My Tips for Bouncing Back from Thanksgiving Dinner (or any big meal)

Happy Thanksgiving! It’s pretty wonderful to be living in the US and taking part in what is truly 4 days of total relaxation, celebration and displays of gratitude all across the country. In Canada, we have Thanksgiving in October, and it’s based on a different event (involving an explorer and somewhere approximating the North Pole, naturally). There’s something special about Thanksgiving in November, since it really kicks off that holiday cheer. Today, we crushed an amazing buffet turkey dinner at the Fairmont in Nob Hill, and we’re heading out to Sonoma for the rest of the weekend which I’ll post about next week. Can’t wait!

I strongly believe that even those of us who love clean living and fitness need to indulge, because let’s face it, pumpkin pie rocks my world. But, I don’t love the feeling the morning after too much wine and whip cream. Here are the top ways that I get back into gear:

1. Clean up your diet the next morning: Many people are staying with family surrounded by leftover pecan pie, but even in this scenario you can choose vegetables, turkey breast, and complex carbs (microwave one of the sweet potatoes that didn’t get used). Stay away from foods that are proven to be hard on the digestion, like onions, garlic, dairy, and many fruits (more details here). If you wan’t some pumkin pie, go for it, but just a little this time!

2. Listen to your body: If you’re full the next morning and don’t want breakfast, go without. But make sure to eat before your blood sugar drops and keep it steady through the day with clean food. Getting hangry = making poor choices (sweet potato pie with whip cream anyone?).

3. Move, somehow: This is the perfect time to hit the gym for some fasted steady state cardio, since your muscles are fueled up. If this isn’t a reality, walk, stand, and move as much as possible throughout the day to burn off the extra calories.

4.   Wear comfy clothes all day: sweat pants, tights and tunics, lululemons, hoodies and tees. Now is not the time to subject a hard working tummy to tight dresses or high wasited skinny jeans!

5. Aid digestion: I have a terrible digestive system and react to a lot of things. I always take a digestive enzyme before a large meal, and make sure I’m pumped up on probiotics, especially during the holidays (my favorite source is kefir). I also find that peppermint, fennel, and ginger teas help soothe tummy troubles, and peppermint has been proven to relax the digestive tract. Sometimes a little fizz helps me too – today we chose champagne (probably not smart, but I can never say no to Gloria Ferrer for desert). When neccessary, Pepto baby.

Most importantly, stay positive. One day of poor eating will not derail your fitness goals. As my friend Dan MacDonald talks about in his latest blog post on fitness, a big meal has been proven to give your metabolism a boost (if it’s a one off thing).  You deserve it!

Now, I leave you with some champagne and high fashion apres Thanksgiving wear. Have a great weekend!

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Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday? It Doesn’t Matter – Just Plan Ahead

Man, do I loooove a deal, but not just any old deal. It’s so much more satisfying when it’s something I love and have been thinking about non-stop.

This is my favorite time of year to spend moola, so I self impose a shopping ban ahead of time to prepare. I’ve had some pretty fab scores in recent years, so I wanted to share my simple tricks for finding them.

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Keep That Hair Luscious! Myths and Truths About Breakage and Loss (for guys and gals)

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Hair is SUCH a big deal to most people, and zillions of dollars are spent by both men and women on the quest for long thick strands, or to combat hair loss. There is so much information out there that influences how we deal with our hair (whether we are age 25 or 50), and I wanted to sort the myths from the facts and find out what really works.

How can you really preserve your strands, combat hair loss, and help it grow? Let’s ask science (The Journal of Cosmetic Science is my new BFF).

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My Hair Now

First, a quick biology lesson you’ve heard before: Hair is made of protein, with several layers that grow from a follicle. On average, human hair only grows ½ an inch per month. That’s it, ½ inch! Hair evolved in mammals to perform many useful life functions, like looking good on a date.

I never, ever believed how fragile hair was until recently. I used to dye and dye (and dye some more) my waist length locks blonde for as long as I can remember, then straighten and curl without a heat protection product.

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Mini Euro Trip – Pretzels, Wurst and Oktoberfest in Munich

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Old Town hall at the Marienplatz – one of the only buildings to survive the WW2 bombings in Old Munich

To be perfectly honest, this summer I actually thought to myself how it was a real shame that Germany wouldn’t be making it on to my Euro travel list anytime soon. We live extra far from Europe now and I am chomping at the bit to see Italy and go back to Greece.  Or maybe it was just my food and scenery preferences…the Mediterranean and real Greek yogurt with figs and honey, or bratwurst and cathedrals?

