging

  • you're willing to step out of your comfort zone

  • you want that extra push to achieve your goals (aka me helping you stay on track)

  • want someone to check in with you and have eyes on your progress

  • you've ever struggled with body image and self confidence

  • you think food is the enemy

  • you are ready for a full lifestyle change and mental shifts

This program is NOT for you if:

  • you aren't willing to put in time and effort to achieve your goals

  • you aren't willing to make changes

  • you have serious health/medical issues (I'm not a doctor after all)

  • you're looking for a quick fix

  • you like yo-yo dieting

  • you don't like dumb jokes...because I have a lot of them ;)

Let me know if you have questions, I'm more than happy to answer them. I'm pouring my heart and soul into this course and I'm SO excited to help you make those shifts and watch you achieve your goals.  You've. Got. This. 

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xo 

Meagan

ps: Intro offer is for a limited time...so if you're considering it lets gooooooooooooo!!! 

 

It was a viscous cycle...

I grew up at the dance studio almost every day. We were in front of the mirror in tight leotards and never thought twice about it.  That was the uniform so that's what we wore.  It was an obvious way to make sure we were moving correctly while perfecting our technique and performing the choreography. 

As I got older and got to college my very packed previous schedule of dance, school, work, soccer, friends turned to party, work, school, friends/party, workout, dance and then more party ;). This was an insanely fun and stressful time. I worked all through college...a lot.. Even though I was exercising and dieting like crazy the amount of stress on my body/brain was insane and I know this led to weight gain. OH and the parties that I mentioned earlier...but that's where the fun came in and I was NOT about to give that up! I remember being at the gym doing cardio until I burned 1,000 calories on the treadmill and elliptical (even though we all know those calorie counters are bullshit) before I'd go home and get ready to go out.  Insanity.  

Back to confidence. I'd wear a baggy t shirt to the gym and even during dance practice I'd wear baggy clothing. I'd be so concerned about looking fat, I wasn't performing to my potential.  I was so self conscious I didn't even enjoy dancing anymore which was my passion for so long. Bummer.  The baggier my shirt was the bigger I felt. The bigger I felt, the more self conscious I was. It was a viscous cycle were I was working so hard but constantly talking shit about my body which brought zero results. 

Fast forward to when I was living in NYC. I had an insane trainer who was an ex-Marine. Insane and scary in a good way.  Picture a younger, less smiley Micheal Clarke Duncan. We worked out in a private gym on the 6 floor of a walk-up in the East Village (I loved this space). I did everything he told me and our workouts were INTENSE.  I had to get there early and run 2 miles going at least 8.0 mph before our session even started if that gives you any idea. 

My first session I showed up in a baggy tank to cover my stomach which has always been where I carried my weight. I had hated my stomach for SO long. He tied my shirt in a knot so I could see exactly what my body looked like. I wanted to die. Everything was visible...I could SEE all the things I hated! At this point in my life I was actually pretty happy with my weight, but my stomach just drove me crazy.  My friends would roll their eyes when I talked about it but to me it was a very real issue and drove me crazy. 

To this day if you come to my class you'll most likely see I'm wearing my shirt tied in a knot or a crop where I can still see my stomach. If I'm taking a hot yoga class I'll most likely be in a sports bra.  Even right after I had a baby, jiggly belly and all with zero muscle tone in my stomach, I took my shirt off to see what this new bod looked like. I have taken what I learned in ballet all those years ago and from my crazy trainer and turned it into a way to appreciate my body.  I now accentuate my stomach not because I have a six pack or love it so much, but instead to go back to the basics...to make sure I'm engaging my core and send my body some love. Like, hey tummy, thanks for working hard and I'm sorry for talking so much shit about you for so long. 

Might sound cray but I think we need to flip the script and appreciate the parts we may not like the most.  Its just a body after all.  We are not defined by a muffin top, some cellulite or stretch marks.  I love the quote that goes something like "You are not fat...you HAVE fat. You have fingernails but does that make you a fingernail? No." I might have botched that but you get the gist. 

Go to the gym, wear something that makes you feel good and do not think twice about what other people think about you. Chances are they are not even thinking about you anyway! I mean that with love. So often I hear "I can't come to class until I lose weight". Ummm WHAT? No guys, that's not how it works. Classes will challenge you in a new way, raise your endorphins and increase your energy with all the good vibes that are in the room. Please do not waste time being self conscious. YOU have the power to choose your thoughts, so I beg you to choose positive ones that empower you. I've learned you get the body you want by loving the body you have. Okurrrrrr?!

Maybe you're at the point that I was...I'm here to help! Email or message me and we can get to work!

xo 

Stop trying.

 Change Your Mindset | Thrive Body Project  How to get past I’m trying & train your brain for a positive mindset  #mindset #postivemindset #mentalshifts #positivevibes #healthyliving #healthylifestyle

 

Now I know this sounds like some interesting advice, but hear me out.  We say and hear the word "try" all.the.time. especially when it comes to diet &fitness.  I'm trying to lose weight, I'll try to get to class, I'll try to make dinner at home.  These statements are usually followed by a BUT.  But...I'm really busy this month, but it's hard for me to wake up in time, but I never have time to get to the grocery store. 

I get it, life is stressful and we are all crazy busy, but how about you don't TRY. You either do or you don't.  

