Staying on Track During Thanksgiving

Well, damn. It’s been some time since I’ve been here. If you saw my Insta story on Sunday, you know I’ve had a few weeks of feeling really down – about work, about fitness, about nutrition, about my body…the list goes on. But, I’m back! It’s time to stop feeling sorry for myself. And time to be grateful for all I have. And this is the perfect week to (re)start that mentality, after all, it’s about giving thanks!

Below is an article I wrote for my office’s wellness committee last week that is relevant to the time of year, but also how I’m feeling in general.

Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude, and for spending time with family and friends. But let’s be honest, it’s also about the meal. Whether you love your nana’s homemade stuffing, Aunt Carol’s sweet potato casserole, or that pecan pie that has been in the family for generations, Thanksgiving is not known for being low calorie, low sugar, or portion-controlled. Therefore, many people often struggle with food guilt, the food coma, and wondering what or how much to eat. Follow some (or all) of these tips to enjoy your Thanksgiving meal and still stay on track:

Don’t Skip Breakfast

Skipping the AM meal(s) to save your appetite will only lead to a [insert favorite food here] binge session at the dinner table (e.g. four helpings of nana’s stuffing). Instead, make sure to eat a breakfast containing protein and fat to stay satiated while finishing up the preparation activities. Good options located here and here.

Get in a Workout

Get the family outside and throw around the ‘ole pigskin, or participate in a local Turkey Trot 5k. If that’s not your family’s style, go for a walk (alone or with willing participants), or hit up your favorite fitness class in the morning. Mom won’t miss you too much for an hour (or less)!

Participate in the Meal Prep

Healthy doesn’t have to be bland, and yummy doesn’t have to be unhealthy. Offer to prepare a side or dessert (or both!) that is delicious and nutritious. It’s an easy way to be helpful while also ensuring there are some actually healthy options on the table, not the “seemingly healthy but actually very bad” items (lookin’ at you green bean casserole). See here, here, and here for lighter recipes.

Hydrate

With WATER, not just mulled wine or hot apple cider. Make sure to take in eight glasses (or more) of H20 throughout the day, and drink a glass prior to sitting down for the main meal. This will prevent you from mistaking thirst for hunger pangs. It will also help you refrain from overeating (think “eyes bigger than stomach”).

 Cut Yourself Some Slack

Enjoy the day. After all, it is one day (minus the yummy leftovers. See healthy options for post-Thanksgiving here). Remember to be grateful for your family and friends, for your health, your job, your dog, etc. Drink some fancy red wine, eat the mashed potatoes and gravy, and remember that you will get back on track. Don’t let food guilt bring your down this Thanksgiving. It will only make you stressed, and less likely to enjoy the holiday.

See other healthy Thanksgiving tips here! I hope you found this helpful!

Have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

XOXO,

Brynn

Resetting with Wanderlust 108

108 – Unity. Wholeness. Infinite Love. Cheesy? Perhaps, depending how you feel about yoga and the spirituality surrounding it. I never got into that part, but I can see the benefits, and sometimes I wish I did. I do like the spiritual meaning of 108, and think it could be applied to most things in life.

I attended the Wanderlust 108 festival by RFK stadium in DC yesterday. It’s a traveling one-day festival that promotes finding your “true north” or your “best self”. My friend and I found out about the DC event months ago, and I was hooked. While I’m no yogi, the festival name and the mission behind the events are SO ME, and so applicable to my life – my passion for health and wellness, my goals, and this blog. I am in search of becoming my best self, and I am navigating my way through this journey (side note: I am obsessed with the logo and associated merchandise…obviously).

Advertised as a “Mindful Triathlon”, the full day event consists of a 5K run / walk, yoga class, and meditation (which I suck at, but more on that later…). Participants then choose optional activities to do, such as essential oils class, aerial yoga, acro yoga, flow + restore yoga, and hula hooping. Participants are also able to walk around the market to check out the various vendors, grab coffee and food, and check out the adidas x wanderlust tent and the kombucha garden! There are also free samples everywhere of amazing products (I went HAM on the free stuff, as you should).

I had to wake up before 7am on a Saturday, which isn’t cool, but I was excited. After getting to RFK, meeting up with friends, registering and setting down mats, I immediately set out to find coffee, because duh. I got the regular brew + almond milk at the True North Cafe, scarfed down a banana, and perused the market for samples and athleisure. The day was awesome, especially coming off a week of indulging (I give myself some slack because #birthday). It felt great to reset and get back on track a bit.

Wanderlust Ready

You can’t head out to the Wanderlust 108 festival without a bathroom selfie. Duh.