So, when a little business trip to Munich popped up, I was pretty stoked to be checking out Deutschland. Especially because it happened to hit right in the middle of Oktoberfest! A girlfriend from London met me for the weekend to explore, and much to my surprise I absolutely fell in love with Munich. It felt like Bavarian Pleasantville, and I would highly recommend it to anyone.

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Tone That Tush: The Secret To Never Missing a 6 am Workout Again

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As if anyone looks like this in gym at 6am

I just can’t even imagine dragging myself from a 5:30am slumber straight into the gym, and actually working out for more than 30 seconds. There is also no way I would make it there 5 days a week if I tried to go at any other time but 6am, especially because sometimes I have no idea when work will end. That’s precisely why my Monday to Friday 6am fitness routine did not exist before I figured out this scientifically proven secret to make it enjoyable: COFFEE!

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Napa Valley Weekend – Eat, Drink, and Bliss out!

Our first trip to Napa after moving to California from NYC this spring was a last minute weekend in Sonoma.We stayed at the beautiful Fairmont Sonoma hotel and hired a driver to hit up some amazing wineries, but were clearly newbies and overdid the tastings! This September, we wanted to do it a bit differently, and at our own pace. Nothing is better for that than Yountville, where some of the best known restaurants and quaint tasting rooms are a stones throw from each other.

Where we stayed: The Vintage Inn, a boutique hotel with a rustic country feel, a great pool, and an amazing brunch. Most importantly, it’s a 30 second walk from Bouchon Bakery, the home of the greatest macaroons ever – sign me up!

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How To Beat The Sunday Blues

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Hanging with some stressed out monkeys in Chinatown

I’m 100% guilty of getting the dreaded Sunday night anxiety on weekends. Even when you love your job, it happens. Sometimes, it’s because you didn’t accomplish everything you hoped to, or you relaxed/socialized too much/not enough…whatever. When I would think about how to beat it, the first thing that came to mind was, I need to get out of town!! Which is no surprise, since experts say that ‘escape’ is an effective way to beat this nagging Sunday feeling. Sadly though, a trip every weekend isn’t always possible.  I’ve done a lot of reading on this special little phenomenon, and thought I would share my major takeaways, as well as some photos of how I’m beating the Sunday blues

1. Blur the line between weekends and weekdays – plan something to look forward to during the week (dinner, movie, mani-pedi). I work unpredictable hours, but I still plan for this often and cancel if need be. It reduces the pressure to have a perfect weekend and gives you something to anticipate other than…TGIF.

2. Escape – if you can’t get out of town, get lost in a book, watch a great film, or do something where you’ll lose track of time and forget your worries.

3. Socialize – but only with people who inspire you, and only to the point that it energizes you rather than drains you.

4. Pretend you’re on vacation – read magazines and lounge like you’re by a pool in Maui, hit up a wine-bar mid afternoon, or take a walk and explore your city.

5. Be a health nut – hit the gym, get enough sleep, and eat healthy (at least most of the time – moderation people!).

6. Put boundaries on productivity – errands always run away on me (I’m an obsessive to-do lister), but I’m so busy during the week that I resent when they cut into my weekend downtime. Google Shopping Express same day delivery, Instacart for groceries, and online shopping are my life savers. I also recommend outsourcing your cleaning, laundry, or anything you can afford. Make a list of errands and stick to it, so you run only those errands you absolutely must.

….and HAVE FUN!

Also worth mentioning:

Some articles recommend using Sunday to prepare for the work week ahead. Unless I have to work on the weekend, I prefer to do this on Friday before I call it a day, even if it means working an extra half hour.

Do you have this issue, and how do you deal with it? Here’s what I’ve been doing to beat the Sunday blues:

Saturday, relax with a glass of Napa Vino and enjoy the view:

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The Birth of Champagne for Everyday

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This blog was born to share the everyday things I love, from big trips to small pleasures right here in beautiful San Francisco. Join me while I write about fitness, what I love to eat, where I travel, great deals I find, and my obsession with finding the best of everything from beauty products to vintage.

I’m pretty excited to get started, and I’d love your feedback and comments!  I’ll be posting at least weekly – sign up for new post notifications on the home page for the in-between.

Visit my About Me page for more on me.

Ciao for now!

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