3 Nutrition Strategies for Holiday Weekends

Here are three strategies to help you manage holiday weekends from a nutrition and recovery standpoint!

1: The bookend strategy

This is what I would recommend for most people. This strategy says that you’ll have events where nutrition and recovery are going to get a little off track–and that’s ok! Instead of trying to mitigate or doing anything different during those events, it’s about having a great plan for the days/hours immediately before and after the event. 1 day of having fun with our friends and loved ones is often just what the doctor ordered–however the 24 hours before and after are often just as bad if not worse. Come up with a plan for what you’re going to eat, how much water you’re going to drink, and how you’re going to optimize sleep the day before and after–and often times you’ll cut out a lot of lingering bad feelings (and hangovers!). 

2: The timing strategy. This is more applicable for when you have one big meal or party to go to, and want to maximize the rest of the day. It boils down to three points:

  1. In the hours leading up to the event, eat and drink only lean protein, plants, and water. This will help you be hydrated and healthy headed into the event. 
  2. Since a lot of holiday events are during the day, stop drinking 2 hours before you go to bed. This will help with your recovery, as most of the sleep impacts of alcohol are mitigated by having it out of your system by the time you hit deep sleep. 
  3. Have your last meal right before heading out the door–so you’re less hungry once you see the giant table of chips and dip. 

The “some good with the bad” strategy: This is for those of you who don’t like the way you feel when you over indulge, and want to try and resist some of those temptations while having a good time. This comes down to 2 main points: 

  1. Have a drink near the beginning when almost everyone else has a drink/toasts are going on/etc. Then switch to water for 2-3 cups before drinking again. 
  2. Choose 1-2 delicious treats that you really want–but otherwise prioritize healthy proteins, veggies, fruit, and real food. 

Above all–remember that one day does not a diet or workout routine break. It’s the weeks of remaining off the wagon that will really impact your nutrition and recovery. 

Have fun! 


How to Thrive this Week

How to succeed this week

It’s Thanksgiving this week–normally a time of gluttony and celebration. This year might look a little different, but here are our recommendations for staying on track this week.

  1. Understand where you are at this year, and set realistic goals that include the chance to go off schedule for workouts and nutrition. Not only should you enjoy some good food on thanksgiving, but this year, holidays are likely to be an even bigger source of stress than normal. If stress is a trigger for you, be honest about that and set some realistic goals to respond in a healthy manner. Write those goals down, tell a friend (or us!), and then enjoy your planned gluttony and fun guilt free! 
  2. Workout at least 3 times this week. Working out will help you feel better, and sleep better–which in a week where you’re likely to change your diet and consume more alcohol, is important for feeling ok. Even if you can’t make it into the gym, get yourself moving at home. If you need some at home workouts, let us know and we’ll send some your way. 
  3. Prioritize vegetables, water, and protein in your first meal of the day. The later the day goes on, the more likely the food you eat this week will tend towards sugar, alcohol, or other treats. Getting a lean, nutritious meal in first thing will help stave off cravings, set you up for success, and ensure your micronutrient game is on track this week. 

Remember–you SHOULD have some treats this week, if those make you happy. It’s a week to try and find gratitude in our daily lives, and the chance to eat something fun, sleep in a little longer, or just chill out might be just what the doctor ordered. We just want to make sure to stay on track by making small tweaks to keep us feeling good while we enjoy the week! 


Are You Stuck In The Valley Of Disappointment?

If you haven’t read Atomic Habits by James Clear–go buy it now. It’s $15 that will change your life. He coined this term, and that’s his graph above! 

When we start out with a goal, we expect to make consistent, perfect progress towards our goal. We think about losing 40 pounds, and then we decide we want to do that in 10 weeks, and say “ok, 4 pounds per week, here I come!” The issue is–that’s not how progress works. Our habits, our lives, and our bodies all have inertia. It takes time for progress to start–time that we spend fretting because it’s not all going according to plan. Clear calls this “The Valley of Disappointment” and it’s such an apropos term for where many of us are right now during quarantine. The important thing to remember is–if you can persevere through that time, progress can then exceed your expectations, as habits snowball, behaviors change, and momentum builds. 

So what gets you through that dark valley? One of our core values here at FRCF: Growth Mindset. Growth Mindset boils down to the idea that all of our abilities and beliefs are fungible–we can change them by dint of perseverance and grit. This is the idea that you may be a bad runner today–but by choosing to work on the things that we are bad at, we don’t have to be a bad runner tomorrow. It’s the concept of: I’m not good at that yet. 

When we combine the idea of the Valley of Disappointment with growth mindset, we get a road map for making it out of the Valley–and indeed, lessening the negativity and devastating impact that it can have on our mindset and progress. Growth mindset really means believing that the valley is a necessary part of progress, that it’s the learning time in which we are building our abilities and beliefs in order to achieve our desired outcomes. It goes from the Valley of Disappointment to the Canyon of Awesome Training Montage. Anyone who’s ever watched a Rocky movie knows you don’t get to the top of the mountain (or Philly steps) without an awesome training montage. 

When we shift our mindset from “that’s not happening fast enough” to “I’m building myself into the type of person who does the things I want to do” we literally become a different, better version of ourselves. If you’re stuck in the Valley right now–keep going. It’s the crucible that’s going to forge you into a better person. 

Take Action Now: Set a timer for 15 minutes. Pick your biggest goal, and then write down all of the things that are going to pop up and delay your progress. Then, write down the habits you need to build to overcome those delays. Now you have a roadmap that’s more in line with reality for your goals.