BE MY GUEST: Holiday Harmony by Samantha Rodgers

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My name is Samantha Rodgers of Body SAMantix and I am a yoga instructor and personal trainer, I love all things health and fitness. My background is in Kinesiology- Athletic Training; I received my ISSA (International Sports Science Association) and am currently finishing my Registered Yoga Teacher Certification.


Having participated in two bikini competitions I have gained valuable insight as to how my body works and reacts to different foods and workouts.  It also gave me a better understanding of what it felt like to be one of my clients; dealing with cravings, being held responsible for eating correctly and getting through a rough workout. I know exactly how it feels and it is not always fun.  But my main passion has now become yoga and finding the internal balance between heavy lifting and yoga.  I realize that balance is an ongoing struggle for most people.

How do we find balance during the holidays?  How do we manage the stress of of our ‘to-do’ list, holiday eating and working out?  Many of us think, “I’ll go to the gym the day of and the day after to work off whatever I am going to eat or just ate.” Or, we see that we’ve worked so hard during the previous week, month, year(s), that’ll we’ll reward ourselves during holiday dinners day by eating everything and anything in sight.  Both are not healthy choices.  So what’s the key to finding balance?

Here are a few pointers:

1. take small portions

2. drink water between meals

3. don't skip a meal and binge later

4. if you are right handed, eat with your left hand- you will eat slower

5. don’t add extra salt to mashed potatoes- it causes bloating water retention

We all know it’s easier said than done. I struggle with this as well.  For me, I see all those yummy sweet potatoes and desserts and have at it, and then I hate myself for it later.  But what we really should be doing is maintain our basic principal (courtesy of a personal trainer) of portion control!  Self-control really is the key in holiday eating.  Our eyes are bigger than our stomachs.  Take little bits of everything, eat slowly and if you are still hungry go back for small helpings again.

As for exercise, I personally give myself a break from the gym (not my yoga practice) the day of and after Thanksgiving because I work hard all year long and the gym is at its busiest.  I’m not one for the crowds.  If you feel stressed doing all the cooking, traveling, and shopping, then take a break and go to the gym, yoga studio or for a run.  Or if you can’t make it to the gym you can see my Total Body Kettle Bell Workout on YouTube here.  The minimal rest periods and constant moving gets the heart rate going and boosts up the metabolism.  Don’t worry if you don’t have a It is a kettle bell or hand held weight…you’ll still gain the benefits of the workout.  De-stress with a workout, yoga practice or meditation not the left over pie!

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Samantha Rodgers