Monday, September 27, 2010

Stand Your Ground

Just recently I had a chance to enjoy some rest and relaxation with my husband on a cruise to the Bahamas. Many folk who have cruised before know about the mounds and mounds of food available while cruising. We particularly love to dine in the dining hall for dinner and can't wait until the Captain's night in hopes of shrimp, scallops and even lobster. Do you see two things on the menu that you want to try? Knock yourself out and order until your heart is content and all at no additional charge. Well many of us know unlimited food options are often a sign of pressure. Should I have this or should I stick with that. We say well it's tempura but it's not deep fried so I should be okay. Well should we really be thinking this way. Does having our food prepared for us without any say so give us a reason to go off plan? We often say well hey "I'm on vacation".

While on vacation I had to pleasure of dining with several other cruisers each night for dinner. The one that stood out to me the most was named Charlotte (I think). She showed up the first night with a list of demands, do's, don'ts and will not's. We were looking at her like "really". As the trip progressed and I began to prod, I found out that she was vegan. According to a vegan is: a strict vegetarian who consumes no animal food or dairy products; also : one who abstains from using animal products (as leather). So while I can attest to the fact that she doesn't eat any meat or dairy I'm not sure about her abstinence of animal products such as leather.

If the food options had milk, cream, eggs, dairy, pasta, meat and even sugar, she was not having it. She worked each night with the head waiter to ensure that there would be something suitable for her the next night. I'm sure you are wondering what exactly was she eating. There were nights when she would have lentils or steamed vegetables, salads topped with olive oil and vinegar or some Indian dish that were vegan tolerant. For desert she would have a fruit plate. We listened and watched in amazement each night as she stood her ground.

After witnessing this I thought about how the YOU Gals plan was far less stringent but at a moments notice with something like vacation, birthday's or other celebrations we look to go off plan. Just like being a vegan the YOU Gals plan is one that should be considered a lifestyle. It should consist of lean meats and proteins, fruits, vegetables, whole wheat and grains.

My tasks to you is to take on the approach of a vegan and make healthy living a lifestyle one that you don't turn on or off based on the occasion or time of year but one that you live with daily!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Rockstars recognizes women in the Richmond, Virginia and surrounding community for their outstanding leadership, achievements, and contributions. Whether their passions are personal or professional, we want to hear about them!

Guess who has just been nominated! One half of the YOU Gals dynamic duo Toni Winston. Check her out here: Rockstars

Monday, September 6, 2010

There Can Be Success At Cookouts

Labor Day Weekend is upon us. It has traditionally been viewed by Americans as the symbolic end of summer. Celebrations range from picnics, barbecues, water sports, to firework displays. For those with school age children it's the last chance to travel before the little ones go back to school. For teenagers and young adults it's viewed as the last party weekend before hitting the books.

I am sure that many of you have been invited to all sorts of activities this weekend and are worried about steering away from your healthy habits. This is to be expected as there are tons of temptations lurking at social events. YOU Gals are not exempt to these temptations by any means. We too are aware of the pitfalls and have worked hard to prep ourselves prior to attending all these weekend activities.
Success comes with proper planning! On Sunday there was a huge gathering my family and I were to attend. Prior to attending I inquired about the menu so that I could begin to prepare myself. Knowing what was going to be on the menu allowed me to decide if I needed to eat prior to going or if there were going to be healthy options there that I could eat.

In my household planning for an event is very different. For me it means getting up and sticking to my normal schedule which includes getting in my steps early, eating breakfast and lunch as well as a snack in between. For my husband it means utter starvation leading up to the event. My husband is by no means a large man however in his mind skipping all meals up to the event means when the bells ring he can sit at the trough, pig out and enjoy each variety of food there. So not YOU Gal recommended!!

So how can you be successful at cookouts this Labor Day?

1. Skip the snacks and go straight to the dinner. Avoid the chips and head to the grill for some lean meats, healthy fixings and then step away from the food spread. Please don't be the salad eater at the party! You'll feel like your depriving yourself. Instead build a healthy plate with smart choices.

2. Keep your hands full. Studies have shown when people keep a drink in their hand they are less likely to graze. Grab some unsweetened tea, water, club soda or crystal light and get social.

3. Chew gum. Sometimes when we see others eat we feel the need to do the same avoid this pitfall by chewing on sugar free gum.

4. Plan ahead - eat before the party if you know no healthy options will be there.

5. Bring a dish. You can bring a healthy dish that way you know there will be something there that you can eat.

6. Enjoy the fellowship! You were invited to the party because they wanted YOU there so get social and have a great time!

YOU Gals is wishing everyone a safe and fun Memorial Day Weekend!