Tips to Stay Healthy 4th of July

The holidays can be a time of fun, rest and relaxation. However, if you struggle with food, the holidays can be a source of great stress.

All the 4th of July BBQs it can be rather difficult to remain focused on your health goals.

Here are some tips to help you stay health on 4th of July

1) If you are going to a potluck, take some healthy foods with you

2) At a BBQ? Limit your intake of sugary foods and empty calories. Fill up on protein and grilled veggies.

3) Make time to do something active-maybe going hiking or to the gym. Going to a pool party? Swimming is a great form of cardio.

Instead of focusing on food, focus on family and activities. The more you associate holidays with food, the harder it will be to modify your eating habits.

What do you think of these tips? How did you keep healthy this 4th of July? Comment below.

Turkey, Stuffing and A Side of Food Allergies and Emotional Eating. 5 Tips for Surviving

The table is set. Turkey, mashed potatoes, with unforgiving sides of food allergies and emotional eating. For those who have a problem with food, the food holidays can be a stressful nightmare. Read Elika Kormeili’s tips to surviving the food holidays.
Continue reading “Turkey, Stuffing and A Side of Food Allergies and Emotional Eating. 5 Tips for Surviving”

Resolutions and Un-resolutions

Photo by: silversolo

Happy New Year, welcome to 2013 everyone! We hope you enjoyed our last post about surviving the holidays. If you are like most people you probably have some new resolutions you have made. Elika Kormeili, our founder, believes that it is best to get your goal (yup it includes resolutions) down in writing. There is something that happens when you put things down it writing, it becomes a contract with yourself. Whether it is a personal goal, a health goal or a professional goal; get it down on paper. The new year is also about endings. We end one year in order to begin a new year or cycle. Are there things that you resolving not to do aka your un-resolutions? Maybe your un-resolutions are “I will not scream about my kids”, or “I will not be a workaholic”. In the spirit of resolutions and un-resolutions, we wanted to share ours with you.

Un-resolutions and Resolutions
1) We will not diet. Instead we will continue to eat a healthy and well-balanced diet. I will eat when I am hungry and stop when I am not.
2) We will not join a gym. Instead we will try new workout classes and go hiking.
3) We will not compare ourselves to others. Instead we will emphasize our strengths and be the best that we can be.

Elika has the following resolutions and un-resolutions
1) I will stop waiting to “make it big”. Instead of waiting to make it big to share my passions and talents, I will share them now. Specifically, I will create relaxation CDs that actually helps you relax. I will write a book.”
2) I will not forget my purpose. I will continue to work on building Center for Healthy and Happy Living and helping it meet its mission to help others create healthy lifestyle habits (via stress reduction, healthy eating, and getting more active).”
3) I will not wait until I am “thin enough”, “rich enough” or in a “perfect relationship”. I will each and every moment, learn from each opportunity and be grateful for what I have.
4) I will not neglect my friends. I will continue to work on my relationships as they are important to me.

Don’t forget to check out our Stress Less in LA services. Stay tuned for more information about our weight loss coaching program.

We would love to hear from you, what are your new year’s resolutions and un-resolutions? How can we help?

Stress, Depression and the holidays: 8 Tips for Coping

The holiday season is upon us. For many that means great food, family, and time off. To others the holidays can become stressful and anxiety provoking. The holidays can bring out uninvited guests-depression and stress.
The hussle and bussle of holiday preparation: cooking, shopping, gift wrapping, and entertaining can be exhausting just to think about. If food is an issue (dieting, food allergies, history of overeating) then a lot of preparation goes into the holiday meals and it can cause stress.

Here are a few tips to survive the holidays and maybe even enjoy them.

