a tip a day | monday madness

a happy body tip for every day of the week.

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Plan for hunger |  Running errands all day? There's so much going on this time of year, and much of it is just plain busyness. So leave a bag of almonds or a box of Kind bars in your car for those times when you're out and about and hungry, it's bound to happen sooner or later. Map out in your mind the nearest place to get a smoothie or greens in proximity to your errands. And think about when and how you want to indulge (maybe later tonight with hot chocolate and your honey, or your favorite cookies and a fire) so you can enjoy it instead of finding yourself mindlessly driving through the first thing you see.

healthy happy holiday | a better thanksgiving

Thanksgiving week is here!  We've anticipated this week for the past month as we've drooled over delicious recipes from pinterest and our favorite food websites.  We decided it would only be appropriate to share a few tips for having a healthy and happy holiday. You hopefully know by now that we're not going to suggest you pass on Grandma's rolls or say no to pumpkin pie. But we do have a few ideas to make this a holiday that you can enjoy (and not feel guilty about) with your family and friends and keep you feeling great.

(no deprivation) happy healthy holiday tips | swell mama

1 |  Drink plenty of water. We know you hear this all the time, but it really is so important.  Dehydration is more likely to happen during the holidays when you're busy running errands, cooking, and splurging. Oh and did we mention drinking plenty of water will also help to keep you from overeating? Who doesn't want any extra help they can get in that area?! It's not always the first thing on your mind when it's so cold outside, but nobody wants to spend their Thanksgiving weekend with a headache, so keep that bottle of water with you in the kitchen, in the car, whatever you're doing. 

2 |  Have a healthy breakfast. When you know there's a big feast coming Thanksgiving day it's easy to forgo other meals to get ready for the big event. Or maybe you're just too busy to even remember breakfast? You want to take the time to have some oatmeal or a green smoothie to give you a little fuel and nutrition and not leave you starving by the time dinner starts (cue: overeating and a major stomach ache). Getting those nutrients is important during this season to fight off all the sickness going around. 

3 |  Splurge. It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without a little splurge, right? And let's make it a little splurge without the guilt. Whatever it is, enjoy it. Savor it.  And be grateful for it. You don't have to go overboard and eat the whole pie to enjoy it,  just enjoy a reasonable portion with no regrets.

4 |  Move. Take a walk or run with your family or friends. Do some yoga each night before your favorite movie. Just do something to move each day. Your body and mind will thank you, and it will keep you moving in the direction of your wellness vision. 

5 |  Set a goal for yourself to carry you through the season. We've seen the scenario all too often with clients (and ourselves). We feel that we did so horrible during Thanksgiving that we might as well just give up and eat anything until Christmas. We'll get started again at the new year, right? Enjoying all the fun of the holidays is important, but that doesn't mean you have to choose between fun or your healthy lifestyle. If it's a part of who you are, or who you want to be, feeling great is a big part of the fun. And sticking to your guns will make those new years resolutions so much easier. Set a goal that's realistic for you. You know your strengths and your weaknesses. Does the overeating thing happen when the leftovers come out?  Or can you not stop with the desserts? Just a small goal that allows you to enjoy your favorite foods and traditions during the week, but also keeps you on top of your health and in control can make a huge difference. 

Cheers to a happy and healthy week!

live well now | smart goals

We're big fans of goals.  They keep us focused and connected to our wellness vision and give us direction to what we're working on now.  Did you know there's actually some strategy to setting goals?  I know, it's hard enough to accomplish a goal but now we're telling you to change how you set your goal?  Well yes... but this is to make those goals more productive and accomplishing them will become more likely! How we set goals can actually create success and motivation on a daily basis.  So here are some simple guidelines to set SMART goals for your wellness.

Set smarter goals | swell mama

S- specific.  It's easy to say "I'm going to eat healthier" this week, but there are so many ways that can be too overwhelming to actually make that happen. Pick one area you'd like to work on for a day, week or month and let that be your focus.

M- measurable.  How would you measure "eating healthier"?  There are so many ways, and it's going to be different for each person, so set a goal that is a good area to measure for you.  Here are some ideas, "I will eat a serving of vegetables at lunch and dinner" or "I will reduce eating out to 2 times this week", etc.   

A- action based.  Make your goal something you actually DO, not an outcome.  If we set a weight goal it's easy to get discouraged when we don't get there.  Instead, set a goal to do those things that will move you in the direction of loosing weight.  Increasing exercise, eating less sugar, or increasing your vegetable intake.  That way, you can feel good about those healthy behaviors and not get hung up on a silly number.

R- realistic.  If a goal isn't realistic, it's likely you'll find more disappointment than anything.  Is it really going to be possible for you to wake up at 5 am to workout before your baby wakes up?  Maybe it is, maybe it isn't and you know yourself best. Set those small goals that you know are possible (with a bit of a challenge) to fit into your life now. 

T- time lined.  Give yourself a time limit.  A day, a week, or a month are all good time lines for SMART goals. It depends on what you're working on but set a goal for the length of time you're going to focus on it.  After you reach that time, you can adjust the goal or maybe you've mastered it and and you can move on to that next item of business. 

So here's an example of a SMART goal: "I will add in 20 minutes of mat pilates 3 x this week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) at 8:00pm after I put Parker to bed."  A little extreme, a little too detailed?  Test it out for yourself!  We recommend setting 1-2 SMART goals per week and 3 if you're feeling really ambitious.  Oh and if you don't accomplish your goal 100% this week, no worries, focus on what you did do! Stay positive and keep setting goals to make your wellness vision happen!  Success and progress in a goal = feeling accomplished = motivation to keep going = more healthy happy goals = more healthy happy people.  SMART goals are definitely the smart way to go!