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Healthy Tips from the Merritt Clubs Nutrition and Wellness Team

Healthy Tips from the Merritt Clubs Nutrition and Wellness Team

bigstock-We-Wish-You-A-Healthy-New-Year-400970717As we finally make the long-awaited transition into 2021, the team from Merritt Club’s Nutrition & Wellness Department would each like to share our top healthy tips.

“I BEG you from the bottom of my coaching heart to not go on another diet in 2021. Let 2021 be the year you learn how to properly nourish your body.  Shift your thinking from drastic action in January to reaching a goal in small steps throughout the year.  Set your goal, identify the skills you need to reach that goal, and define the tasks that make up each skill.  Work on one task at a time and be patient.  And OH YEAH, don’t go on a diet.” Jen Cameron, Health Coach, Personal Trainer, and Group Fitness Instructor for Merritt Clubs

“I’ve spent more holidays alone than I ever have with others and they can be difficult. Given our current world, many people will spend the holidays alone facing difficult emotions that may be amplified due to our current circumstances. How can we reduce the suffering?

  1. Set an intention to call/text/Zoom people who you know will be alone.
  2. If you are alone and are beginning to sense some difficult emotions around this time of year, create a game plan or strategy that includes pre-arranging days with calls or videos and making a list of your favorite movies and books. Fill the day with the things you know you love.
  3. Know that difficult emotions may arise. One of my favorite mindfulness tips – listen to your favorite music and intentionally follow one instrument throughout the song. When you notice your mind wandering, you can begin again.
  4. Try Tara Brach’s R.A.I.N practice, it may be very helpful – Google it!
  5. Set an hourly alarm, stand up, feel your feet on the ground, and take a few breaths.
  6. Take a walk and practice intentionally noticing with all of your senses.Moment by moment ️” Shelley Brown, Mindfulness Coach for Merritt Clubs

“Set your intentions going into the holidays and the new year. What is your WHY? My why is feeling the love during this season, whether that is giving a gift, donating, or engaging in social interaction.

HOW will you cultivate your TRUE authentic self with all this mayhem around? My values in life are SO important to me; I value my health and taking care of myself, so it is essential for me to move my body and nourish myself with dense nutrients.

What brings you JOY during this time of the year? For me, what first came to mind was, FOOD. I love the warmth and delicious flavors this time of year. You best believe I am going to enjoy every bite of Aunt Suzie’s Peanut Butter Pie on Christmas Day.

Consider these questions and connect your WHY with your values. By setting your intentions, you will build your foundation for ultimate long-term health and well-being.” Baily Kerr, Health Coach for Merritt Clubs

“Tired of feeling exhausted, resentful, or regretful during the holidays due to ‘saying yes’ too often when we didn’t have the time or energy? Time for a healthy-boundaries check! We might not have any idea how to enforce a healthy boundary with a family member or friend, even outside of the holidays. A great start is to consider the following as not luxuries, but your basic human rights, as described by psychotherapist and author Judith Belmont.

  • The right to say no without feeling guilty.
  • The right to being treated with respect.
  • The right to make my needs as important as others.
  • The right to be accepting of my mistakes and failures.
  • The right to not meet others’ unreasonable expectations of me.

These rights are often misunderstood or not enforced in someone’s own life. Or, someone will expect you to bend in ways that they themselves wouldn’t. If you can remember that the above should be non-negotiable, regardless of another’s acceptance of these guidelines, you’ll be able to better advocate for yourself! Enforcing healthy boundaries may be difficult at first, but you don’t need approval to do so. It’s okay if another party doesn’t understand. Doing so will result in a more respectful relationship in the long run. Be easy on yourself, and have a great time, on your terms! You deserve it!” Nori Meisner, Health Coach for Merritt Clubs

“As a Registered Dietitian, you will probably be surprised to hear my #1 nutrition tip for the holiday season: ENJOY THE FOOD. During the holidays, there will inevitably be more food on the table and lots of holiday treats tempting you at home. What’s the fun in feeling ashamed after a sweet treat? Don’t hate, just enjoy the bait.  Enjoy a little piece of everything but remember to indulge in moderation. That’s right-moderation! A dietitian’s favorite word. While I encourage you to enjoy a little of this and a bit of that, be mindful of the foods and portion sizes you are consuming.

Here are my three top tips for large holiday meals:

  • Load up on protein (meats, dairy, legumes, etc.) to help with satiety and prevent overeating sweets after dinner.
  • Be mindful of the portion size of carbohydrates and plan to only consume a handful of each offering: mashed potatoes, bread and rolls, cookies, etc. We don’t need anybody overloading their system with too much sugar.
  • Only use one small plate. Put the food that you want on that plate and when it’s filled, sit down and eat. If you are still hungry afterwards, then you can always go back for seconds.” Tessa Mirjafary, Registered Dietitian for Merritt Clubs

“If there’s one thing 2020 has taught us, it’s that we cannot always control our circumstances. But I’d like to suggest that we can control our minds. As we approach the new year, we still face a lot of uncertainty. That is life. There will be happy times and there will be sad times. Sometimes life gets the better of us, and we get down. That’s to be expected. But don’t stay there. The thoughts you feed your mind help determine your response to the tough times.

Your mind is like a muscle – it needs to be exercised and strengthened. When it’s not exercised adequately, it atrophies, weakens, and negative things take root. A weak mind can even lead to a weak body. In 2021, I challenge you to focus on mind development. Feed your mind the most positive, uplifting, edifying, and strengthening thoughts and content you can. Learn a new skill, listen to inspirational podcasts, read motivating books and articles. Say no to gossip, obsession with the news, and negativity. Surround yourself with positive people who are also strengthening their minds. And then, at the end of 2021, no matter what has happened, you’ll look back and be grateful for the growth that occurred.” Alison Jones, Health Coach and Life Coach for Merritt Clubs

“As we make the transition to a new year, many are left working on goals and resolutions they’d like to accomplish over the next 365 days. My best tip for those individuals looking to make ANY goal stick is to set realistic expectations!

Think about how long it takes to build the unhealthy habits you’ve picked up over the years. They did not happen overnight, and results will not come instantly either. Lasting change takes time and baby steps to get there. Take an honest look at your goals and ask yourself: Is this realistic? Can I achieve these targets? Do I have what it takes to make these changes? If the answer is ‘no,’ be honest and consider changing these to attainable objectives. Set yourself up for a year of success ahead by setting realistic intentions and mapping out a plan to reach them. If you are in need of assistance, please reach out to our Wellness team to lend a supportive hand!” Lindsay Silbert, Health Coach for Merritt Clubs

We all wish you and your loved ones a healthy, happy, and prosperous 2021. If you are interested in setting up a complimentary Wellness Assessment with any of Merritt Clubs’ Nutrition & Wellness team members, please click here or reach out to Sherri Lively at