Trying is an excuse, a way out, a justification. It can set you up for failure. Here's what happens: Well I tried and it didn't work or I tried but just couldn't make it.  Just that statement brings you down and is so low-vibe.  I'm going to light a little fire under your cute tush and make a suggestion: How about don't try...just do

OR how about you don't even try to do whatever it is think you should do and take a big ass sigh of relief.  Give yourself freedom to NOT try, how about that?  What a relief! Maybe you felt pressured by friends or even social media into doing something you could care less about.  Maybe you didn't want to go to that class any damn way or the Keto diet sounds miz....so don't do it. And guess what- that's OK.  Save your energy and your focus for something you DO want to do and go into it full ass...not half ass ;). 

As a total "yes" person, I find myself saying  “yes I'll try” or “maybe I can be there”, when really I know for a fact I won't make it- or just straight up don’t want to go/don’t have time, yaddah yaddah.  Rather than saying something like "I’d love to but I can't take that on right now"...I'm all...MAYBE. And then of course I let it hang over my head for days until I end up feeling like crap when I have to finally say no. OR I say yes as an automatic response without my whole heart/brain on board, when I know for sure it should have been a no off the bat. Oy.  It's tough and I know so many of you gals do the same thing.

I find that often I'll be wishy washy about something and run it by my hubby.  His response can be so clear and is always in alignment with what my gut says.  It's my goal to be more definitive in my decisions and put myself and my little fam 1st. I’m trying my best to just trust my gut and do what I WANT, not what I think I should or what others want me to.

Soooooooooooo I got a little off track but as I was saying, don't waste your energy trying. Do that thing or don't. Don’t be wish washy or constantly on the fence. Eat the veggies because you WANT to. Go to the class because you WANT to, not because you think you should. Find the WHY behind the action then decide.  Either way life goes on! You're all good. 

Mental shifts:

I'm trying to get more flexible ---> I've been stretching all the time to get more flexible.

I'm trying to drink more water ---> I fill my water bottle up 6x/day which is way more than I used to.

I'm trying to be healthy ---> I'm eating more veggies than ever before. I can really feel the difference.

I'll try to workout 3x this week ---> I WILL workout 3x this week

See the positive shifts here? Less trying, more doing.

Train yo brain! 

Share, comment, message etc. let me know how I can help. xoxo

Are you setting yourself up for failure or success?

Hi hi!  Thanks for being here and following along as I blab about healthy stuff. I promise I'm doing my best not to be annoying but rather helpful. Maybe helpfully annoying? I'll take it! 

Wanted to share some insight into what has helped me and my clients stick to a healthy diet.  How to easily make the best decisions when it comes to food no matter what your schedule is like. We know eating perfect 24/7 isn't an option (f*ck perfect) so lets go for a motivated mindset where prepared is key shall we?

Does this sound familiar?: You have every intention of eating well, veggies with every meal, beautiful fresh fruit on hand, organic nut butters, healthy proteins ready to be cooked etc. etc.  You see it so clearly and you swear you're going grocery shopping after work... 

But then...you get an invite to happy hour.  All your work friends are going and yolo so you scrap the annoying grocery shopping trip, head to the bar, drink a couple glasses of wine, share some appetizers and now you're heading home to eat a healthy dinner BUT your fridge currently consists of expired yogurt, bread, wilted spinach and a 1/2 full kombucha.  Wooomp womp. 

Or maybe life got crazy, you missed your favorite class at the gym, and through the chaos of taking care of everyone else you finished whatever was left on your toddler's plate, was still hungry so inhaled some chips and hummus and went to bed thinking you failed again. 

I've been in BOTH of those situations (more than once if you were wondering).  Corporate life, mom life, life life can really take a toll on your goals IF you let it.  

Here's my solution: Be proactive and PLAN ahead!  Preparation is key.  I'm not saying spend your entire Sunday meal prepping, I think I've made it clear how much the idea of that makes me cringe. BUT what you can do is hit up the grocery store at least 1 day a week for your proteins, fresh & frozen veggies + fruit, grains. 

Pro tips:

*Cook once, eat twice. While making dinner, cook extra for lunch or even dinner the next day and prepare it a different way. For example, if you make salmon, asparagus and quinoa for dinner, take some leftovers and serve it over spinach with avocado for a filling salad the next day.  When you prep it differently, it will seem like a new meal, not boring leftovers that you are reluctantly eating. 

*Roast it. Buy fresh veggies for roasting - cut, sprinkle with olive oil + s&p, then roast on a large baking sheet.  You'll be able to quickly add to salads, heat for dinner or throw in a scramble for breakfast. Favorite veggies include eggplant, broccoli, squash, carrots, potatoes. Use whatever you like best!  This is a quick, hearty way to add nutrients to any meal. 

*Grab and GO.  Having things on hand like fresh fruit, baby carrots, nuts and hard-boiled eggs are all key when you need to run out the door or get a little hangry and need a snack.  Also, all great things to add to your meals. A sliced hard-boiled egg on top of avocado toast is my morning go to these days.

*Add flavor. Nobody likes bland food. Blah. It's important to stock your fridge/pantry with sauces and spices to ensure dinner will be delish and satisfying. My favs include: vegan buffalo sauce, teriyaki, sriracha, organic spicy taco seasoning, cajun spices, cinnamon etc. 

Remember YOU are 100% in control of what and when you eat.  Food is your fuel and it can be easy, healthy, delish.

You've got this!