  1. Acknowledge your feelings. If someone close to you has recently died, you or a loved one is sick or you can’t be with loved ones, realize that it’s normal to feel sadness and grief. It’s OK to take time to cry or express your feelings. Don’t force yourself to feel things that you don’t.
  2. Reach out. Many people feel lonely around this time of year. If you feel lonely or isolated, seek out community, religious or other social events. They can offer support and companionship. Volunteering your time to help others also is a good way to lift your spirits and broaden your friendships.
  3. Be realistic. Listen up Type As and perfectionists: the holidays don’t have to be perfect. As families change and grow, traditions and rituals often change as well. Choose a few to hold on to, and be open to creating new ones. For example, if your adult children can’t come to your house, find new ways to celebrate together, such as sharing pictures, emails or videos. If you are missing one side dish or someone forgets the dessert, it’s not the end of the world.
  4. Stick to a budget. Before you go gift and food shopping, decide how much money you can afford to spend. Then stick to your budget. Don’t try to buy happiness.
  5. Plan ahead. Set aside specific days for shopping, baking, visiting friends and other activities. Plan your menus and then make your shopping list. This will also help you stick to your budget. Get family and friends to party prep and cleanup.
  6. Don’t abandon healthy habits. Overindulgence only adds to your stress and guilt. Have a healthy snack before holiday parties so that you don’t go overboard on sweets, cheese or drinks. Continue to get plenty of sleep and physical activity.
  7. Take a breather. Make some time for yourself. Spending just 15 minutes alone to help you refresh. Take a walk at night and stargaze. Listen to soothing music. Find something that reduces stress by clearing your mind, slowing your breathing and restoring inner calm.
  8. Seek professional help if you need it. Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself feeling persistently sad or anxious, plagued by physical complaints, unable to sleep, irritable and hopeless, and unable to face routine chores. If these feelings last for a while, talk to your doctor, therapist or a mental health professional.

Don’t let the holidays become dreadful. Take steps to prevent holiday stress and depression. Learn to recognize your holiday triggers, such as financial pressures or personal demands, so you can combat them before they lead to a meltdown.

Happy Holidays From Elika Kormeili and Center For Healthy and Happy Living.

Surviving Thanksgiving With Food Allergies and Emotional Eating

Do you feel left out of Thanksgiving “fun” because you can’t eat what everyone else can?
Do you dread going to social events for fear of insulting the host when you find there is no food you can eat? Many of people struggling with food allergies or emotional eating (or heck even those trying to lose weight) find it difficult to participate in holiday festivities while staying on track with their health goals. Therapist, Elika Kormeili, discusses ways to negotiate these events graciously and leave feeling full and nourished.

With so many delicious foods at holiday parties, many people worry about overeating. However, those accustomed to watching what they eat usually overcome this obstacle because they know how bad they feel after eating past their comfort zone. After indulging a few times, they usually realize it isn’t worth it. If after eating your fill of acceptable food you feel left out of the fun, nosh on salads or raw vegetables such as carrot or celery sticks. These foods are safe for most allergy sufferers and devoid of the extra calories that will make you feel guilty in the morning.

Potlucks are usually the easiest events to fully participate in since, if necessary, you can eat only the food you bring, without anybody noticing. Because most desserts are off limits, bring one you’ve made from a favorite recipe. Also consider bringing an entrée, as many main courses contain mixed ingredients, making it difficult to detect the culprits.  When accepting an invitation, gently tell the host or hostess about your situation and your desire to be part of the festivities. Clear communication about your food preferences will not only keep you on course but also be less offensive than quietly passing over the untouchables and going home hungry. Once informed, most people are more than happy to accommodate special needs. More than likely you will be informed of the menu. Upon hearing of dishes you cannot eat, suggest that you bring a small portion of one you can eat.   Keep in mind the purpose of the holidays – celebration of family, friendships, and community.

Happy Thanksgiving from Center For Healthy and Happy Living. Food allergies and emotional eating are not on the menu.

How will you celebrate Thanksgiving?


Post Halloween Food Allergy Survival Tips

Trick or Treat? Let me pick my own treat! When your child has food allergies, going trick or treating can be a real trick. This week, Center for Healthy and Happy Living’s founder, Elika Kormeili, talked to many concerned parents about their children with food allergies especially about surviving Halloween.

 Here are how some parents are suriving Halloween with their food-allergic child:

1) Some parents will run a few houses ahead of their child. Explain the situation to the homeowner and provide them with approved treats and candy.

2) Some parents will only take their children trick or treating at the homes of friends and family Approved candy is already stashed there.

3) Parents will let their child go trick or treating and then switch out the candy with approved candy.

4) Families will have a Halloween get together instead of trick or treating. This way the parents are in control of what their child eats.

Here is a tip from us: focus your child’s attention more on activities (Halloween crafts and games) and less on food.

***If you do take your child trick or treating (even with pre-approved candy) make sure to check their bag (and candy) because as you know children love to trade candy and some people may not understand the severity of your child’s food allergies.

How did you survive this sugar-infused holiday?