The LIFE

Make the most of the Holidays

Five Ways to Make the Most of the Holidays

The holiday season is upon us. Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years mean big family meals and holiday office parties. Not to mention the eggnog, cakes and pies which can all put a strain on our waistlines.  These Five Ways to Make the Most of the Holidays will help you enjoy the holidays and all they bring without regrets.

Make the most of the Holidays
Five Ways to Make the Most of the Holidays

De-Stress and Get Rest:

The holidays can bring stress from fighting traffic, hours of shopping for food and for the perfect gift.  Stress can add inches to your waistline. Stress can lead to elevated cortisol levels which can interfere with learning and memory, lower immune function and bone density, increase weight gain, blood pressure, cholesterol, and heart disease. Avoid the rush by making a list of all that you need to get before you leave the house or better yet shop from home.  Online shopping is a way avoid the hustle and bustle and find some great deals. Sites like Amazon give you the option to shop from the comfort of your home and save time, gas and money. Many grocery stores offer a shop from home option and they will deliver your items right to your door.

During this holiday season take the opportunity to de-stress by drinking a cup of herbal tea, diffusing your favorite essential oil, lighting your favorite candle or simply taking a walk.  Also remember, that rest is the key to rejuvenation. Getting enough sleep during the holiday season might be a challenge but your mind and body will thank you if you maintain as regular a sleep schedule as possible.

Drink Your Water:

Water is vital to maintaining your health and wellness. It is also important to maintaining your waistline.  While you are out and about this holiday season, carry a bottle of water with you so that you can remain hydrated. Often we mistake thirst for hunger. By staying well hydrated, you will also avoid those moments when the food court calls your name. Drinking water will also help you to keep your mind sharp and your body energized.  Many of us indulge in holiday spirits during this time of year. Many alcoholic beverages contain high calories. It is recommended that you drink  more water when you are consuming alcohol than normal.

Eat Before You Go Out:

Whether you are going to the mall or to a holiday party, eating a small snack an hour before you leave the house can help you stay on track.  Have a small healthy snack like cheese and apples, or a green smoothie. By eating something before you go out, you won’t be so hungry that you are tempted to eat everything in sight.  You will be able to be social without piling three of those little plates with food.  Also, eat slowly. It takes your brain about twenty minutes to realize it’s full.

Get Moving:

Over the next few weeks, our schedules will try to dictate how much exercise we get.  Try to maintain your exercise schedule. However, if getting to the gym seems like an impossibility, finding unconventional ways to keep moving will help you stay on track with your exercise plan. Walking the mall, taking the stairs and parking further away from the door are practical ways to get in some additional movement.  Other ways to get moving include, getting outside for a walk, raking leaves or shoveling snow.  Ultimately,  just don’t let the holidays keep you from maintaining your exercise routine.

Enjoy Time With Family and Friends:

The holidays can be a whirlwind of rushing from place to place but being with those we love is the best part of the season.  Take the time to recognize those you love and be thankful for all that you have been blessed with. If you are able to have your loved ones around you, if you are able to share a meal or give a gift, you already have the full measure of what the holiday season is all about.  So. if you eat that extra piece of pie or have double servings of stuffing, be kind to yourself.  Enjoying the moments of celebration in life will do more for you in the long term.

stay fit challenge

STAY FIT: 30 Days of Strengthening Your Connection to Jesus

Working out my body is vital to my physical and mental well being. However, more important than that is my desire to stay spiritually fit.  Each day I begin my day by reading a devotion and scripture. I usually find this by using the YouVersion Bible app. They have so many unique devotionals that are available for FREE.  Next month we will be using the STAY FIT: 30 Days of Strengthening Your Connection to Jesus devotion to guide us in our daily study time. This devotional was created by the staff of North Point Ministries with the goal of “prioritizing staying spiritually fit by focusing on the most important relationship in our lives.”

I have found that I pour out so much of my self as a wife, a mom, a daughter, an educator, a friend and a blogger.  It is easy to become disconnected and distracted.   It is easy to stop growing when you are so focused on everyone else’s growth and development.  The need for a greater connection becomes apparent, especially when my patience grows short or my thoughts are not as forgiving as they could be.  I have learned that it is very difficult to pour out of an empty cup. If I am not growing, I can’t help anyone else grow either.  Spending time in God’s word is the first and best form of “self care”.  This 30 day “challenge” is a way of reconnecting to our ultimate source of power – God.

stay fit challenge
30 days of Strengthening Your Connection to Jesus

During the month of October we invite you to STAY FIT and devote some time “strengthening your connection to Jesus”.  Join us on Facebook and on Instagram each day in October to share your insights and to encourage others as we grow stronger together and build each other up in our faith.

 

 

 

TriColor Rotini

Easy Fit Foods: Tri-Color Rotini with Italian Sausage

I am just not ready for summer to come to an end but fall is rapidly approaching and we will all be craving comfort food.  I believe that eating comfort food should feel like putting on your favorite sweatshirt on a cool fall day. Cozy! So as we think about family friendly meals that are healthy and easy to make, one of my favorite Easy Fit Foods: Tri-Color Rotini with Italian Sausage comes to mind.  With two young children, and a husband to please, I have to be creative with how to satisfy everyone in my house.  I also need meals to be easy and quick to make. Enter this recipe that I created with what I had on hand in my kitchen the other day! It was an instant hit!

