The Gift of Holiday Presence

The Gift of Holiday Presence

Guest post by Kiley from One Healthy Hamptons

The holidays are meant to be happy remember? Give yourself the gift of holiday presence! (It’s not all about the presents, it’s about the PRESENCE.) We often get so wrapped up in the falalalala that we forget to pause, breathe, and actually enjoy the most wonderful time of year. Below are our top tops on staying present, sane, and even HAPPY throughout the holiday season.

Pick and choose.

Your calendar is FULL of holiday parties, cookie exchanges, secret Santas, cocktail parties, and pure busyness. It’s when we over-commit that December becomes a blur and we end up ringing in the New Year in need of a nap, vacation, and detox. What if we stopped saying “yes” to everything and commit to only what we’re actually looking forward to?? Not to sound like the Grinch, but truth is that we have a choice. Say yes to the things that you enjoy and skip the rest; you’ll have more fun and be less burned out!

Embrace the crazy.

Holiday shopping, in some regard, is pretty unavoidable for most of us. While it would have been ideal to start the shopping early to avoid the last-minute crunch, for most of us, that concept is long gone (better luck next year!) Instead of heading into the madness with frustration and angst before you even find a parking spot, commit to embrace the chaos, lines, music, and the crowds. Turn shopping into a family affair, girl’s night out, or excuse for a date. Remember that you always have a choice. Remind yourself what the holidays are really about and choose to be positive, you’ll find that the little things just won’t bug you as much. The hustle and bustle is out there, so we might as well embrace it!

Catch your breath.

We get so ‘wrapped up’ in the shopping, wrapping, decorating, cookie-baking, caroling…This just leaves us overwhelmed and under the weather. Schedule down time with (or without) friends and family. There’s nothing wrong with staying in for a movie or game night, partying in your pajamas, or soaking up the season solo in a warm bath. Schedule time to do nothing just like you would put aside time for an important event. When you are out and about, remind yourself often to pause, take a long, deep breath and return to the current moment instead of worrying about what’s to come and go. Click here for more mindful tips and here for OHH’s tips on staying healthy throughout the holidays.

It’s the thought that counts…right?!

The more thought we put into our gift-giving, the more we enjoy the giving more than the getting. So, instead of thinking of each gift as another check on your to-do list, take some time to put genuine thought before you buy, especially for those near and dear to your heart. Few of us need more “stuff,” so instead of clutter under the tree, spend some time doing for others to fulfill their hearts and yours this holiday season.

This post was graciously submitted to Bloom & Spark by Kiley from onehealthyamptons.com. Thanks Kiley!

 

Spring Cleaning For Your Health: 3 Simple Steps to Improve Your Wellness This Season

Spring Cleaning For Your Health: 3 Simple Steps to Improve Your Wellness This Season

Guest blogger Kiley from One Healthy Hamptons is sharing her tips for spring cleansing!

Spring! Birds chirping, sun shining, snow melting, spring cleaning. Before you roll your eyes, this isn’t about weeding through your closet, although that may be a good idea. Spring cleaning is about so much more than old clothing, clean countertops, and fresh gardening. Life is reborn for trees, flowers, wildlife, and whoever wants to take advantage. Spring is the season of growth and renewal; the perfect time to cleanse the old and welcome the new, both inside and out.

Clean out the junk in all aspects of life and replace it with fresh, positive, healthy goodness. As the saying goes, if you keep good food in your fridge, you will eat good food!

1. Cleanse your eating. That does not mean you’ll have to live on juice – been there, done that. Good news: your body is designed to cleanse itself. That’s right, you can skip the starvation, straw sipping, and pill popping. Just get back to the basics and treat your body right by eating right. Go through your pantry, fridge, and freezer, and throw away anything (and everything) past its expiration date, labeled with ingredients you don’t even recognize, and those winter comfort foods you know aren’t doing you any favors. Then make a grocery list full of (almost) nothing but whole foods and fresh, in-season produce. Get shopping, aiming for organic, unprocessed, high-quality, and local as much as possible. Most importantly, practice mindful eating to break up your current patterns. Call on a friend or nutritionist for some moral support. Take a step back, listen to your body, turn to whole foods, and sit and slowly chew, taste, and savor each bite. Soon enough, you’ll find you’re eating what your body truly wants and needs, not what your sweet tooth or emotions crave. You’ll be more in-tune with yourself and ready to spring into spring!

