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Nutrition & Fitness Newsletter

Stress-Free Holidays

The holidays can be a stressful time for anyone.  Christmas shopping, holiday parties, traffic, visiting relatives, social obligations, travel and food conflicts are a few of the notable causes of stress this time of year.  Relax, help is on the way.  Take a few moments to read and try these 8 tips for relieving the stress of the season.

  1. Set Priorities - Create a list and put the high priority items first, the low priority items can be done later.  There are some things that don't really need to be done or can be accomplished after the holidays.  Try to pare down what can be an already overwhelming list.

  2. Plan Ahead - Think about what your day or week already looks like so you can allot time for yourself to eat a healthy meal or exercise.  Sometimes we can be overly ambitious about time for meals or exercise.  Try not to set smaller goals, if you have 10 minutes, have a snack and take time for a meal later, take a quick walk or build that walk into an errand that needs to be done. 

  3. Lighten the Load - Delegate tasks as much as possible, you don't have to do it all.  Try not to be the control freak and allow others to help with some of your tasks.  Reduce the number of gifts you exchange, maybe find other ways to give with shared time.  Schedule some outings with friends and family after the holidays.  What a great way to extend the holiday celebrations.  A perfect example of lightening the load is the family that draws names for Christmas gifts instead of each person having to buy a gift for every member of the family.  How many pairs of socks and sweaters do you really need?

  4. Don't Go Hungry - You don't want to become the grumpy child that hasn't had their snack.  Low blood sugar is a bummer, it makes you tired, low energy and unable to think clearly.  In addition, it leads to making poor food choices and maybe gift choices, that can add to stress.  Pack healthy snacks for yourself to prevent the "grump child" from making an appearance.

  5. Burn Some Energy - Use activity to de-stress, everyone can benefit with more active time to get the blood flowing and clear the mind.  This doesn't mean you need to find an hour to work-out, although that would be nice.  Burn more calories and relieve stress though-out the day with Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT).  This is a way to build movement into our lives by changing a few habits.  Examples are parking farther from where you need to go, taking stairs instead of the elevator, walking up or down escalators, fidgeting, using a standing desk while shifting your weight from leg to leg, instead of calling or emailing a co-worker go to their office and taking the long route to the bathroom or anywhere you go.  NEAT is a great way to burn extra calories and nervous energy.  Think about where you can use NEAT.

  6. Get Full Night of Sleep - Sleep is one of those things that you can never catch up on.  In order for our brains to function properly we need at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night.  We are much more able to manage our lives efficiently when well rested.  Make sleep a priority.

  7. Remember to Breathe - Yes, we are always breathing or we would pass out, but when we are stressed or overly focused on a task we tend to take shallow breaths  Deep breathing can declutter the mind and relax the body.  In the evenings, I enjoy relaxing with a cup of my favorite herbal tea and breathing in its vapors as a reminder to breathe deeply.  Drinking the tea is relaxing but breathing in the steamy herbs seem to add to the quality of experience.  Find your moments to really breathe during your day especially when you're feeling anxious.

  8. Enjoy Life! - Gratitude is the word that comes to mind.  In the crazy and hectic holiday season, take a moment to consider what it means to you.  It's a time to reconnect with those you care about, share good food and appreciate all that we have in our lives.  Get beyond the stress and find the deeper meaning as to why we put so much emphasis into this time of year.  With gratitude and appreciation, thank you for taking the time to read my newsletter!

If you're looking for an individualized approach to holiday strategies from healthier food swaps, to ways to burn additional calories and reduce stress, contact Sheri.  We're here to make your holidays healthy and happy!

Here are few reasons to see a nutritionist/personal trainer/health coach: assess nutrient intake, disease prevention through diet and exercise, maximize exercise performance, improve sleep quality, enhance mental clarity, optimize digestion and nutrient absorption, establish long-term healthy habits, meal planning for a whole foods diet and eat in a way to sustain the planet.  Please consider Sheri for nutrition counseling and/or fitness appointments to help you develop a healthier lifestyle for you and the planet. 


Preserving Brain Function

Research is supports that getting older doesn't mean we will lose brain function.  In other words, "senior moments" don't have to be part of our destiny.  It all hinges on physical activity, diet and lifestyle.  The emphasis for activity is to perform aerobic and resistance exercise at moderate to high intensity regularly.  The nutrition strategies emphasize a Mediterranean or DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet.  Now that's good to know!

Sheri is a Certified Nutritionist with a master's degree in nutrition, with over 14 years of clinical counseling experience, an ACE-certified Personal Trainer with advanced certifications in medical exercise and health coaching.  All nutrition consultations include exercise guidance, dietary analysis and meal plans to meet your individual lifestyle, calorie and nutritional needs.

Free introductory 15-minute appointments are also available.

To schedule an appointment with Sheri Mar, email:  or call:  206.789.6440

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