Archive for the tag - christmas

5 Awesome Christmas Gifts For Your Body!

tumblr_n5ldy7dAJR1qk9t29o1_500We are in the final stretch of the Christmas season – and many of us are rushing around to make last-minute purchases. But with all the hustle, long lines and endless advertisements, you may have overlooked the most important person on your list: You. More specifically, your body.

It’s easy to find fault with our bodies. But the truth is, our bodies operate tirelessly as the vehicle through which we experience life. Our bodies don’t grumble or complain, and they never get a day off. Regardless of how you feel about your body, I’m sure you’d agree that it is deserving of a holiday gift.

To that end, here are a few inexpensive and awesome ideas for your body.

  1. Body scan. Never heard of a body scan? It’s a guided meditation of sorts that enables you to check in with various parts of your body. If you’re short on time, here’s a great three minute body scan. If you’re able to commit ten minutes, try this longer body scan. Turning your attention inward (instead of outward) is a powerful practice that your body will love!
  2. Self massage. I love getting massages, but sometimes we don’t have the time or money for a professional session. Fear not! Self massages are a great, soothing gift that you can give to yourself. Use a small amount of oil or lotion, and gently massage your body while thanking it for all that it does. You can massage your arms, legs, shoulders, neck, chest, buttocks or even your scalp.
  3. A workout. With more than 600 muscles and as many as 360 joints, your body was meant to move. In fact, it craves movement – even though most of us don’t get enough physical activity. Give your body the gift of movement in the form of a workout. It doesn’t mean you need to go to the gym, buy equipment or even leave your house. In fact, I recommend trying my 12-minute at-home ab workout.

  4. Nourishing meal. When you eat delicious, nourishing food, your body feels great and energized. Carefully select healthy food options and put together a special, balanced meal for your body. It might be salmon and brown rice, a vibrant salad or chicken and vegetables. Your body will thank you for giving it the nutrients that it needs.
  5. Sleep. Yes, I saved the best for last! Sleeping is wonderful. Though most of us don’t give ourselves enough, sleep is when your body repairs and heals. It recharges your batteries so that you can be productive, energized and vibrant. Close your curtains. Put your cell phone in another room. Get rid of any distractions. And give yourself the awesome gift of eight sleeping hours.

If you don’t have time for any of the above gifts, do something small and simple. Right now, you can give your body a good stretch. Or pour yourself a tall glass of water. You can even snack on a carrot.

Whatever you do and wherever you’re at in your health and wellness journey, do something great for your body this holiday season.

P.S. If you want to give yourself the gift of my six pack program, you can download the complete Davey Wavey Six Pack series right now – and get started today!

7 Best Healthy Holiday Cooking Tips.

While salsa might not be a traditional Christmas food for many, the colors are perfect for the season!

When it comes to the holidays, it’s not just about trimming your tree. It’s about trimming unhealthy fats, sugar and salt from your favorite seasonal recipes.

To that end, try a few of my favorite tips!

  1. Cut added sugar in half. If a recipe calls for a cup of sugar, opt for half a cup. Then, add a bit more citrus, vanilla, nutmeg or cinnamon and you’ll be fine.
  2. Reduce the butter. You can usually cut the butter in half, and then replace it with applesauce or bananas. I’ve even used avocados as an excellent butter substitute.
  3. Opt for reduced or lower-sodium variations of packaged foods – or, even better, go fresh!
  4. Replace unhealthy dips with salsas and guacamole – they’re already red and green! You could even pair a red tomato-based salsa with a green tomatillo-based salsa. Hummus is another healthy dip alternative. If you do prefer dips, replace sour cream with Greek yogurt.
  5. Cut added salt in half. You won’t even notice a difference – and, if you do, add herbs or seasoning. Your blood pressure will thank you!
  6. Use fresh or frozen fruits and berries instead of frosting, syrup or jam on desserts.
  7. Incorporate lots and lots of veggies. Vegetables add bulk to your meal without all the extra calories. Beyond providing plenty of nutrients, vegetables are high in fiber – thereby making you feel fuller, longer.

If you have any favorite healthy holiday cooking tips, please share them in the comments below!

Eliminate Holiday Stress with Exercise.

The holidays are officially here – and most peoples’ schedules have gone from busy to downright chaotic. It seems like any free minute is filled with shopping, wrapping gifts, decorating or attending family gatherings.

When things get especially hectic, our priorities tend to shift. And unfortunately, exercise is often one of the first commitments to go.

According to Erica Christ, RD, CDE, an exercise physiologist at Greenwich Hospital’s Weight Loss & Diabetes Center:

When a person is excitable from stress, the burst of energy that you get from exercise can help burn the adrenaline off and calm you down. Exercise allows you time to focus, and gives you a sense of mindfulness that makes the other pieces of your life fall into place.

Moreover, it’s been demonstrated that exercise stimulates the neurotransmitter dopamine, which helps to elevate your mood even more effectively than antidepressant medications.

In other words, exercise makes you feel better, reduces stress and calms you down. And if there’s anything we need this holiday season, it’s just that.

So however busy your holiday schedule may become, give yourself (and the people around you!) the gift of sanity by not cutting back on your exercise commitment.

How Much Alcohol is Too Much?

With the holidays here and with plenty of parties to attend, many adults will find themselves with a drink or two in their hands. Or maybe three, or even more. Because the holidays tend to be rather alcohol-centric, it’s a good time to address the question, “How much alcohol is too much alcohol?”