2. Hydration. Drinking enough water is crucial to our health in so many ways. Since we’re made of mostly water, our body needs to stay hydrated in order to function properly, cleanse naturally, stay active, and maintain balance. Plus, drinking lots of water can boost metabolism, avert cravings, and energize your muscles. Since you’re cleaning out your fridge, you’re ditching the soda, fruit juice, sports drink, cocktail mixers, and whatever else you’re sippin’ on. Good ol’ H20 is where it’s at. Always carry a water bottle with you and spice up your water with fun additions and natural concoctions!

3. Get Happy: What’s progress without positivity?! As we clean out our closets, pantries, and bodies, this spring renewal won’t last without an attitude adjustment. It’s as simple as the three words above: think good thoughts. Clean out the old – the judgement, negativity, fear, guilt, etc. that we place upon ourselves and others. Replace all this wasted space with pure, uplifting thoughts. We put so much effort into taking care of others and showing our loved ones that we care, but we often overlook the same treatment for ourselves. Treat yourself with respect, kindness, and self-confidence. Catch yourself next time you have a negative thought and turn it around. Soon, these mindful changes will result in greater happiness and health like never before! Feel free to evaluate the people in your life as well. If someone does nothin’ but bring ya down and you can easily avoid them, cleanse them right out and don’t look back. Fill your mind with good thoughts, fill your life with good people, and fill your days with good things!

One Healthy Breakdown: This spring season, don’t just replace the snow boots with rain boots. Instead, think about the changes you’ll make to rid the same old and embrace the new you, from the inside out and the outside in!

Now I want to hear from you!

Leave a comment below. What are your favorite ways to ring in spring?

XO,

Caroline-2

Healthy Alternatives for Holiday Cocktails

Healthy Alternatives for Holiday Cocktails

I am so happy to have back guest blogger Kiley from One Healthy Hamptons to share with us her picks for healthier alternatives for holiday cocktails.

There’s LOTS to celebrate this time of year! With holiday parties left and right, it’s important to be aware of what you’re sipping on. Good old champagne and wine are great options, but who can resist a tasty holiday cocktail?! Unfortunately, these festive bevs can pack more calories than Christmas cookies. Here’s a few delicious recipes for holiday cocktails you can enjoy. Your guests will love them too! “Clink” to that!

Red & Green Sangria:

  • 2 apples
  • 1 pear
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 large sprig of fresh rosemary, extra for garnish
  • 1 bottle white wine
  • 1/2 cup of white grape juice
  • 1/4 cup honey (or maple syrup, stevia, agave, sweetener of choice)
  • 2 cups club soda/sparkling water

Mix ingredients and serve chilled.

Candy Cane Martini:

  • 1 cup vodka
  • 1 cup peppermint Schnapps
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 teaspoon honey or sweetener of choice
  • ice

Garnish with a candy cane and sip chilled.

Spiced Crock-Pot Cider: (adopted from Food Network’s Slow Cooker Hard Cider)

  • 2 quarts natural apple cider
  • 1-2 inch piece ginger root
  • Two cinnamon sticks
  • 2 teaspoons cloves
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1/2 cup sweetener (light brown sugar, honey or maple syrup)
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups gin

Put all ingredients in crock-pot and cook for about an hour. Strain solids and serve warm in mugs. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

One Healthy Breakdown: cheers to a healthy, happy holiday season and a happy new year!

 

Kiley DeMarco, MSW, NLC, is the founder of One Healthy Hamptons website, community, and e-magazine for all things healthy in the Hamptons, and co-founder of Hamptons Wellness WeekKiley is Nutritious Life Certified in Nutrition and has a Masters Degree in Clinical Social Work from Boston College Graduate School of Social Work. She lives in Sag Harbor with her husband and their Swiss Mountain Dog, Sammy.

Antigua Adventure Yoga Retreat

Antigua Adventure Yoga Retreat

I’m really excited to share this wonderful opportunity to deepen your yoga practice, improve your nutrition and focus on bringing out your happiest self!

Here’s the exciting part. Are you ready?

I want to personally invite you to travel to the island of Antigua for a 7 night exclusive escape full of yoga bliss, sweet sunshine and island exploration.

Sounds amazing, right? Lead by three talented yoga and nutrition leaders here in the Hamptons, this retreat will bring you back to your highest, happiest and healthiest self, to start off the new year right.

