Quick Tricks To Stay Stress-Free This Holiday Season

The Ikea-like crowds in non-Ikea stores. The food-heavy parties that start making it easy for your stomach to match Santa’s. The money tree that sometimes feels like it’s shedding its needles a little too quickly. Whew, sometimes the holidays can put you in a place where you’re not feeling too great. Luckily, you needn’t necessarily let the season take you there.

Instead, we’ve got a few tricks below that you can carry out in fewer minutes than it’ll take to get through the checkout line. And they’ll make the whole experience seem not so bad, either.

Below, five quick tricks for keeping away those holiday stress tears so you can ring in that holiday cheer instead! 

1. Sniff on this: Recent research out of Tel Aviv University shows that certain citrus fragrances boost feelings of well-being and alleviate stress by upping levels of norepinephrine, a hormone that affects mood. Either squeeze a spritz of lemon or orange, or dab a little of their essential oil on a handkerchief, and carry it with you in your purse or pocket. The next time you’re stuck standing in a line or feeling anxious, pull it out and give it a sniff!

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Spiced Oven-Baked Rutabaga Fries

Rutabaga Fries

“They’re like French fries but without as many of the calories and fat,” said LifeVest member Laura Meier.

Bingo. Laura’s description of rutabaga fries sounded great to us, and it didn’t take us long before we set out to discover its truth.

Rutabaga

Since joining the program, LifeVester Laura is over halfway to her goal of losing 50 pounds, and now has a new goal of maintaining a healthy lifestyle for the long run.

“We’re going to keep encouraging each other and thinking smarter so we can remain feeling good,” says Laura who set out on her journey to health in partnership with her husband. “You have to think long-term. Otherwise, it’s all for nothing. Why go back when you could feel good for life?”

Laura told us she loves finding new ways to transform some of her favorite recipes into healthier versions. It keeps her feeling both satisfied and excited about continuing on.

She has always loved french fries, and we do too, so we were thrilled to hear about her latest version that enables her to remain on the right track toward her goals.

Rutabaga Fries

Rutabagas have just 1/2 the calories and 1/2 of the carbs that potatoes contain. So, inserting them into the standard oven-baked fry equation sounded like a genius idea to us.

Often mistaken for a turnip, the root veggie has that same sweet bite of a turnip with the starchiness of a potato. This makes them perfect for slicing up into flavorful fries, ones that luckily come without too much detriment to your diet.

Rutabaga Fries

At just 65 calories per cup, the winter veggie (in season Oct. – March) has become no small fry in our recipe book. Rather, thanks to Laura, it’s our new fry-making go-to.

We were thrilled with the crispy results upon our first batch, and are excited to experiment with other spices and herbs. We’d encourage you to do the same after first trying the chili powder version below.

Chili powder

As Laura shares, “It makes us, especially my husband, think we’re having a burger and fries.” She serves her ruta-fries alongside turkey burgers with lettuce swapped for the bun, a combo we can get behind.

Let us know in the comments, how do you make your favorite comfort foods healthier? We’d love to hear what you’re doing to transform some of your favorite recipes, and thank you to Laura for sharing this idea with us!

Click here for recipe…


5 Tips for Exercising Outdoors in the Dark

5 Tips for Exercising Outdoors in the Dark

We’re already competing with the sun as to who gets home from work faster. It’s doubtful we’ll ever win that race once the clocks roll back this Sunday. (If you haven’t already, mark your calendars for Daylight Saving Time on Nov. 2nd.) However, darkness doesn’t mean you need to take your evening workout indoors. In fact, preserving that fresh air facilitation could be the key to warding off any early winter blues. Research published in the Environmental Science & Technology shows outdoor exercise can significantly increase your energy while decreasing tension and depression. Plus, with temps beginning to cool down, there’s no better time to smile in the name of a mostly sweat-free workout.

From glowing apparel to safety tips and ticks, we’ve got your guide below for keeping your workout al fresco, so no need to head indoors just yet!

Run against traffic

1.  Move In the Right Direction

When you’re pumping those legs alongside moving cars, the general road rule is to bike with traffic and walk against traffic. This applies to all times of day, but is particularly important for non-daylight hours when drivers will have even more difficulty seeing you. Running against traffic allows cars to see you from afar, and for you to also see when they’re coming so you can move out of the way. To be on the safe side, you should wear reflectors on both sides of your body, but attach an extra one if possible to the front side of your shirt.  With biking, you’re generally moving a lot faster than you are when walking/running, so the reaction time for the driver to see you is shortened. This makes it better to move in their same direction, which means, be sure to have a reflector on your bike’s back side.

