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Certified 200 hour RYT-E Yoga Instructor

Sarah Callaham

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How to stay on track with your practice and healthy lifestyle during travel or family/friend visits?

Posted on November 29, 2017 at 8:35 PM


Photo credit: Ben Harper @bharper4000


With the holidays, literally right around the corner, this is the season where our attention is shifted more towards family and friends, travel, and lots of yummy food traditions. It’s a time where we tend to put our “diets” and exercise aside, at least until January 1st rolls around with the fateful New Year Resolutions. We always say “This is the year! I’m going to do it!” which generally lasts a few months, or maybe longer, but then we have travel, family and friends staying with us, and again more yummy food traditions. And again the vicious cycle continues.


This is because the majority of us don’t truly believe in the resolutions, or commitments to health and wellness, that we make for ourselves. We like the idea, the picture of what it looks like, but we haven’t fully embraced it within our soul, within our entire being. Because for a real change to take place, we have to live it and breathe it day in and day out. It has to be a lifestyle change, not just something we do during the week and then cast it aside when it’s not as convenient on the weekends. I’m not saying that we need to all of a sudden be obsessive compulsive and live completely out of balance. No, in fact it’s the exact opposite. When we start to feed our bodies with real food and move our bodies on the regular, we are actually bringing them back into balance.


As a plant-based, gluten-free, dairy-free eater, people always seem to tell me that I must have the amazing will power to not eat cheese, or that they could never give up steak. And it always seems like such a strange concept to me. Because for me, the diet I eat is what makes my body feel good. It’s not because I don’t like the taste of cheese, but that I know how much better I feel when I don’t eat it. I am not committed to not eating those things; I am committed to feeling amazing 100% of the time….at least if I can help it.


So I invite you this year to take a moment and think about what is most important to you, because ultimately you have to own the decision you make. Once you have truly chosen to prioritize feeling good, then commit to it. Here a couple tips to help keep you feeling amazing.


Figure out a diet/way of eating that makes you feel great. Maybe try an elimination diet, where you take out all processed food, salt, refined sugar, alcohol, wheat/gluten, dairy, caffeine, red meat, corn, eggs, for 7-10 days and then slowly start adding things back in, one by one, to see if there are certain things that don’t work for your body. From that base you will then have a better idea of which foods to keep in your diet, which ones to take out.


Find recipes that allow you to still indulge within the confines of your eating plan. We all love the delicious foods and treats that come with the holidays, but once we figure out which foods are actually inhibiting us from feeling our best we realize that feeling tired, sluggish, heavy, and uncomfortable isn’t worth the momentary satisfaction of satiating our taste buds. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have amazing tasting foods! Look for new, fun recipes for you to make your favorite holiday treats with the foods that work for your body. You’ll be amazed how many different sites and recipes are out there these days, with the health conscious eaters in mind.


Take time for yourself. As we all know the holidays can be stressful. In fact, visits to the emergency room typically rise during the holidays due to car accidents -people rushing from one place to the next, falls- being careless and slippery conditions, and chest pain- elevated levels of stress on the body, according to Julie Unruh, president of the Eastern Kansas Emergency Nurses Association. So it is important to carve time out for ourselves. Even when we are with family, it is ok to go for an early morning coffee run and then take an hour to read the newspaper; go for a solo after lunch stroll, or take time to meditate whenever you need to ground back into your heart for a moment. Sometimes all it takes is 5 minutes for you to recharge.


Bring your mat with you. Just the simple act and ritual of bringing your mat with you speaks to your body and mind. It’s accustomed to moving/practicing when it sees the mat and you will therefore be more inclined to want to continue your practice, even if it isn’t in your normal setting. Try researching studios in the area with classes you are interesting in taking or with instructors you’d like to work with, to help encourage you to keep up with your physical practice. In fact, why not choose your hotel by its proximity to the studios in the area.


Have a glass or two. It’s all about balance. A glass of wine isn’t going to set you back, it’s the 3rd, 4th, 5th, or 6th that we really feel the next day. Just remember, listen to your body and do what makes it feel good- not just in the moment, but with more of a long term holistic view in mind.

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