The retreat includes:

  • A deluxe villa at Loblolly Hill in the historic National Park of English Harborwith. The villa is an oasis and enjoys privacy while still in walking distance to Pigeon Beach and Falmouth Marina, where there are restaurants, bars, shops, banking, and a small supermarket.
  • 2 pools set in a mature tropical garden.
  • 2 Yoga Classes Daily approximately 1 hour 15 minutes each
  • Yoga Workshops: Customized to meet student needs
  • Private Yoga Classes with Hands on Assists and Massage
  • Morning Breakfast Prepared by Private Chef Adina & Nutritionist Kiley
  • Lunch & Dinner Guided Outings at Local Hot Spots
  • Wolffer Estate Vineyard Wine Tasting Class
  • Professional Digital Photography Service
  • Village Rooftop and Sunset Yoga Classes
  • Journal Gifts for Intention Journaling
  • Antiguan Women will teach a traditional beading class (earrings and necklaces)
  • Antiguan Women will teach a traditional plant weaving workshop (bowls)
  • Nutrition Workshops and Private Consultations
  • Guided Scenic Hikes to Breathtaking Views
  • Mermaid Pools Exploration
  • Relaxation time at Pigeon Beach
  • Swimming & Snorkeling Time
  • Pigeon Beach Runs & Walks
  • Optional Zip Lining Tour
  • Optional Paddle Boarding
  • Wifi Connection
  • Maid Service

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Your AMAZING leaders are wellness and yoga influencers in the Hamptons, who share a passion for happy and healthy living. Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 3.05.16 PM

Erica Velasquez (right) is a native to the East End being born in Southampton and raised in Amagansett. She is the founder of Yoga in the Vines’ at Wolffer Estate Vineyard where she has worked for the past 5 years in events. When not at the winery, she spends her time teaching, practicing, and studying yoga or managing ‘Evolve East’ of Amagansett. Based on her experiences in Antigua and relationship with Boat Hampton of Antigua & Long Island – she guarantees the most luxurious escape full of tranquility and adventure. She is determined to offer the most personalized service, provide exclusive yoga teachings, immerse guests into new culture and create joyful memories that will last a lifetime.

Kiley DeMarco (left) MSW, NLC, is on a mission to spread health and happiness throughout the Hamptons and beyond. She is the founder of One Healthy Hamptons– all things health in the Hamptons, co-founder of Hamptons Wellness Week, and Fitfluential ambassador. Kiley is Certified in Nutrition through The Nutrition School and has a Masters Degree in Clinical Social Work from Boston College Graduate School of Social Work. She resides in Sag Harbor with her husband and puppy, Sammy.

Jenna Raynell (center) is a yoga teacher, coach, and musician.  Jenna has a colorful background including many, many years of dance, theatre, music, and teaching.  All of these bring a unique creativity & soul to her classes.  Music is non-traditional, spontaneous laughter is inevitable and students flow from pose to pose as if in a dance.  Jenna’s goal as a teacher and coach is to help you forth all that is within in you— your own blend of talents and passions— because she believes that is your purpose.  She is the founder of East End Mermaid ™  Yoga, a company that provides yoga & live music oceanside in the Hamptons.  For more information and for free yoga videos online, visit www.jennaraynell.com.

Antigua Rainbow

There’s a very limited number of spots available, as this is an exclusive and very peronalized retreat. You get the best of individualized attention when it is a smaller group like this, so if this sounds like it’s for you I recommend booking as soon as possible so you don’t miss out.

You can do this right now by emailing antiguaadventure@gmail.com or by calling 631 767 7304. 

Visit the official website for more information at www.evolveeast.com.

30 Things I learned on Whole 30 by Guest Blogger One Healthy Hamptons

30 Things I learned on Whole 30 by Guest Blogger One Healthy Hamptons

I am SOOOO excited to have as a guest blogger, Kiley from onehealthyhamptons.com. She and I are both wellness warriors in the Hamptons, and it’s been such an honor to team up with her. We have a very similar take on the Whole 30 movement/diet and I wanted to share her list of things she learned while on Whole 30, because I feel the exact same way. 

Kiley DeMarco, MSW, NLC, is the founder of One Healthy Hamptons website, community, and e-magazine for all things healthy in the Hamptons, and co-founder of Hamptons Wellness WeekKiley is Nutritious Life Certified in Nutrition and has a Masters Degree in Clinical Social Work from Boston College Graduate School of Social Work. She lives in Sag Harbor with her husband and their Swiss Mountain Dog, Sammy.

30 Things I learned on Whole 30

I recently completed my first (and probably my last!) Whole30. 30 days of whole foods and not a speck of grains, dairy, soy, legumes, corn, baked goods, or added sugar of any kind. I know, I know, “what the heck did you eat?!” Lots and lots of plants, lean protein, nuts and seeds, that’s what! Oh, and not a drop of alcohol. Sounds fun, right?! If you’re wondering why I would do such a thing, (I don’t blame you!) The book It Starts With Food, by the founders of the Whole30 program, inspired me to dig deeper into my own diet and lifestyle, eliminating the foods/food groups above in order to re-evaluate how my body reacts to them after the 30 days. For more specifics about the Whole30 program, click here!

