Fun Family Activities for the Holidays

African American father and mixed race son making Christmas cards

Happy Holidays!

We’re nearing the end of the Surrender Fast holiday blog edition and I hope you’re taking advantage of all the helpful tips (feel free to peruse the other holiday postings at your leisure).

As you know, there’s much to do at this time: house and tree decorating, gifts to wrap, parties to attend, and food to prepare.

And with our plates so full (literally and figuratively, lol) we may forget the importance of time spent with family during this season.

With that said, if you’re looking for some ideas of things to do with the fam this holiday season here’s a few things to get you on your way!

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Budget-Friendly DIY Gifts that They Will Love!

DIY gifts

Happy Holidays!!! With Christmas fast approaching you may be wondering what gifts to give this year.

Have you considered a DIY gift? I know gift cards are easier, but DIY gifts are thoughtful, more budget-friendly and less time-consuming than you might think.

And consider this. After all the gift cards have been used and disposed of they’ll still have your gift to look and cherish for a long time to come.

So, if you’re tired of giving the same old thing and would like to be just a little more creative this year, then look no further.

Lets get started…(click for images and more ideas)

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Tips for Shopping Smart During the Holidays

Happy Holidays! Isn’t it such a wonderful time of the year?

From the smell of holiday cookies and cakes (Yum!), to the sound of Christmas carols and holiday movies (Yay!) and Christmas being just around the corner who wouldn’t want to give into the temptation of such a joyful and hopeful disposition.

However with that abandoned joy and hope comes the opportunity to give caution to the wind and spend, spend, spend!!!

But before you lose yourself in the euphoria of the season and adopt insanity as your best friend for the next month, remember that there is life after the holidays and what you choose to do today will most certainly affect you tomorrow.

So, before you hit the pavement and open your purse or wallet to whatever blows your way, here are a few tips that will not only help you make sound decisions, but will also have long-term benefits.
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Ordinary is Tempting Until You Win a Dance Contest


I’m the weird family member who doesn’t eat meat and watches her sugar. In my presence they all make excuses for their food choices.

I don’t want to be the food police.

In fact, there are times that I wish I was an ordinary eat-like-the-rest-of-the-world-individual. Quiet as it’s kept, I know that Buffalo wings are tasty and that cheesecake could wash away every care (at least for about 15 minutes, lol).

To be honest, on occasion I contemplate throwing this whole clean eating agenda out the window.

That’s until I won the dance contest. Continue reading

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How to Maintain or Lose Weight this Thanksgiving

thanksgiving weight

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Have you ever considered how many calories you would need to burn after feasting on Thanksgiving?

Well lets start with the obvious. Most of us tend not to think about weight and exercise during the Thanksgiving weekend.

And with all the different foods…turkey, dressing and mac & cheese and desserts like cheesecakes, sweet potato pie, and pumpkin pie, it  can become increasingly impossible to keep track of what we’re taking in.

Studies done by the Calorie Control Council shows that the average turkey dinner with all the trimmings can pack a whopping 3000 calories, not including the additional 1500 calories consumed through snacking, appetizers and little nibbles here and there. All mounting up to a whopping 229 grams of fat!
Sheesh! Right? But don’t worry. Here’s a few tips to help you avoid the battle of the bulge.
Get Active:
  • Plan ahead of time. Create a system or a how to attack the weekend festivities.
  • Eating less and exercising more is the key to averting weight gain during this time.
  • You’re surrounded by family, so make exercising a family activity. Have fun with the added benefits.
Eat Breakfast:
  • Skipping breakfast may seem like the key to preserving the calories; but experts say that eating a small meal can actually help you maintain a level head when making item selections later.
Lighten Up:
  • Instead of wallowing in all of the fat that goes along with the rich ingredients we may use; you can opt for more healthier recipes, that will give you all the satisfaction without the guilt.
Slowly Savor:
  • Eating slower, releasing your fork and having conversations in between each bite, will allow your brain to process that you’re full. 
  • Eating until you’re satisfied, versus until you’re are full, will help you maintain control and save your waistline at the same time.

Lastly, have realistic expectations. Instead of looking to lose weight during the holiday due to all the obstacles we have to face, just try to maintain your weight.

At the end of the day, the most important thing is to enjoy yourself and your family!

Here’s To Your Health!!!

Stephanie B. DavisCertified Natural Health Professional

**Disclaimer: Please pray and ask God for direction and always consult a doctor before starting any new regimen.**

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Tips for Holiday Safety and Theft Prevention


Hey Guys! “It’s beginning to look a lot like the holidays, everywhere you go.”

And depending on where you live, you may have noticed a shift in the temperature. It’s like one moment fall is in bloom—the leaves are looking lovely in such a beautiful array of colors—and then BAM! Winter has crept up on fall’s heels. The leaves have fallen off the trees and in some areas old man winter has already shown his face.

I live in Buffalo…enough said!

Then to further complicate things we are in the season of Holiday Shopping.

On the one hand, the excitement and great feeling you get on the inside as Christmas carols are played on the sound systems throughout the stores is wonderful.

But on the other hand because we feel good and people seem to be a lot nicer,  we can become vulnerable to holiday crime and theft.

