Happy holidays groomers! This time of year is one of the busiest, yet joyful times of the year for us at the salon. Clients are racing to get their fur babies in to look especially beautiful for holiday cards and gatherings, tips are generally much more gracious, and of course- tons and tons of baked goodies line the counters for staff members to enjoy.
For those of us trying to be health conscious and live our best, most GLOWIEST lives, the holidays can be stressful- and pretty tempting- am I right? Sometimes it seems like there are far too many holiday cookies, pastries and candies to pass up! The amazing thing about making health a priority and a lifestyle is FLEXIBILITY! It is totally possible to enjoy this time of year, and still stay on track with being a fit groomer without giving up all of the holiday treats and yummy meals!
Here are some of my best tips to help you live your best life, while keeping the calories down and your energy up! (After all, pet professionals need alllll of the energy they can get during the busiest time of the year.)
1. Eat Your Holiday Meals Without Guilt!
Yep, l said it. We’ve got Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas and POSSIBLY New Years to enjoy some of our favorite holiday foods. That is 3, maybe 4 days tops that you’ll be eating things that likely don’t fit into your diet on a daily basis- which is nothing! Take those days to splurge a little and enjoy it.
One great thing I’ve learned being a part of this fit culture is that it takes 3,500 calories OVER your daily calorie expenditure (the amount of calories your body uses just to survive, not including any added physical activity) to gain ONE pound of body fat.
Let that sink in…3,500 calories! That means, if your normal daily calorie intake is 2000 calories just to survive on a day to day basis, you would have to eat 3,500 calories OVER that to gain a single pound of fat. Eating 5,500 calories for most of us is pretty close to impossible unless you’re a professional athlete undergoing some pretty rigorous training! So, if you hop on the scale the day after a hearty holiday meal and notice some weight gain, it is more than likely simple water retention from extra food and sodium.
Moral of the story, enjoy all of the foods!
2. A Goal Without A Plan Is Just A Wish...
When you have a solid plan in motion, you’re less likely to fall off the wagon. Taking the time to plan out meals for the week will make it so you know EXACTLY what you’ll be eating each day. This way, you will have your healthy meals and snacks on hand-- which makes for less reaching for all of those holiday goodies!
Try planning 2-3 simple, clean lunches and have them prepped and ready to go for the workweek. I am a HUGE fan of bowls because they are super filling, easy to throw together and healthy. A few of my go-to’s are things like Mediterranean chicken bowls, turkey taco bowls, salmon/veggie/rice bowls-- but really, the options are limitless (and super easy to shove into your mouth between dogs)!
Keep protein bars, protein shakes, nuts/seeds, fresh fruits/ veggies, hummus/ crackers, yogurt or some of your other favorite snacks nearby to grab when you’re in need of an energy boost.
Staying full with things that DO fit your overall goals will make it so your body doesn’t crave junk as much, so a cookie or two is all you’ll need!
3. Just Do It
We tend to get so wrapped up in all of the craziness of the holiday season that we begin to start slipping in other areas of our lives. Make time for yourself. Keep working out and doing self care. Your health is wealth (quite literally in our industry). Do not allow crazy work hours and holiday commitments sabotage being a Fit Groomer. Feeling good mentally and physically will help you conquer busy grooming days and manage stress/ fatigue, while still being able to enjoy time with family and friends-- after all, that is what the holiday’s are all about, right?!
4. Try Something New!
If you find yourself craving festive/ seasonal foods, try finding a healthier alternative! There are tons of amazing recipes on Pinterest that will help you clean up some of your not so healthy holiday favorites-- even hot cocoa. Try branching out and find things that will satisfy your cravings, but won’t throw you off track!
Try this AMAZING Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole from Eating Bird Food as a side to your next chicken dinner, and pair with a salad!
● 8 cups sweet potatoes (about 4 large potatoes)
● 1 cup canned coconut milk (light or regular)
● 1/4 cup maple syrup
● 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
● 1 Tablespoon ground flaxseed
● 1 teaspoon vanilla
● 1 teaspoon cinnamon
● 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
● 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated or ground nutmeg
● 1/2 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar
● 1/2 cup chopped pecans
● 1/3 cup gluten-free old-fashioned oats
● 1/3 cup gluten-free oat flour or almond flour
● 3–4 tablespoons coconut oil, in solid form
1. Peel and chop the sweet potatoes into large chunks. Place the chunks in a large
saucepan and cover with cold water, bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. Simmer until the sweet potatoes are fork tender, about 15-20 minutes. Once done, drain well and let cool.
2. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350°F and spray a little cooking spray on a 9×13 or 9×9 inch casserole dish.
3. In a mixing bowl, combine the pecans, oats, oat flour, and brown sugar. Cut in coconut oil with a fork or knife until the mixture is sandy with pea-sized chunks of oil. Set aside.
4. Place sweet potatoes into a large bowl and mash them with fork before adding coconut milk, maple syrup, oil, flax seed, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt to the bowl. Mix until everything is combined.
5. Spoon the sweet potato mixture into the prepared dish and sprinkle on the brown sugar and pecan mixture. Bake uncovered for 40-45 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the sweet potatoes are bubbling.
Overall guys, the holidays are meant to be enjoyed. Don’t stress. Eat the cookie. Keep the balance.
The Fit Groomer
Follow Amanda aka @the_fit_groomer on Instagram. Thanks Amanda for reminding us it's all about balance!