Although it was tough to adjust and even tougher to refrain from just one little teeny tiny drink, (hello, it is rosé season!) I learned a ton over the past 30 days. Here’s the good, the bad, and the ugly:

1. Sugar is errrrywhere and we’re all pretty seriously addicted to it. You’ve probably heard this in some capacity, but what does that mean?

2. Consuming sugar, artificial sweeteners, and natural alternatives like honey, maple syrup, and even stevia, on a regular basis not only “feed the sugar dragon,” but also throw off our taste buds, cravings, and ability to reach satiety normally.

3. Personally, I do not enjoy black coffee; however, I discovered over these thirty days that I do enjoy unsweetened coffee. Over the past ten years or so, I’ve transitioned from a serious overload of artificial sweetener to cutting back, replacing it with more natural stevia, cutting back on stevia, and now I finally was able to rid my coffee of any sweetener. Whole30 forced me to learn to enjoy my coffee simply with Homemade CocoNut Milk and this is definitely a habit I’m happy to keep. Now I truly savor my coffee, no longer crave it sweet, and rarely do I need a second cup. Remember that baby steps are the way to change a habit for the better. Try cutting the sweetener in your coffee in half to start, if you’re soda drinker, replace one soda a day with seltzer, or satisfy your sweet tooth by having a piece of fruit for dessert. It really does get easier and easier, trust me on this!

4. That’s not to say that occasionally indulging in sweets you truly love is not absolutely necessary to living a balanced life. My love affair with dark chocolate has rekindled and our flame is going strong…although I do not neeeeeeeed it daily like I used to!

5. While many people argue that they don’t have time to eat healthy, healthy meals made from real, whole foods can be very convenient. The Whole30 program made me simplify my meals, at first, simply because of less options to choose from, but now, out of habit. Going forward, I’ll continue with this practice as I’ve noticed that less-complicated meals are easier to digest.

6. I re-discovered some great staples I had been overlooking, like good old scrambled eggs. Nothing fancy necessary. Why? Because…

7. REAL FOOD TASTES GOOD! Seasoning your meals with herbs and spices, tasting the sweetness of a piece of fruit, and savoring the true flavors of food is what it’s all about. Again, baby steps. Your palette will adjust and your body will learn to not only like real foods, but crave them. Trust me, trust me, trust me.

8. Fat does not make you fat. How do I know? Well, I did not gain (or lose) any weight on Whole30, even though I was eating a lot more (healthy) fat on a daily basis – more nuts, oil, avocado, etc.

9. More fat is not better. Some is best.

10. Whole30 or not, portions size is crucial to healthy eating, even when eating all healthy foods.

11. Avocado has my <3 on a daily basis.

12. This may turn your world upside down: peanuts are not actually nuts. A peanut is a legume, like beans, which means that your body may react differently to peanuts or peanut butter than it does nuts and other nut butters. Just some food for thought. And, yes, I did cut out peanut butter for 30 days (if you know me at all, you know that peanut butter is my favorite food in the whole wide world.) Instead, I ate homemade almond and cashew butters as well as sunflower seed butter, that just may top peanut butter on my list of favorite foods. I’m happy to say that peanut butter does now make a regular appearance in my diet; however, it is not the only thing I think about morning, noon, and night, which is probably a good thing because there are other things in life, right?

13. Rules takes the guess work out. I’m not a big fan of long-term labels, strict diets, or restriction, but committing to a short-term plan can be motivating enough that there’s no need for willpower.

14. It’s really, REALLY scary what is in 95% of our “food” these days. For example, even something like store-bought “all natural” almond milk, which a lot of people think of as a healthy upgrade, has far more ingredients than just almonds. What the heck are locust bean gum or carrageenan and why are they in my almond milk?! I decided to break up with store-bought milk for the time being and stick to my new love, Homemade CocoNut Milk. Same with the aforementioned nut butters. Just make your own or buy the ones made with just nuts. There really is no need for ‘palm fruit oil’ in your jar of nut butter. Just like there’s no need for added sugar in your tomato sauce, soy isolate in your snacks, or high fructose corn syrup in…ANYTHING. That’s a no-no no matter what.

15. Which brings me to my next point that I just can’t say enough: READ YOUR LABELS.

16. And do what’s right for you. As I said…

17. Eating healthy doesn’t mean eating only the latest superfoods or trying the latest diet trend. It means knowing what foods make you feel healthy and good.

