The holidays are a notoriously stressful time for everyone, so I’ve come up with a list of things I do to try to keep my sanity.
1. Say no and stick to it.
One of the biggest things I’ve learned is to know your boundaries and stick to them. There are an insane amount of social opportunities during the holidays so pick some that are really important to you and go! If there are others that you feel obligated to go to or just don’t want to, stop by for a little bit or politefully decline the invite. There is nothing wrong with saying no! I promise, once the guests have a few eggnogs in them they won’t notice if you stayed for 30 minutes or 3 hours.
2. Protect your work out/alone time.
As I’ve said, since the holidays are stressful and you are often pulled in many different directions it is SO important to protect some time every day for just you. This is the time to do your work out or veg out and catch up on Dexter. Just a side note, please do not underestimate the effect stress has on our bodies. I always tell people to err on the side of rest during exhausting times. For example, if you normally run a few times a week, try walking or yoga instead.
3. Eat like you know you should.
Just because it is a festive time of year that doesn’t mean you should face-plant into a goblet of spiced wine and that questionable, gross, from-a-package onion dip YUCKKKK! Eat a vegetable every day. Now do it again. Now again…oh wait you’re eating like you do the other 10 months of the year. Good work!
4. Keep a budget.
Gifts are expensive. I have the budget of a fruit fly, so this year, I’m going the homemade route for most of my presents. People know how much thought, time and effort goes in to homemade gifts so I really believe they are more meaningful than a pair of China town earrings of a stupid fruit cake (which really, who eats one of those??).
We are all on a budget and if you’re not…well…must be nice and can you donate some grass-fed beef my way? Thanks! Anyways, one of the greatest things you can do to save money in the long run is to take care of yourself.
By choosing nutrient dense foods, creating healthy habits, SLEEPING and getting some movement in you are filling up your health tank. Think of it as a savings account, you put all this “money” which is you taking care of yourself consistently and then when you need to take some “money” out, say when you’re sick or super stressed, you have a reserve fund to take from. Make sense? If you have money in the bank it’s a crises you can likely avoid, however, if you have to put it on your credit card…you end up paying for it for longer.
I can not express how important it so to get the best quality food you can afford whenever possible. This might mean you have to cut back on other areas of your life, say getting a manicure once a month instead of every week…or bringing coffee from home, you know the normal budget saving things. I don’t even look at it as a sacrifice but an investment into my future.
Without further ado – here is how I stay paleo on a budget…
Buy a whole a chicken (the BEST quality you can afford) and roast it with whatever root veggies are on sale that week. Now you have an entire dinner but also tons of chicken left over for chicken salad (my favorite) or whatever else you want to turn it into. Save the carcass for homemade broth, that’ll save you at least $3.99, and, it’s way tastier.
Shop the back of the produce section. Usually there is a cart with veggies that the store isn’t able to sell in the normal produce section for whatever reason. Sometimes there are a little banged up but normally I can’t find anything wrong with them.
Eat a lot of eggs. Where else can you find at least 4 meals of protein for less than $5.00 bucks? Bargain in my mind.
Buy the fattier or less desirable cuts of grass-fed meat and USE YOUR SLOW COOKER, it’s magical.
Shop at discount stores for shelf stable stuff. We have Ocean State Job Lot around where I live and I get all my condiments, olives, tuna, spices and tons of other stuff there. They also have Bob’s Red Mill products like coconut and almond flour for much less than Whole Foods or the grocery store. The inventory changes all the time so check back and you can sometimes find hidden organic gems.
I use canned full-fat coconut milk as a coffee creamer…might sound a little strange but it is freakin’ delicious. Also, bonus for the fact that it is much cheaper than the coconut milk creamer sold in the refrigerated section and there is no added sugar or other weird ingredients. I just keep it in a small glass ball jar and a can usually lasts me about a week…YUM!
Grow your own herbs. Herbs can get really expensive and don’t often last long when you buy them at the store. Pick up small pots of whatever herbs you use most often and grow them on your windowsill. I got organic basil and parsley at my local grocery store for $1.99 each and they are still going strong…
This is an obvious one, buy what is on sale. Not only will you save a few bucks but also it will force you to have some variety in your diet. Never a bad thing.
Although it might seem that eating paleo/grain-free is more expensive than the SAD (Standard American Diet) you CAN make it fit into a budget.
For as much as our bodies do for us, providing good, nutrient dense food is the least we can do for it.
We’ve all been there, you have bananas that are basically fossilized on your kitchen counter. Pre-paleo days I would of whipped them up in to my boyfriend’s grandma’s seriously awesome banana bread…but…now that I’m mostly grain-free I wanted to still make a banana bread but without flour and refined sugar. Definitely a tall order but I was excited to see if I could make it work and work it did…
I made my banana-berry bread in too big glass pan so I would recommend using a loaf pan, round cake pan or even a small 8×8 pan. Just remember my baking times are based off the pan I used so keep an eye on your bread while it’s in the over!
Paleo Banana-Blueberry Bread
1 tbs vanilla extract
½ cup coconut oil
1 ½ cups almond flour
½ coconut flour
Pre-heat oven to 375 F
Mash the naners until they are soupy
Crack in the eggs, add vanilla, coconut oil and mix until combine…it should smell awesome at this point
Add flours and it will be THICK, don’t worry!
GENTLY fold in the blueberries the best you can
Spread into your pan of choice and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the edges start to lightly brown.
Since this bread is sugar free it’s super important that your bananas are borderline rotten. This is a very dense bread and not your typical banana bread texture but it’s awesome tasting! Hope you like it!
I love to work out. I crave that out of breath, can’t do another rep, total physical exhaustion feeling, there really is truth to the endorphin rush we so often hear about! However, as a former college athlete, I can kind of take workouts to the extreme, I live the bigger (more) is better mantra, if I find a new workout I love, I’ll do it every day for as long as I can until my body physically burns out or I just stop finding it fun. It’s this kind of balls to the wall mentality that has gotten me into a cycle of over training, resting for a while, jumping with two feet in and then over training again….it used to go around and around until this past year, at the age of 23 I finally got it!!
Everybody is different, I would look at the crossfit games competitors and think “well they are doing two metcons a day, why can’t I? I’m a whimp if I don’t crossfit at least 5 days this week etc” However, for my body, crossfit more than a few days a week was just TOO MUCH. I was consistently exhausted, sore and under recovered. My threshold for workouts was so much lower, I was getting out of breath and fatigued in half the time I was when I first started. To say I was frustrated would be an understatement. I just could not understand what was going on, I was taking care of myself, eating well and working out a ton. Why was I getting weaker and less able than I was when I first started and was out of shape? I felt as though my body was betraying me or I was some sort of genetic freak that exercise had the opposite effect on and instead of making me better it made me worse. As a former super competitive athlete, I just DIDN”T GET IT! Normally I would have a coach on my back yelling at me to suck it up so that’s what I did, I mean it makes perfect sense, who wouldn’t push through recurring injuries, exhaustaion, total crankiness and just a general lack of fun at the gym? Um this dummy right here.
Sounds pretty stupid right? Well that’s exactly what I did and I ended up sidelined with a nasty hamstring tear due to it. It’s easy to get caught up in the competitive atmohsphere of the gym (or crossfit box) but you gotta do you! If something isn’t fun anymore of you’re just not feeling well, take a few days off and reevaluate. Why would you want to waste time on something that isn’t fun? There are enough stressors and fun sponges in life that when we have time for ourselves, do something active that you find fun! Exercise doesn’t have to be an all or nothing approach, if you don’t feel like going for a run one day but feel like going for a walk then DO IT!
You do you boo!