The government has some very clear guidelines:

  • If you’re male, over 65 and healthy (or a healthy female of any age), no more than 7 drinks per week is recommended. On any given day, alcohol consumption should not exceed 3 drinks.
  • For healthy men up to age 65, a limit of 14 drinks per week is advised. Do not exceed 4 drinks per day.
  • At the discretion of a healthcare provider, lower limits or abstinence are recommended for other populations.

So what constitutes a drink? In the United States, it’s any beverage that contains 0.6 fluid ounces of pure alcohol. That translates to a 12 ounce beer or cooler, 8 ounces of malt liquor, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor. Keeping in mind that many beverages actually contain several drinks worth of alcohol, things can add up quickly.

Of course, most casual and light drinkers have little to fear. Light to moderate drinking has been associated with some health benefits – and has even been linked to longevity. Heavy drinking, on the other hand, is extremely dangerous. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcohol is a factor in about 60% of fatal burn injuries, drownings, and homicides; 50% of severe trauma injuries and sexual assaults; and 40% of fatal motor vehicle crashes, suicides, and fatal falls. Not to mention heavy drinking can lead to health problems like liver disease, heart disease, sleep disorders, depression, stroke, etc. The statistics are quite sobering.

This holiday season, it’s fine to get in the merry spirit of the festivities. But keep track of how much you drink by counting and measuring. Pace and space your drinks, and include plenty of food to help slow alcohol absorption. Explore alternatives (how about a glass of water?) and know your “no.” When you’ve reached your limit, be ready with a polite but firm “no thanks.”

4 Worst Holiday Foods EVER! [Video]

While it’s no secret that many holiday foods deserve to be on the “naughty” list, these four deserve special recognition for their belly-bursting calorie and fat content.

Spoiler alert: If you like eggnog, you may not want to watch this video!

Check out the video via my Davey Wavey Fitness YouTube channel. And, if you’re not already subscribed to my fitness channel, click here to make it happen!

Giving Gifts to Your Body.

Go ahead, unwrap it.

I spent this past weekend adventuring my way through the always bustling—but especially bustling this time of year—New York City to see the sights and do some Christmas shopping.

As I was making my way through Columbus Circle, I realized that I had neglected to include a gift for someone (or perhaps something) very important: My body. With all the work our bodies do for us, they certainly deserve something special.

So while sitting in a crowded Starbucks wherein customers feuded over available seating, I located a few nearby spas. To my delight, one had a 30-minute slot of availability. I kissed the chaos goodbye, and took some much-needed quiet time to thank and celebrate my glorious body.

(By the way, my body isn’t glorious because of how it looks. My body is glorious because all bodies are glorious—it’s a birthright, regardless of our size or shape.)

I know my body appreciated the gift. For the rest of the afternoon, I was radiant. I chucked to myself when I saw a sign in a store window that read, “Glow home for the holidays.” The brief pause and reprieve helped me find my center in an otherwise whirlwind weekend; what a difference it made.

Today is Dec. 20—Christmas is only five days away. That’s five days to do something special for your body—and it need not cost money. A walk in the park, bubble bath or even a nutritious meal all count as gifts.

What are you getting your body for Christmas? Let me know in the comments below.

Davey Wavey Gift Guide: My 5 Favorite Things!

‘Tis the season for giving – and so (to take a page from Oprah) I’ve put together a list of my favorite things! And no, I’m not getting commission or kick-backs for any of these products… though I feel like I should be on the Lululemon payroll by this point. 🙂

Lululemon Smash Pant

I have two. One for lounging around the house – and one for wearing to the gym. It’s cozy, warm (but not too warm) and unbelievably comfortable. It’s expensive, but it will change your life. It’s great for being active and doing yoga, or just watching TV and snuggling with your dog. Plus, Lululemon has a great corporate philosophy (they call it their manifesto) that you’ll love.

Valeo Deluxe Speed Jump Rope

Jumping rope is one of my favorite things. It’s an AMAZING exercise and it requires… well, only a piece of rope. The Valeo Deluxe Speed jump rope is as good as they get. It’s a great way to get in some powerful cardio an endurance training – you can even do it during commercial breaks while watching TV. All for less than 7 bucks.

Good Vibes Gym Bag

Feel those good vibrations with this $19.95 gym bag from Davey Wavey apparel. It’s durable, water resistant, available in a wide range of colors – and hand-printed with a spiral of body-positive quotes. The center of the spiral is my Davey Wavey logo. It’s great for the gym – or as an overnight bag. And, 20% of the profits go to charity. Good vibes, good stuff.

Altus Ankle Weights

I’m in love with ankle weights. They open up a whole new world of possibilities. I’ve found them particularly helpful when training my lower abs – especially during leg lifts. I use this 20 lb set – but they’re available in a full range of weights. They’re one of the best kept fitness secrets!

Underwear Yoga

I had so much fun creating my Underwear Yoga program – and I get a lot of fulfillment knowing how many people it is helping. It includes two 20-minute yoga videos starring the beautiful and talented Nick Kindrick and myself. The program comes with a bunch of great freebies and is instantly available by download online. It’s a great gift for the most important person you have – YOURSELF!

I hope you enjoy my favorite things as much as I do! Happy holidays to you and yours!