18. If a food/food group makes you feel energized and healthy, you should probably eat it.

19. If a food/food group makes you feel crappy, tired, or sick, you probably shouldn’t eat it.

20. Whole foods are super versatile, see below:

Zuchinni noodles

21. Another little fun fact I learned over the past 30 days is that any woman in her 20′s or 30′s that declares that she’s not drinking will, without a doubt, be labeled as pregnant, whether it’s by your waiter or your best friends.

22. Drinking seltzer water or kombucha out of a wine glass is not the same as drinking wine, but that’s alright.

23. Waking up on a Sunday morning without any hint of a hangover or headache is worth all of the above – sacrificing the wine and being labeled pregnant.

24. Smoothies are delicious and nutritious. Smoothies aren’t on Whole30 due to a lack of chewing, the act that kick-starts digestion and satiation. So, what’s a smoothie lover to do? Chew your smoothie! Seriously, do it. I missed my smoothiesgreen smoothies, and smoothie bowls and am happy to introduce them back into my routine, especially heading into the summer season!

25. It is possible to have too much meat, even lean, organic, grass-fed meat. I got sick of chicken after the first week on Whole30. Happy to say that I’ve since reintroduced tempeh and veggie burgers for some delicious meatless protein. Although I know that for me, everything in moderation works when it comes to protein, I totally respect the vegetarians, vegans, and paleos of the world too. Did I mention to do what’s right for you?! I think I did.

26. The benefit of minty fresh breath after a garlicky meal just may outweigh the drawbacks of chewing gum. Again, something I cut wayyyy back but am not willing to give up completely. Yet.

27. The dreams are real folks. The Whole30 book warns that people on Whole30 may experience weird dreams about eating off-plan foods (which means that you start over at day one.) I’m pretty sure that I had some sort of cheating-on-Whole30-food dream every single night for a month straight. Some worse than others: on the eve of day 30, I dreamed that I weighed myself and the scale read 498 pounds. Thankfully, I woke up.Whole 30 snacks

28. There is something so refreshing about breaking up with the scale. You’re not allowed to weigh yourself during the Whole30 program at all. I’m not a big fan of weighing myself daily, or even weekly, because the number doesn’t often correspond with actual progress. “Non-scale victories” are often much better than a number – looser pants, higher energy, clearer skin, toned muscles, etc. Regarding the scale, if the number makes you feel stuck, negative, guilty, or ashamed, stop weighing yourself and rely on how you feel, inside and out, and how you fit into your clothes. If the scale makes you feel confident and accountable, go for it.

29. Being a proud member of the clean plate club is just plain overrated. Having a healthy diet means eating until your body is satisfied, whether it be fish and veggies or a rich, decadent brownie. It’s not about finishing every last bite, it’s about enjoying one bite at a time, regardless of what you’re eating, and putting the fork down when you’ve had enough (enough means you’re satiated, not loosening your belt in a food coma.) This is easier said than done, I know, so it’s worth the mental effort to work on improving this habit, one meal at a time.

30. Healthy eating is not a mindless activity. It takes awareness, consciousness, presence, and purpose. Some examples include being mindful of how certain foods/food groups make your body feel, inquiring about food preparation when eating out, not digging into the bread basket or snacking simply because the food is right in front of you, and savoring occasional indulgences sans guilt.

So what’s the conclusion here?

Honestly, I think that Whole30 has a TON of positive aspects (primarily eating whole foods) and a few negatives (too extreme, too much meat, and not enough smoothies.) Though I’m not the biggest proponent of this exact plan, I’m really happy that I experienced it because I did learn a lot and got rid of some poor habits. What made me stick with it after finding these faults? The sheer fact that I had made a commitment to myself.

Whole30 has lots of great aspects to it and I know that it has changed lots of lives for the better. If this seems like a plan that may be right for you, I encourage you to commit fully as well. Although 30 days may not be realistic, I would suggest an elimination diet for anyone looking to getting to know your body better, especially if you believe you may have an unidentified food sensitivity. Give your body a break from a certain food or food group for about two weeks and then reintroduce it to evaluate your body’s response. That way, as long as other food choices remain consistent, you should be able to tell 24-48 hours after consuming that food/food group if your body is sensitive to it. How will you know? You’ll know. Either it will make you feel fine, good, the same, or it will make you feel not so good in some way. As mentioned above, if it makes you feel yucky, try to cut it out of your diet as much as possible. Lastly, I repeat: read your labels and just eat real food!

One Healthy Breakdown: lessons learned, tools in toolkit, carry on.