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Do Plant Based Diets Live Up To The Hype?

There are so many diet trends out there and it seems like even more are popping up every year. Yikes! How to pick which ones are valid can tough.  For me, I like the idea of plant based eating, and have found it actually makes eating healthy, filling, and stress-free meals really simple

Eating should be fun. Not complicated. Not stressful or super expensive. Prioritizing plants when thinking about your meals is essentially all a plant based diet is. Your base of pretty much every meal should be derived from plants, but you are free to eat meat, dairy, and other animal products as you see fit. Focusing on a plant diet can help make your life a little bit simpler in the following ways. 

 

You Get Those Greens: When you start planning or making each meal and your base is veggies, you will be guaranteed to get all those bright, essential colors into your diet. Basing the contents of your plate around 3-4 vegetables or plant based products will usually get more veggies in your diet than basing your meals off of an animal protein source. 

 

Easier Digestion: Meat and cheese and animal products typically require a lot of energy to digest. The fats and structure of these items sometimes take longer to break down and may move slowly through your digestive system. Eating plant based items is usually a little easier on your digestion.

That said, always be sure you have enough healthy fats and oil with your vegetables. Healthy fat sources such as olive oil, avocado oil, and coconut oil have potent health benefits and will help the plant products move through your system, making digestion easier.

Also, note that some people may experience certain sensitivities when eating larger quantities of legumes, lentils, or raw vegetables. Eat what is appropriate for your body, and if you have concerns about a food sensitivity you can always consult a dietician, doctor, or holistic nutritionist. 

If raw food is making you bloated – first be sure you are drinking enough water and getting enough of those healthy fats in. Try cooking your veggies – steaming, roasting, making soups – or eat some of your meals with a mild carbohydrate, like rice, which can assist in digestion. Cooked vegetables are good, too – remember, this is not a raw only diet, so get creative with preparation, spices, and flavors!

 

Mindful Eating: First of all, the production of pretty much all food takes some water. Cows, almonds, chickens, soy, corn. Everything needs water. Animal products usually require slightly more – their food needs water, they need water, the production of animal products usually requires a lot of water. So, refraining from some meat products can be a good way to eat consciously.

 Buying vegetables and plant based ingredients, especially from local sources, can also cut down on fossil fuels used in transport and delivery. Another win for the environment!

 

Less Limiting: With plant-based diets, you can still eat bacon (though not recommended). You can still roast a chicken and make chicken soup. You can put parmesan on your pasta. Committing to plant based is really just thinking about your meals and eating habits in a way that prioritizes vegetables and plant based ingredients. Not swearing off cheese forever, or only allowing yourself to eat at certain times, or anything dramatic – just eat more plants!

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3 Tips for Healthy, Painless Travel

The traffic and travel delays around the holidays can be brutal, meaning longer travel times, more time sitting in cramped spaces, and more tension and discomfort for you. Do not fear, Tristan is here! And I’m sharing with you the easiest precautionary measures and quick fixes for the most common travel-related ailments. 

Tip 1: Quench Your Thirst

Staying properly hydrated is essential for what seems like countless reasons. One reason that is maybe not as intuitive is that having enough water in your system will actually help your joints stay lubricated and help you avoid inflammation and stiffness. This will naturally help you feel less creaky and squeaky when you hop out of the car or off the plane. 

Tip 2: Soothe Your Skin

You all know that the air on a plane is drier than a stale rice cake. Drinking enough water will ensure that your skin stays luminous and doesn’t risk drying out, especially if you are headed to a colder climate. One practice that people often get confused about though is how to properly hydrate your skin on a flight. 

I sometimes see people spritzing their faces – I love a good face mist, but please save it for when you get off the plane! Water sitting on your face will be evaporated by the dry air, and will take even more moisture from your skin along with it. Full disclosure I am not exactly a scientist, I’m trained in physical therapy, but this is how evaporation works, my friends!

Try instead to get a good layer or two of something super hydrating on your face, neck, even your hands. Opt for a non-greasy oil, serum, or super thick moisturizing cream or mask that smells nice and soothing for your flight. This will leave you feeling dewy and much less prone to breakouts. You’ll safely avoid disembarking with dry, itchy, irritated skin.

Tip 3: Flawless Flexing

Are your hips tight, stiff, creaky, or sore from a long car ride or sitting on a plane? In addition to hydrating properly (not with airline wine, I’m talking w-a-t-e-r) here are some simple mobility tips to maintain fluidity in your joints, and get your muscles flexing flawlessly: 

  • Take a spin around the plane, strut your stuff down the aisle, just get your muscles moving for a few minutes and out of whatever cramped seated position you’ve been forced into. Stretch your arms a bit if you are able. This will prevent your joints from locking into an uncomfortable position, potentially leaving you achy.
  • Stretch your neck to the right, hold for 10-20 seconds and repeat on the left side. Even the simplest stretching and basic movement can help avoid getting those annoying cramps in your neck.
  • As soon as you get out of the car or off the plane, take a few minutes to stretch or return some movement to wherever feels tight. Do some simple calf raises, shake out your ankles, reach your hands above your head, reach for your toes and hold for a bit – anything to wake up some of those sleepy muscles. 
  • When you’ve reached your final destination, give this YUM YUM HIP MOBILITY flow a try to immediately feel relief from stiffness and tension in your hips. I promise it will set you up for a relaxing holiday, no matter where you are!

I’d love to know what other Holiday Health Hacks you guys rely on to get you through the season! Don’t be a stranger, tell me what you cannot live without this month

Stay tuned for this week’s Workout Wednesday, where I’ll show you a super simple way to get energized in the morning!

