Holiday Truths & Traditions

Well it sure has been a while since I sat down to write something. Christmas break was wildly busy and when it wasn’t… I was sleeping. Because there is nothing better than a well deserved break.

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My Christmas tree on Christmas Morning!

Let me start by sharing a basic fact of life: Health and fitness is nearly impossible to upkeep during the holiday trifecta. (Definition: the holiday trifecta is the three days of Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day). That is a proven fact. Anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is a liar or they don’t know how to enjoy life. Either way, don’t trust em.

I had pretty much accepted and embraced the fact that I wasn’t going to be visiting the gym during the holiday trifecta. But for some deluded reason I thought that I was going to stick to a relatively healthy diet. Oh how wrong I was!

Firstly, my 30 day green smoothie challenge didn’t happen. I just couldn’t find the time to chop and blend and clean. I was too busy wrapping and unwrapping and cleaning. Since I skipped a day in week one, and 3 days in week two and I’ll be away in Cuba for all of week three… I’m going to be starting the challenge fresh from day 1 when I come home from my trip. In the meantime, I’ll still be drinking daily green smoothies but they wont count towards my 30 day challenge. giphy

Secondly, between multiple turkey dinners and countless shrimp ring trays health conscious eating didn’t stand a chance. No joke, on Christmas Eve my breakfast was a garlic and cheese flavored pretzel, my lunch was movie theater popcorn and my dinner was  mashed potatoes. Haters gonna hate…

Now, the quick witted among you should be wondering why one of my poor meal choices was movie theater popcorn. I have one word for you, TRADITION! My family, like many others, has a very strict series of holiday traditions. Some of them are tried and true, some of them we invented ourselves. Here is the all inclusive list of Folkes Family Holiday Traditions:

Christmas Eve Afternoon Movie

  • What: Exactly what it sounds like, all 6 of us see an afternoon movie together. Usually the movie is animated and it is always made for kids and families.
  • How it started: When my mother had a 10 year old, an 8 year old, a 3 year old and a 1 year old she decided taking us to a movie was the best way to keep us all quiet for over an hour… at the same time.
  • How long as it been a tradition: This was year number 13. An inclusive list of the movies we’ve seen might find it’s way up here in a few days (stay tuned).
  • This year: We saw Night at the Museum 3. I give it two thumbs up!

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Christmas Eve Family & Friends Potluck Dinner

  • What: Once again, it is exactly like it sounds. A potluck dinner with family friends. Most of the people who come to this thing have been in my life for literally my entire life. We go way, way back.
  • How it started: My mum invited the neighbours over for dinner one Christmas Eve and they have been coming over ever since. As the years went by more and more people were invited. There is now a solid group of 4 families who make an appearance every year.
  • How long has it been a tradition: As long as I can remember.
  • This year: Since most of the “kids” are now legal adults we decided to spice things up and play some drinking games! It was a blast. My siblings and I formed a flip cup team and we cleaned house. To be fair my brother wasn’t drinking because he is still a tween, but we still kicked ass. 10891667_10152689839603558_7674013841727582393_n

Christmas Eve Pajamas

  • What: Every year we get new PJs on Christmas Eve. It is mandatory for all kids who attend the potluck to get Pajamas. After we open them we put them on and take pictures.
  • How it started: The idea was that we would be nice and clean for Santa.
  • How long has it been a tradition: As long as I can remember.
  • This year: I got a onesie and it is the most comfortable article of clothing known to man. Also, it has polka dots. Check out how great we look in our nice, new PJs. 10408145_10152682773483558_1365065641968790037_n

Christmas Morning Stockings

  • What: In my house Santa leaves the stocking at the foot of your bed. In the morning (around 8 am or so) we all get up and pile into my parents bed to open them together.
  • How it started: As children, my sister and I liked to show our parents what Santa brought us, and we are still doing that.
  • How long has it been a tradition: Since I was about 5, probably.
  • This year: We discovered that we are too big to all fit in the bed, so we moved the party downstairs to our tv room. With the yuletide fire place station on the tv it was one of the most festive stocking opening sessions we’ve ever had.

Christmas Morning Pictures

  • What: After stockings we set up the self-timer and take a group shot in front of the tree.
  • How it started: Someone said “lets take a picture” and we did.
  • How long has it been a tradition: Four years at least.
  • This year: Grandma took the picture because she has figured out how to touch a touch screen. It was a technological miracle.

After the pictures we eat breakfast and open presents when my grandparents arrive. Then its a leisurely day of fiddling with our new things and playing games. This year we really enjoyed the Ellen App, Heads Up.  The day ends with a delicious Turkey dinner prepared by my mum. And the 26th is dedicated to sleeping and eating leftovers.

Share in the comments: What Holiday traditions does your family have?

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Green Smoothie Challenge Update

I may have underestimated the difficulty of this challenge. Actually, difficulty is the wrong word, that implies that this is hard when in reality its just kind of annoying. I’m still sticking it out, I haven’t given up yet, but I’ve got some serious kinks to work out.

On the first day I felt great! Lots of energy and I was super busy so I didn’t notice any hunger pangs. By the end of day one I thought I was queen of the smoothie kingdom… I was wrong.

Day two was tough, I drank my smoothie at 7 am for breakfast. By 9:30 am I was starving. I couldn’t concentrate on my work. I could barely keep my eyes open and I was so hungry! I ended up eating my lunch at 10:30 am and then I was starving again well before I got home for dinner. Moral of the story, pack snacks!

I ran into some trouble on day threewell I suppose it is more honest to say that I was an idiot… I forgot to take my smoothie out of the freezer the night before, thus it was solid as a rock on Tuesday morning. So I had some toast and brought the smoothie with me, it took 8 hours to thaw out and I ended up drinking around dinner time. But let me tell you, a smoothie at dinner time is extremely unsatisfying. It is like waking up on Christmas morning to find that Santa didn’t come. Anyway, I wont be making that mistake again.

When I took my smoothie out of the fridge on day four it was still half frozen, which was annoying at first but it ended up being incredibly convenient. As it forced me to drink the smoothie really slowly as it thawed out. This mean’t that I wasn’t starving by 10 am, and I was able to eat the rest of my meals at a normal time. wooo!

On day five I tried out a new smoothie recipe: I used 2 cups of spinach, 2 cups of water, 1 cup of pineapple, 1 banana and 1 apple. The taste was great! But the texture was weird, very grainy. I think this was because the apple didn’t break down enough. But hey, there are worse things. 

I fell off the wagon on day sixyup, you heard correctly. I didn’t have a green smoothie on Friday. Let me explain, after vowing not to forget my smoothie in the freezer… I forgot my smoothie in the freezer. Instead I had a protein powder shake because I had the day off and I made plans to go to the gym. I attended a fantastic hot yoga class, it really worked my whole body. Then my mum and I ran errands together. By the time I got home I had completely forgotten about my smoothie, instead I prepped for my wild rager of a Christmas party and then I partied with my friends.

This little bump in the road ended up being a good thing because on day seven I needed all the nourishment that I could get. I was seriously hungover and I had a big day ahead of me, so at 6:15 am I chugged back my entire green smoothie in just over a minute. I’m pretty sure it is the one and only reason I survived the remainder of the day. Thank you green smoothie gods.

It was definitely a week filled with bumps and hiccups but I think it has been worth it. I don’t know that I’ve lost any weight yet but I feel pretty good. More energized and just healthier in general. As long as I remember to take the smoothies out of the freezer and I can manage the hunger pangs then I think I’ll be able to make it through the remaining 23 days with no problems. Check back in a week for more details.

Share in the comments: Got any green smoothie advice for me?