Running shoe reflectors

2.  Glow from Head to Toe
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5 Ways to Power Up Your Walk and Lose Weight Faster

Walking women

At LifeVest, we don’t take walking for granted. Requiring little else but our own two feet, walking helps us stay fit (burning about 100 cals/mile), smiling, thinking clearer, and feeling all around healthier. It has the lowest dropout rate of any exercise and can be an enjoyable and powerful tool for losing, or maintaining weight — especially with the tricks below.

We’ve got 5 ways for powering up your walk so you can get slimmer even faster, without needing to break into a full out run. So, ready to walk this way?

Walking

1.  Small strides make big differences:

While it might seem counterintuitive, the best way to boost your speed is to shorten your stride. Taking smaller steps enables you to take more of them, which results in an increased momentum and calorie burn.

MoveTip: The next time you’re out on a walk, time yourself for 50 steps. Then, see if you can fit 100 steps into that same amount of time by shortening your stride.

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How to Fight Sugar Cravings This Holiday Season

Holiday Sugar Guide

First it’s Halloween. Bowls of candy begin to cloak your office’s kitchen counters like a captivating costume. As you’re working through a tough project or a mundane weekly task, your mind is thinking candy, and perhaps your hands start to follow.

Then comes November. Aunt Jane, Cousin Joey, coworker Christy – they’re all making pie. There’s apple and pumpkin, soon to be followed by December’s 12+ days of cookies. Pretty soon, you feel your pants are fitting a bit snugger, and you’re energy is flying up and down like a reindeer sleigh running out of steam.

As sugar season (aka, the holidays) nears full swing, temptations are bound to show up frequently, which is why we’re bringing you a game plan to keep your health on track. Remember, a healthier you = a better feeling you = a happier you. Avoid reaching for the candy bowl, and you’ll keep your energy levels from crashing and all those empty calories from packing on the pounds.

sugar_holidays copy

We’ve got 5 sweet, sugar-free escapes in the printout* above, so whenever the sugar fairy tries to cast its spell, you can turn away towards an even better alternative. Print it out and hang it by your desk or kitchen.

When temptation arises, turn to this guide and choose the option that feels most appealing to you. Go in with the mindset of each being a pleasant experience (or “sweet escape”, as we at LifeVest like to call it). This will set yourself up to enjoy each choice, and also make it so you won’t feel deprived.

Click here to keep reading…


Life-Changing with LV: How One LifeVester Fell in Love with Fitness

Angela Delgado

Angela Delgado, 28, Compliance Analyst at JetBlue Airways

Her goals: Drop weight and tone up overall

At the start of LifeVest, Angela Delgado was the heaviest she’d ever been. She was unhappy with how she felt and looked, and decided enough was enough. Using LifeVest as the trigger, she set out on a mission to lose 30 pounds and hasn’t looked back since.

Now, six months into the program and ten pounds slimmer, Angela says her health journey has become so much more than a desire to lose weight.

“The goal now of hitting my target weight is just an added benefit,” she explains. “The whole experience has become about more than seeing the numbers drop and the weight come off. This is now a long-term lifestyle for me. It’s about feeling healthy, and making that a part of my life, for life.”

Angela used her commitment to LifeVest as motivation to start trying out a bunch of fitness classes. She was determined to find one she actually enjoyed, knowing that this would be a crucial part of making sure she’d stick with it. After trying a few different activities, eventually she came across boot camp classes. It was a discovery that has made her fall in love with fitness. Angela enjoys the variety that the sessions offer, and partnered with her participation in LifeVest, says she feel like “a whole new woman”. Below, she shares her story and some tips to inspire others to turn their life around, too.

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5 Rules to Keep that Weight From Coming Back

You’ve put in the hard work. You’ve sweated it out. And likely it was all tough at first. Now that you’ve lost weight, the last thing you’d want to do is pack it back on. So instead, let’s talk about how to keep it off.

80% of those who lose weight gain it right back. We want youto be a part of that other 20%, and we’ve got some tips to make that lifelong goal a little easier.

Follow these 5 rules to help keep that energy going up, and that weight off, forever!

80/20 Rule

#1: The 80/20 Rule

Keep 80% of the food you eat daily within the clean, good-for-you category. As for the other 20%, let it be fun. This will help you build a positive relationship with food, and prevent you from feeling deprived, which will also help to eliminate your desire to binge on junk food. Balance and moderation are the keys to long term success. Read the rest of this entry »