 

How to Stay Energized (even if you’re already exhausted) 

Tristan GattoThe holidays can be exhausting for everyone. Actually, life can just be downright tiring! 

Getting to a place where you can feel energized and maintain that energy is key to avoiding burnout, staying passionate about what you love, and bringing your most creative and vibrant self to your work and your hobbies. Sounds great right? 

You can’t just rely on coffee alone to get these results though. You need to energize and nurture yourself in more ways than just caffeine (don’t worry, I’m not trying to take away your coffee, or matcha, or pumpkin spice latte – GASP!)

Part of staying energized includes consuming the right fuel. As delicious as the ice cream is, you can’t expect to only eat ice cream sundaes for days at a time and then feel amazing and energetic (but wouldn’t that be freakin’ awesome?). You need a good combination of fruits, vegetables, proteins, carbs, and healthy fats. Making sure you have enough fluids, especially water, tea, and herbal infusions will greatly benefit our levels of energy. Being dehydrated basically causes all of your organs to shift into slow motion, so getting at least the recommended 1 liter of water per day will have great added benefits for your overall well being. 

Don’t forget that during a workout you sweat and lose fluids, meaning that if you do hot yoga or work up a sweat doing some HIIT training, you’ll need to replenish with additional water!

Getting your joints and muscles actually moving can work to wake up your body. As your body moves through both powerful and gentle asanas (yoga poses) and your body builds heat, your nervous system, lymphatic system, digestion, and cardiovascular will respond by activating, waking up, and sending energetic signals throughout your whole body. 

Try committing to doing a yoga flow designed to give you that much-needed burst of morning energy each morning. See you how you feel on day-one, after a few days, and within the week. I guarantee you that you will feel more energized in the morning and will maintain that energy in a more sustainable way throughout the course of your day.  

If you have a job where you’re sitting a lot or camped out at a desk for the greater part of each day, or you find yourself doing a lot of holiday travel, getting up and stretching periodically will have tremendous benefits for beating developing tension. 

This will work to once again wake up and activate some of those muscle groups that might be tempted to slip into sleep mode. Taking a break from your computer and phone screens, giving our eyes a rest, sipping on some tea, or taking a quick walk are additional ways that we can wake up and feel a bit refreshed during even the busiest of days. 

Don’t miss out on an opportunity to enter to win the incredible Holiday Giveaway, which includes a delicious selection of tea from Tea Sparrow and a FREE course from me!! Connect with me on Instagram to find out how to enter!

How to Get Rid Of “Holiday Hangover” 

Aside from getting your flu shot and having Vitamin C supplements at the ready, what else can you do to stay healthy and happy during the holidays? 

The basics are this: get enough sleep, stay hydrated, move your body. 

Getting enough sleep may be easier said than done, but it is so, so essential. If you’re feeling fatigued, every part of your body is going to feel it too. In order to keep all the functions of your body in top condition, you have to get enough rest. 

At least 8 hours is recommended, but let’s be honest…how many of us actually get that much?

But, did you know that while you are sleeping your body does most of its healing?  So, cutting into that sleep you need can really take a toll on your health. Think about it — do you want muscle recovery, digestion, or detoxification working at a sluggish rate?

 Nope. 

Ideally never! And definitely not during the holidays when there are so many yummy foods, desserts, and drinks to indulge in. You want everything functioning at full capacity to enjoy the holidays in good health, even if we snack on a few too many cookies shaped like snowmen!

If you’re somewhere chilly or if you’re lucky enough to be in warmer weather for the holidays, it’s probably not quite reaching summertime heat levels wherever you are this month. Drinking water and iced coffee can be so easy when the sun is scorching hot or you’re enjoying the beach, but sometimes as the weather cools down we have a tendency toward not maintaining adequate water intake. 

Drinking water not only helps maintain normal organ function and cell growth, but it is also a key piece of flushing your system and aiding your liver and kidneys in your body’s natural detox processes.

The average recommended water intake per day is 8-10 glasses per day.  (That sounds like a whole lot of trips to the toilet if you ask me!)

Whether its sweets, a few cocktails, or half a cheesecake that your body needs to flush out, drinking plenty of water will help this process tremendously. I’m a believer in living your life and enjoying that second (or third) helping of your favorite holiday food, but I think you can agree that feeling bloated after eating too much is never, ever fun. 

Water, even with a squeeze of lemon or lime for some extra vitamin C, can help with stimulating digestion and flushing your system. Keep a water bottle on hand, find a water source at every party you attend, and be sure to drink a huge glass of water right when you wake up and right before you go to sleep. 

One of the body’s best detox mechanisms is the lymphatic system, which is stimulated almost purely by movement. Exercise, walking, massage, and yoga are all great ways to stimulate the lymphatic system.

Twists, gentle movement, and gentle stretching is beneficial for the lymphatic system and will ultimately help boost digestion and strengthen your immune system. I’m sure you’re completely out of Thanksgiving leftovers by now, so if you want to get your lymphatic system pumping and feel totally refreshed, try out this Turkey Day Detox Flow!  

The holiday season is always crazy, so we all need to be sure we are providing our bodies (and minds!) with a little extra TLC. Get some extra sleep, drink a ton of water, and be sure you’re moving each and every day!

I’d love to invite you to join me on Instagram for even more information on holiday health this coming Workout Wednesday, where I’ll explain how we can use yoga to help ease anxiety. And keep an eye out for an exciting Holiday Giveaway announcement coming up soon….!