Holidays Archives - Stephanie Misanik Health Coach

November 6, 2017by admin0

It’s that time of year, folks!  The world around us is transforming before our very eyes.  The leaves are turning colors and falling to the ground, the temperature is cooling, and the oven is in overdrive.  The holiday season is filled with delicious food, family and friends.  If you come from a family like mine, holiday meal time is scrumptious, but not necessarily healthy and nutritious.  If you are on a journey to wellness and weight loss, the holiday season can bring on some fear and anxiety.  How can you navigate the holiday season and still stay on track with a healthy diet?

After many years of trial and error, here are my top tips and tricks:

Bring your own food  

This is by far my favorite thing to do.  When I started to eat a healthy diet, my family was not on board.  I got many side eyes and furrowed brows.  It was unfair of me to ask them to cook a separate meal for me or to not have certain food items that I knew I’d want to give into and eat.  Instead, I started bringing a few of my own healthy recipes and you know what happened?  They tried them too!  It spread like wildfire and it seems like every year, our Thanksgiving spread gets healthier and healthier.

Eat the healthiest options first

This is so important!  If you fill up on healthier options, you are much less likely to load your plate with sweet potato casserole because you’re no longer starving.

Eat before you go

A common holiday mentality is, “Why should I eat breakfast or lunch?  We are going to have a huge Thanksgiving dinner later!”  The problem with this thought is that by the time you get to Thanksgiving dinner you are so hungry, you have lost all willpower and will eat the first thing that you see.  Eat a healthy breakfast and lunch, go to your holiday dinner like you would any other dinner, not ravenous and ready to devour anything in sight.

Get a healthy eating buddy 

Humans are a “we” species.  We do much better when we have an accountability partner, someone just as dedicated to a goal as we are than if we are riding solo.  Find someone in your family that is also dedicated to being healthy and team up.  Together, you will be a powerful force of health able to take on even the most gluttonous of holiday feasts.

Keep up your exercise routine 

I know, the holidays are a busy time of year.  Full of shopping and travel, oh and work doesn’t just stop because the holidays are here.  Even though your schedule is fuller than normal, don’t let your exercise routine fall to the way side.  When you exercise regularly, you have better energy to power through all the holiday tasks and we are much more likely to make healthy food choices.

Pick one indulgence

You can have cookies and cheesecake any time of year, but pumpkin pie or your grandmother’s favorite holiday desert recipe only come around once a year.  Know what you’re going to have for desert before you approach the desert table.  Make it a conscious choice rather than getting a slice of everything in sight.

Create healthy versions of traditional recipes

Ingredients really do matter.  Use unsweetened coconut milk instead of cow’s milk, ghee instead of butter or margarine, honey or maple syrup instead of white, granulated sugar, brown rice or lentil noodles instead of traditional white noodles.  Baby steps, they make a big difference in the long run.


I hope these suggestions help you navigate the holiday season with comfort and ease.  Most importantly, be gentle with yourself.  Set attainable goals, and take it one day at a time.  Know that you are worth it and that you can do it.  Being healthy is a lifestyle, and it doesn’t always happen overnight.  If you slip up, don’t beat yourself up.  Simply acknowledge it and then jump right back on the band wagon.

April 18, 2017by admin0

Happy Easter everybody!  Or as we call it....Greester (Greek Easter).  I hope you had a fun weekend with friends and family!  We had a nice long weekend, filled with food and late nights with people we love.  Here's a picture of my oldest, Sophia and my middle kiddo, Penelope (aka Lo Lo) in their cute little Easter dresses!