Therefore, I’m offering some safety tips that will not only keep you vigilant, but also insure that you have a safe and enjoyable experience this holiday season. Continue reading

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How to Use Turmeric


Hey Guys!

You may remember from past post, or perhaps be putting into action, that old age Ayurvedic practice (origins in the Vedic culture of India) called Oil Pulling!

Well in keeping with the Indian culture let’s talk about a little spice that originated from India called Turmeric! Yes, it’s known to add flavor to many eastern cuisines, but it has also been used for centuries for its naturopathic healing properties.

Turmeric is a spice that comes from the curcuma longa plant and is considered an herbal remedy due to its anti-inflammatory and therapeutic attributes.

Turmeric is loaded with many nourishing nutrients such as protein, fiber, niacin, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, sodium, potassium, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, and zinc; and because of these components, Turmeric can be used to treat a number of health problems as well as used for many beauty treatment.

Lets take a closer look…
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30 Day Smoothie Challenge – Days 11 – 15

30-Day-Challenge-HeaderThank you again to Young and Raw for hosting this great challenge.

Please comment and share your smoothie pics for inspiration. You’re making a big difference just by sharing and encouraging people around you. Be sure to also share your comments, feedback and results with us in the Facebook Group!

Here are your recipes for the next 5 days…Enjoy!

Day 11: Kiwi Omega Booster

2 kiwi (peeled, if non-organic)
½ field cucumber
2 cup spinach
¼ cup cilantro
1 tbsp chia or hemp seeds
1 cup water or coconut water

Tips and Tricks: Kiwis are one of our favorite nutritional powerhouse foods. They are rich in an enzyme called actinidain which will aid your body in the digestion of protein molecules.  They are also full of potassium, a mineral that will help to balance out blood pressure by moderating the effects of sodium. Kiwis can also help to prevent blood clots when eaten on a regular basis. Continue reading

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The 30-Day Green Smoothie Challenge — Day 6 – 10 Smoothies

30-Day-Challenge-HeaderThis challenge is easy and a great way to get in your fruits and vegetables.  

Day 6: Healthy Orange Julius 
1 fresh or frozen banana
1 orange, peeled
1 lime, peeled
2 cups spinach
1 cup almond milk

Tips and Tricks: Who says you need egg whites to make a delicious creamy smoothie!
This smoothie is packed full of vitamin C, which will help to boost your immune system as well
as contribute to the formation of strong, healthy skin. It is also rich in iron due to the spinach
content. You will be increasing your bodies ability to  absorb the iron in your spinach by
combining it with the vitamin C rich citrus fruits as well.

Day 7: Peach Perfect Ginger Delight
2 cups fresh or frozen peaches
2 cups arugula
1 celery rib
1-inch piece ginger root
1 cup water or coconut water

Tips and Tricks: Peaches are an awesome addition to your regular fruit rotation. Peaches
are rich in antioxidants as well as vitamins A and C which will help to protect your body against
heart disease, as well as nourishing and protecting your skin. They are also rich in selenium
which means that they can protect your cells from damage as well as
cancer formation and growth.

Day 8: Green Pear Fiber Booster
2 pears, cores and stems removed
2 cups green leaf lettuce
¼ cup parsley
1 tbsp chia or hemp seeds
1 cup water or coconut water

Tips and Tricks: Pears are one of the best sources of dietary fibre in the plant kingdom.
RIch in soluble fiber, which is the fiber that absorbs water to help soften and add bulk
to the stools, keeping your digestive system clean. This type of fiber is also responsible for
helping to reduce cholesterol levels in the body. The skin of the pear is where most of the
fiber resides, so be sure to include the skin.

Day 9: Blackberry Antioxidant Rescue
2 cups fresh or frozen blackberries
½ orange, peeled
2 cups spinach
1-inch piece ginger root
¼ cup cilantro
1 cup water or coconut water

Tips and Tricks: You may be able to guess that blackberries are rich in antioxidants just by
looking at their rich, dark color. Blackberries are rich in anthocyanins which help to defend the
body against age related degeneration as well as cancer cell formation. They are rich in rutin
which will help to improve circulation, and these berries help to fight inflammation, making
them an all around amazing food for helping to prevent disease in general.

Day 10: Tropical Vitamin Booster
1 cup fresh or frozen mango
1 cup fresh or frozen pineapple
2 cups green leaf lettuce
1 lime, juiced
1 cup water or coconut water

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Sweat Makes You a Better You

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You may not be aware of this little fact, but we’re born with quite a few sweat glands–2 to 4 million sweat glands to be exact.

Now depending on how many sweat glands you’re born with will determine how much you sweat. Women tend to have more sweat glands then men; but men tend to be more active then women resulting in more sweat produced.

Some think of sweat as a huge inconvenience; sweating during exercise is one thing, but sweating when you’re anxious, embarrassed, angry, or scared is another thing all together.

Some people despise sweat so much they are willing to to be injected under their arms with botox. Ouch!

Okay, okay it’s true–sweat is not very popular, yet it is important and quite beneficial. So are you ready? Then, Let’s get ready to…….Sweat!!!

Sweat Cools Your Body:
  • Your body needs to sweat to avoid overheating. If your body overheats then you could be in danger of heat exhaustion and heatstroke.

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