How to Stay Committed During the Holiday Season

Hey, we get it. With colder weather, darker days, and plenty of holiday parties to attend, it's difficult to stick with the habits you've worked so hard to create so far this year. It's certainly easier to curl up on the couch in front of the TV instead of going to the gym or to indulge in that extra cocktail and cookie at your company party rather than a handful of fresh veggies. 

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No matter where you are on the path toward your goals, we're here to support you. Today we're sharing a few of our favorite tips for staying committed to eating well, being active, and caring for our bodies and minds during the busy holiday season. 

  1. Write it down. Put your goals and your "I AMs" on sticky notes and post them around your house, at your office, and in your car so you are constantly reminded of what you are working for. If you haven't already, create a vision board
  2. Get outside. Bundle up and get some fresh air! Nature has a positive impact on our mental and physical well-being. Plus, being outside is a good way to escape social media, TV news, and other digital distractions. 
  3. Enlist a friend. Accountability is a powerful tool, so make a date for yoga or a walk with a friend. Use it as an opportunity to honor your commitment and to connect (or reconnect) with people you love. 
  4. Get enough sleep. Exhaustion clouds our judgment, challenges our commitment, and generally makes otherwise fun activities seem like a chore. Consider small changes to your diet and your surroundings to sleep better. 
  5. TRANSFORM your space. If getting to the gym, pool, or studio is a tall order, invest in a few simple tools for an at-home workout. We like a yoga mat and foam roller at the very least -- a great start for your CHIYOGAFLOW practice

As always, Team TRANSFORM is committed to providing you with fresh, organic meals and snacks to support your busy lifestyle. If we can help, give us a call -- and have a fantastic holiday!

TRANSFORM Thanksgiving Sides

Happy Thanksgiving, Transformers! We're so grateful to have you in our community, and we're looking forward spending time with our family and friends during this holiday week. We hope you are too! 

If you're still searching for a simple and healthy side dish to supplement your turkey dinner, the TRANSFORM kitchen has you covered with our favorite roasted veggies. Enjoy! 

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ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS/BUTTERNUT SQUASH

Ingredients
1 1⁄2 lbs. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
OR 1 1⁄2 lbs. butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 lb. red grapes, seedless
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper
1⁄2 cup water

Directions
Preheat oven to 375o F. Toss the Brussels sprouts/butternut squash and grapes with the oil, garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper. Place on a large rimmed baking sheet with Brussels sprouts cut side down, if using. Pour water down the center of pan.

Cover and roast for 10 15 minutes. Uncover and continue to roast until vegetables are golden
brown and tender.

Peace, Love, and Human Connection

I was recently blessed with an opportunity to travel to a retreat in Bali. It was the trip of my dreams, a year in the making, and definitely a destination on my bucket list. While we were en route over the Pacific Ocean, we learned that the Mount Agung volcano was threatening to erupt and the country was in a state of emergency. Travelers were being advised not to make the trip. As a group, we discussed it and decided to push forward. After all, we were basically there. It would all be OK, right?

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Once we arrived on the ground and were taken to our beautiful guest house, our retreat organizer told us that our plans had changed. Amed, a beach area I was really looking forward to visiting, had evacuated thousands of villagers. Hotels were shutting down, people were moving into refugee camps, and no one was traveling to that side of the island. My initial reaction of shock and frustration—“I came all this way and now the trip is ruined”—quickly faded into sadness for the devastation wrought on the island. After all, our group safe and had plenty of clothes, food, and water.

What we discovered in the midst of fear and sadness was so much beauty. We woke the next morning to the loveliest sounds of birds and frogs chirping and views of the sunrise. All of my disappointment disappeared. As we walked to our first yoga class, we passed rice fields and beautiful greenery. We explored the island as much as we were able to.

We also experienced the love and gratitude the people of Bali have for one another. We saw parades down the narrow streets to collect money and prayers for refugees. When we walked into restaurants, stores, or markets everyone was welcoming and gracious toward us. “Thank you for staying and enjoying our wonderful home,” they would say.

Whenever I was the first sale of the day at the market, the cashier would rub money on the merchandise and say, “for good luck.” It was meant for us both. Every morning we were greeted and blessed with an offering at the front door of our guest house and the yoga studio where I led classes for our 12 retreat participants. It was humbling to see people appreciate and honor our presence.

The love and gratitude these people gave all of us were contagious. It was a wonderful experience to be blessed by holy water, to walk through ancient temples, to visit sacred places and to be welcomed with open arms. The value of human connection is universal.

I learned so much on this trip to bring home. When I visited the markets, I searched for new ingredients and methods of preparation to incorporate in our MEALS THAT TRANSFORM plans. I had the experience of bartering for my ingredients and then cooking a meal in an outdoor kitchen. It was paradise for me.

I was also able to share my love of fitness and yoga in leading a practice every morning before breakfast. I want to plan my next yoga retreat for my TRANSFORM family. I love thinking about where we would visit, the beautiful hikes we would go on, and the incredible adventures we would share. TRANSFORM YOGA RETREAT 2018. Are you IN?

-- Angela

Get Outside, It's Good for Your Health

Fall might be our favorite season here at MEALS THAT TRANSFORM. Of course, we can find something great about every time of year, but it's hard to argue with a hike or neighborhood walk in the crisp mountain air and among the fall colors. Did you know that there are actually significant health benefits to getting outside? 

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It's true: scientists are finding that nature has a positive impact on our well-being. Studies have shown that time outside can increase cognitive function, short-term memory, mental energy, and problem-solving skills and decrease stress. Nature is therapeutic based on the literal impact it has on our brains, and it doesn't take much to experience these effects. 

So instead of popping a pill or curling up in front of the TV, lace up your shoes and go outside. Start with a walk around the block or a spin through your local park, and work your way up to a weekend hike. Even sitting quietly in your backyard will work! You don't need to live in the woods to experience the benefits of fresh air. Ask your family and friends to join you if you need support. After all, we know that connection is a great way to stay committed. 

Of course, we're always here to support you with fresh, organic meals delivered to your door, which makes for great fuel for your active lifestyle. Happy fall!

Your biggest fans in health and wellness, 

Angela and Team TRANSFORM