5K

The 5K started with a pep and a stretch. Normally, I would want to jog this, but decided to walk with friends and be “mindful” of the type of tri this was – no competition, just feeling good in your body, mind, and soul. So we walked, and I dealt with my inner nagging thoughts: “you’re lazy“, “do you even run?”is this even a workout?” “look at the runners”. I can be so mean to myself. Here I am, spending the day at a health and wellness / yoga festival instead of bottomless brunching, and I’m STILL not doing enough apparently. Luckily, I managed to get past those thoughts and enjoy walking around with friends deciding what to do the rest of the day

Yoga

We participated in the group yoga class with Chelsey Korus while the sun showed absolutely no mercy. The cool tribal paint on my arm smeared somewhere between downward dog and warrior two. It felt great, and it reminded me that I should incorporate more yoga into my regimen, solely to stretch and strengthen my body.

Meditation

As mentioned earlier, I am not good at meditating. I used to do that self-deprecating gloating about being “too busy”, “too uptight”, or “too in my head” to bother with meditating. While I know the benefits of slowing down, relaxing, and finding contentment, I’ve never been able to do it…though I should really say that I haven’t really wanted to, or tried to really meditate. This was no different, except that I laid there the whole time instead of getting up and skipping this part. The sun continued to beat down on us, but I tried my best to remain still. I found myself trying to control my thoughts, trying to stop thinking, and having moments of “real meditation”…but definitely wanted this part to end sooner. It made me realize I should try an app or go to a class to try it again. What harm could it do?

Afternoon Activities

Unfortunately, I was unable to do acro yoga or aerial yoga, so I participated in the essential oils class, which was interesting to learn about. Refrained from purchasing anything prior to doing additional research (my bank account can thank my “hard science”-trained boyfriend for that one). I purchased items at the adidas x wanderlust tent, tried the kombucha, ate lunch, and grabbed more samples of some of my favorite items.

Free Shit

Who doesn’t like free shit?! Loved sampling and grabbing some of my favorite items at the Wanderlust 108 market

Overall, it was a great day. It reinvigorated me, after a week of feeling bloated, and lethargic due to constant over-indulging. It also reminded me that I need to continue “finding my true north” and determining who I want to be, what I want to do, and how I want to do it.

Insp

YASS. Found one of my dreams on the giant dream catcher inside the Samsung tent at Wanderlust 108

Are you on a journey to find your “true north”? How are you navigating your journey?

XOXO,

Brynn

My Fitbit Died And I’m Not (Currently) Stressed

A few weeks ago, I read a post by The Cutting Veg entitled “Confessions of a Step Addict”. While I liked it, I immediately decided that I was just fine with utilizing technology for health purposes and continued to walk around my hotel room in an attempt to reach my step goal at 11pm).

But then my Fitbit died.

And I threw a bit of a tantrum à la toddler Brynn. And then I mostly got over it.

Not surprisingly, life went on. I walked around DC – from Chinatown to Georgetown to Foggy Bottom to Adams Morgan.  I embraced the odd but amazing 75 degree weather in August. I enjoyed my friends, and the hours spent outside on a Sunday afternoon.

I have NO idea how many steps I’ve in the last two days.

I couldn’t log tonight’s workout.

I wasn’t able to connect my Fitbit to MyFitnessPal and see the results.

I was a little stressed. But also, I’m free.

Finally, that blog post made sense to me. How many times did I pace around my apartment or hotel room (as seen on SnapChat and Insta Stories) to get to my step goal? How many times did I freak out that I wasn’t logging my workout correctly? How often did I spend more time checking my stats than focusing on a run?

While technology can do amazing things, and while I definitely am in the market for a Garmin running watch or an Apple watch (birthday is next month just sayin’), I’m trying to learn how to just enjoy more.

Enjoy how I feel during / after a workout.

Enjoy running (lol) outside in the city in which I pay rent but barely see.

Enjoy the hikes with my boyfriend or the bike rides with my mom.

Enjoy nourishing and delicious food that fuels my body without knowing if my calories burned far outweigh my calories consumed (that’s for you, #gymsquad).

This is definitely a work in progress – I just looked down at my tan lined wrist and made a sad face – but it’s worth it. Even if it doesn’t last long, it’s a really good learning moment.

Do you focus too heavily on technology? Does it mess up an entire workout if you forget to log part of it, or it dies in the middle? Breathe. Read the aforementioned article. And learn to listen to your body as well as your devices.

XOXO,

Brynn

fitbit-post-e1503975427883.jpg

Headphones. Phone (1 of 2). Fitbit. Runkeeper. Instagram post. Will I stop using them? No. Should they control my workouts? Also no.