There are two holidays I used to completely dread as a mom of young kiddos....Halloween and Easter!  I always felt so incredibly guilty letting my kiddos munch on super processed and high sugar treats only to see them suffering from a belly ache or headache a half an hour later. This year, I decided enough was enough and took Easter into my own hands!  Today, I want to share some of the stuff we did to turn Easter into a healthy holiday that the kids will still enjoy 😉


Easter Baskets:

So I really wanted to get a picture of the Easter baskets to share with you, but I totally forgot and then by the time I remembered, it was too late!  But, I will walk you through what I put in each of them!  I didn't want to do candy, but I also didn't want to steal all of their thunder so I did include one dark chocolate Easter bunny per kid.  But, instead of loading up those baskets with processed candy, I added some yummy, healthy treats:

  1. Fruit and veggie pouches - I threw in my favorite pouch by Slammer.  They are organic, no artificial colors/flavors, gluten free and nut free.  The kids INHALE these bad boys.
  2. Carrots - because they are rabbit food that the Easter bunny left to share with the kids 😉
  3. Healthy bars - I put a couple bars per basket from my favorite bar company, This Bar Saves Lives.  For every bar you purchase, this company has a non-profit partner that creates a packet of food and sends it to a hungry child in need.  My kids love this!
  4. Fruit strips - I like the Trader Joe's brand.  It's cheap and fairly clean.

I also did something fun this year and added some non-food items to each basket.  My son, Vasili, is OBSESSED with trucks.  His favorite is the trash truck (I know, I know, city life!), so I found a super cheap toy trash truck that even makes noise and he could have cared less about anything else in that basket.  Sophia, my oldest, is a super creative being.  She loves to write stories with illustrations, creating a new book almost everyday.  I found a really cool journal for less than $10 for her to doodle in and write her stories.  My little Lo Lo is quite the little force to be reckoned with.  She loves animals, so she got a little set of farm animals.  It was fun searching the stores for a toy that helps them develop that which they love.


Easter Egg Hunt:

After Easter baskets, it was time for the Easter egg hunt!  This I had SO much fun with!  Instead of filling those little eggs with candy, I made it healthy!  Here's a list of what I filled the eggs with:

  1. Blueberries
  2. Raspberries
  3. Dark chocolate raisins (we joked that they looked like rabbit poop - that made the kids love it even more)
  4. Popcorn
  5. Almonds
  6. Peanuts
  7. Cashews
  8. Dried cranberries
  9. Mini organic crackers with organic cheese

Honestly, I wasn't sure how the kids were going to react to opening the eggs and finding nuts and fruit in them...but I was pleasantly surprised!  They were super excited!  #momwin.  Here's a picture of my girls proudly displaying their loot:

And little Lo Lo counting her eggs...

After the hunt, they snacked on their fruits and nuts and we headed down to Lo Lo's godmother's house for Easter #3.  At the party, the kids got another Easter basket and then did a second Easter egg hunt, loading up on the traditional candy and chocolate.  Nick (my partner) and I try and watch how much sugar the kids get when we are over other people's houses, but at the same time we have made a conscious decision to let our children make their own food choices so as to empower them and help them cultivate that connection between what you eat and how you feel.  Not 30 minutes after the 2nd Easter egg hunt, Lo Lo was feeling super sick.  She stopped running around and being the bundle of energy she usually is and plopped down on the couch, hands around her tummy and eyes glued to the tv.  It was the perfect opportunity to have that discussion with her about why she wasn't feeling good.  She said to me (and she's 2), "Mommy, I ate too much sugar.  I don't feel good".  My heart melted!!!!

The first step to getting kids to eat healthy is to be an example.  If they see you munching on chips and candy, you can tell them to eat all the veggies in the world, but they aren't going to listen to you.  My kids watch how I eat.  They watch everything I do.  They know that mommy takes pride in her body and how she nourishes it, and as a result, they do the same.

Next, empower them to make their own decision, and when they perhaps steer off course, be there to help them develop their own connection to food.  What I learned this Easter is that ALL of the adults rolled their eyes at me when I proudly announced that we were doing a healthy Easter basket/egg hunt....but you know who didn't roll their eyes?  My kids.  They were so happy to open their eggs and see fresh blueberries and nuts.  Not only were they happy, their bellies were happy too.

Plants for Life,