 

Nutrition

Calories

190 cal

Fat

12 g

Carbs

1 g

Protein

17 g
Click Here For Full Nutrition, Exchanges, and My Plate Info

Yields 4 Servings

Serves Approximately one cup

Easy Fit Foods: Tri-Color Rotini with Italian Sausage

10 minPrep Time

20 minCook Time

30 minTotal Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 box of Tri Color Rotini
  • 4 Sweet Italian Sausage links - cut into pieces,
  • 1 can of Diced Tomatoes 16 oz
  • 1/2 a zuchini cut sliced and then quartered.

Instructions

  1. Cook the sausage and pasta, then add the pasta, tomatoes and zuchini to the pan with the sausage. Season with garlic salt and pepper to taste. Add 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese. Toss together and let simmer with a lid on for about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally. Serve hot. Enjoy!
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http://fitfaithlife.com/easy-fit-food-tri-color-rotini-italian-sausage/

This meal is great for any night of the week and will be sure to become an instant hit in your house too.  What are your favorite easy healthy meals for your family?

Outdoor Summer Workouts

Outdoor Summer Workouts

I have always enjoyed outdoor and water activities.  I guess you could call me a “water baby”.  However, I have recently found two Outdoor Summer Workouts that I love and that keep me motivated.  The first is good old fashioned walking and the other is Aqua Zumba! Walking is a great way to get outside and get your heart rate up. It is accessible to just about anyone who want to get in shape. Aqua Zumba is also a great way to get moving and is also an activity that just about anyone can participate in.

Outdoor Summer Workouts
Walking the Track

 

Walking

There are many benefits to a regular walking routine.  According to the Mayo Clinic, regular brisk walking can help you:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes
  • Strengthen your bones and muscles
  • Improve your mood
  • Improve your balance and coordination
Walking Benefits
The Benefits of Walking
Photo Credit: Prevention.com

For me, walking gives me time to relax my mind. I find that as I walk, my creativity flows, I gain insight into situations and I am able to talk to God and be focused enough to hear Him answer. I recently discovered an amazing walking group that allows women of color to connect with each other, walk and be social activists within their community.  The GirlTrek website describes their mission as “a groundbreaking 3-year-old national nonprofit that mobilizes women to live their healthiest, most fulfilled lives through a habit of daily walking. Through grassroots organizing and award-winning social media campaigns, GirlTrek supports thousands of walkers, over 400 neighborhood-based volunteers, and inspires an ever-growing network of 200,000 supporters through social media. GirlTrek’s health movement is fueled by active role models, street organizers, authentic partnerships, and a whole lot of hustle!” I walk everyday anyway, why not add the component of grassroots organizing.  Through the GirlTrek Facebook page I was able to connect with local GirlTrekers. Ironically, we connected at Aqua Zumba!

Aqua Zumba

In my city, the Parks and Recreation Department operates swimming pools citywide.  They offer free swimming to kids and adults alike throughout the summer.  In addition, they also offer swimming lessons, and exercise classes like Aqua Zumba!  This class at my local recreation center is free. If you were to take a similar class at a fitness club you would pay at least $35 per month for the membership fee. If you are not a “swimmer” it doesn’t matter because you are never fully submerged in the water. You may get splashed a little but your face and hair don’t go into the pool.

There are great benefits to water workouts like Aqua Zumba. Besides being fun, the Zumba website cites the benefits as “There is less impact on your joints during an Aqua Zumba® class so you can really let loose. Water creates natural resistance, which means every step is more challenging and helps tone your muscles”.  So far I have taken two classes this summer and I love the group aspect of the class, I love the music and the instructor, Kenyetta was full of energy.  She says, My mantra is to foster a community where everyone can have a great time once they enter my class or the pool…to leave all that you have on your shoulders at the door..and dance as if no one is watching!.”

The other great part of this class was that after all of the walking I have been doing, it is an excellent way to tone my muscles without putting too much impact on my joints. If you want to take a class check into your local recreation centers or the Zumba website.

What are your favorite Outdoor Summer Workouts?

Welcome to the LIFE

Welcome to the LIFE! After much prayer and thought, I had to make the hard decision to delete the old FitFaith Life and start fresh! Renewal is a good thing! I am happy to bring great new posts, lots of energy and most of all to share great faith and fitness information with you!

For I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.

So what will be the same and what will change? You will still receive the same great recipes, workouts and inspirational posts. What has changed is really my perspective. I realize that this LIFE is not really about me but it’s all about the life of Christ in me. So, I am going to bring to you the best interviews, workouts, product reviews, and more!

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FitFaith Life is YOUR virtual coach for faith and fitness. I really believe that this life is more of a movement than just a lifestyle. God wants us to be healthy and whole. He wants us to live a life free from disease and he wants us to have the strength and fortitude to serve Him. He also wants a real relationship with us, not just lip service. His love for us knows no bounds and FitFaith Life is all about embracing that love. The ultimate goal is for you to embrace a culture of fierce faith and fierce fitness that will transform the way you view your relationship with God and with yourself.

When you know who you are and whose you are this life is a blessing. I hope you will go along with me on this journey! Are YOU READY to LIVE the LIFE?