Seasonal First Aid for Fitness

With so many seasonal splurge opportunities (splurgotunities?) bearing down on us, it’s sometimes tempting to give up and start fresh in the new year. I’m not judging, but as plans go, that’s not really a good one. We need the fuel provided by good nutrition and the healthy benefits of exercise, especially during a potentially stressful season. Perhaps now is a good time to focus on the A-B-C fundamentals of first aid, as vaguely remembered from my Girl Scout training years ago and converted to these purposes:

First Aid for Fitness

(not to be confused with actual medical advice)

A is for Airway, as in Open the Airway
Breathing is important! Critical, some would say. When the seasonal madness and stresses attack, sitting/standing a little straighter and taking time for a few cleansing breaths will help restore sanity and focus. Clear your mind with thoughts of buying presents and strive for being present.

B is for Bleeding, as in Stop the Bleeding
A little oozing isn’t life- plan-threatening, but if your plan is spurting or flowing like a river, take immediate steps to get the bleeding under control. This requires putting direct pressure on the problem area. Struggling to stop at “just a sliver” or “only one bite”? Choose to abstain for a bit while you regroup. Missing exercise because you’re just too busy? Put it on your calendar or set an alarm reminder. Even if you have to break it into segments of 10 minutes or so, you can still achieve your target.

The point is to do something to stop the slide and regain your balance. Once the bleeding has slowed or stopped, you can evaluate again to see if a lighter “bandage” will do.

C is for Circulation, as in You Need This
Ineffective blood circulation can lead to shock (pants don’t button!) or worse (Death of Plan). To me, nothing improves circulation more than fresh air and movement. Even simple things like stretching or taking a quick stroll around the block clear my mind and restore my energy.

This is not the greatest analogy in the world (it’s Monday, for crying out loud), but I hope it serves as a helpful reference for staying in control or regaining your momentum during this “dangerous” (but delicious!) holiday season.

On a side note: Now that we’re two weeks past Thanksgiving, I’ve managed to make my cranberry sauce. Prepare-to-Drool Alert!

cranberries  in pot on stove

I had planned to use a reduced-sugar version of the fairly standard cranberry sauce recipe, but at the last minute I remembered I had some NuNaturals Orange Stevia and decided to experiment. Here’s what I ended up with:

  • 1 12-oz. pkg. fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup of water
  • 6 droppers of orange-flavored stevia

Pause for taste test. Heavy on the orange, light on the sweetness needed to offset the tart cranberries. I added

  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 splash of vanilla

New taste test. Mmmmmm, nice! Still orange-y, but good. I will definitely cut back on or eliminate the orange stevia in the future, but I can’t wait to try it on my turkey sandwich today . Hurry up, lunchtime!

Happy Monday, everyone!

13 thoughts on “Seasonal First Aid for Fitness

  1. Gonna try this cranberry thing…I’ve got several bags of fresh cranberries I’ve been looking for creative things to do with. Not real familiar working with fresh cranberries and didn’t realize how tart they were. Duh!! And I’ve found they work real well in smoothies. Even just a few overshadows the other fruit used and makes for a mouth puckering drink!

    • This salad is really good stirred into some plain yogurt with a sprinkling of chopped pecans on top. I’m betting it would be good in a smoothie too! Ooh, maybe I’ll put some in an ice cube tray and make cranberry cubes with it!

      But, yeah, a little dab will do ya! :)

  2. I LOVE that image, Cammy. It sure puts things into perspective. Many thanks for the cranberry sauce recipe, too. Now I have something to take to my mother’s for Christmas :)

  3. Amazing analogies!! i hope you don’t mind but i’m printing this out and putting it on my desk for the month of december!

    thank you!

    • Mind? I’m flattered! Would you like me to send you a photo of myself to put with it? Okay, maybe not. :) Hope you’re hanging in there!

  4. I love the saying at the top of this post. It made me laugh but I have used the first phrase far too many times in the past.

    I would love to have a good low or no sugar cranberry sauce recipe but am always afraid that I’ll ruin a perfectly good bag of cranberries with that fake sugar taste. I have made baked oatmeal in the past and I threw out a pan of it made with Splenda. It was so nasty I did not want to waste any calories on it. :(

    • I know what you mean, Caron. Many people who use Splenda or other type products will use it for half the amount of sugar called for in the recipe. Supposedly, it cuts down on the bitterness.

      I liked a product called SunCrystals, which was half stevia/half-sugar, but they quit making it and I was sad. And then I realized I could just make my own version. :)

  5. I do love me some cranberry sauce or chutney! Your low sugar version looks like a winner and I have everything on hand to make it! I would also have it on a turkey sandwich which is one of my favorite combos at our local sandwich shop. Paired with some roasted butternut squash soup and you have a lovely winter lunch!

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  7. Such an important post Cammy! When I was in Corporate work, I had stress attacks when my heart would beat way to fast & hard. My solution – stop & take deep breaths as you mentioned above. So important!

    LOVE the cranberry recipe! I have NuNaturals orange stevia!!!!

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