You Can Do It All, But You Don’t Have To

This post is sponsored by Whole Foods Market Arlington. All opinions are my own.

I was walking into Whole Foods for my weekly grocery run the other day, when a little sign in front of the store caught my eye.

Whole Foods Market Arlington: You Can Do It All

“You can do it all, but you don’t have to.”

This is the ongoing battle I have with myself, day in and day out, week after week.

Full time, I run a corporate wellness program. And you want to know what programs I want to offer? All of them.

Part time, I teach fitness classes. And while I only teach two classes a week, I want to teach more. Oh my God, how I want to teach more.

Part time, I blog. Even though I consider blogging a hobby and something I do for fun, it’s starting to provide income for me. Fitness & Feta is growing, you guys. And it’s awesome and makes me really excited for “someday.” But someday isn’t today, and today I have all sorts of posts I want to write, all sorts of projects I want to do, and all sorts of events I wish I could attend but can never make because I’m trying to run a corporate wellness program and teach fitness classes. And strength train. And food prep. And have a social life. And clean my house. And spend time outdoors. And plan my wedding. And finish my wellness coaching certification. And start my Christmas shopping. And do all those returns that have sat in my car for weeks now. And read. And think about what to make for Thanksgiving…

I am someone that tries to do it all.

Muscles

The holidays are right around the corner (can you even believe it?!), and this is a time of year that usually sends people like me right over the edge. Sure, they can be a time of joy, relaxation, and cheer, but that’s usually if you are not the one responsible for all the cleaning, cooking, baking, planning, decorating, hosting, wrapping, socializing… right!? Sound familiar?

If you can relate (cough, cough all my fellow Type A friends and readers), I want you to ask yourself something. What if, for one year, you stop trying to be superwoman (or superman)? What if instead of “getting through” November and December, you took the time to truly enjoy these months? Do you ever stop and think that our “I can do it all” attitudes are probably the true culprits of so much stress and anxiety?

I ask myself this all the time.

This holiday season, I encourage you to try to create more space in your life. Even if you want to do ALL THE THINGS, remind yourself that having those margins to breathe is just as important as crossing off everything on your to do list.

Instead of trying to survive, thrive.

Delegate.

Ask for help when you need it.

Give yourself permission to say no or do something differently.

If a tradition stresses you out, change it.

Whole Foods Holiday Menu

As I continued my grocery shopping last week, I realized that Whole Foods actually offers a pretty awesome solution for changing things up. If taking the stress out of your holiday meal isn’t a great starting point, I don’t know what is.

Whole Foods Thanksgiving Menu 2014

After browsing through the 2014 Whole Foods Thanksgiving menu, I realized you can order pretty much anything for your holiday meal. The menu includes turkeys of all kinds, signature sides, relish and gravies, breads and rolls, tons of hors d’oeuvres, fresh fruit, cheeses, soups, desserts, and more. Basically anything you need for your holiday party you can get through Whole Foods. I love that the menu also features Health Starts Here options, caters toward any allergies, and offers Meal Deals for families of 2, 4, 8, and 12. You can even get flowers and candles to decorate with!

Interested? Just visit the Whole Foods online ordering site, select what you want, and pick your items up at your local Whole Foods store. Easy as pie, except easier because you won’t have to make it. Some Whole Foods stores will even have a holiday ordering table set up with a team member taking orders right on site. Look how festive the Arlington store table is!

Whole Foods Arlington: Holiday Food Menu

No matter what you choose this season, whether it be catering your holiday meal from Whole Foods or simply turning down an invitation to a party you don’t want to go to, own your decision. Don’t feel guilty about it. Maybe you get some snide remarks from a crabby relative, but who really cares if you spent three hours trying to make a Pinterest perfect dish? Is that a non-negotiable to you? Probably not. Show yourself some compassion, and accept your decision as important to you.

–Let’s chat–
Are you someone who tries to do it all? How do you accept that you don’t have to? What are your tips for approaching the holiday season with a stress free mindset? Have you ever ordered off the Whole Foods holiday menu before?

P.S. Whole Foods Arlington is also offering some pretty cool cooking classes geared toward preparing for Thanksgiving this month! I might check out the centerpieces and hors d’oeuvres class next Tuesday, but the one on brining and roasting a turkey sounds pretty awesome too. That would totally get me out of my comfort zone! Both classes are free, but you have to sign up online, and donations will be collected to support the Feed Four More foundation.

Healthy Eating Essentials: Our Well-Stocked Pantry

Yesterday I had the day off, so naturally I decided to organize our kitchen cabinets. Thrilling, I know. They were getting really messy though, I swear! As I was going through the kitchen, I remembered that several of you have requested a post on the foods I keep my kitchen stocked with. Since it was fresh in my mind, I put a list together for you today.

Healthy Eating Essentials: Our Well Stocked Pantry

These are the items that you’ll almost always find in our kitchen. I consider them staples for healthy eating in our home, and we’re constantly using these items to create nutritious meals and snacks week after week. Keep in mind that this is not a full inventory, as I don’t mention a single fruit, vegetable, or meat/fish item. We also have gathered a lot of random other things over the years from trying different products. Instead, these are the ingredients that we use the most frequently to make salads, soups, breakfast, casseroles, baked goods, easy weeknight dinners, packed lunches for work, and more.

Grains

  • Quinoa
  • Farro
  • Barley
  • Bulgur wheat

Healthy Eating Essentials: Nuts and Seeds

Dried Fruit and Nuts

  • Dried cranberries
  • Raisins
  • Dates
  • Raw whole and slivered almonds
  • Raw cashews
  • Walnuts
  • Pecan halves/pieces
  • Pine nuts

Seeds

  • Chia seeds
  • Flax seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sunflower seeds

Canned and Shelf Items

  • Chickpeas
  • Cannellini beans
  • Black beans
  • Tuna fish
  • Oats: rolled, steel cut, and old-fashioned
  • Protein powder
  • Popcorn kernels
  • Organic pumpkin (in the fall/winter)

Healthy Eating Essentials: Oils and Spices

Oils and Vinegars

  • Extra virgin olive oil (spray and bottle)
  • Coconut oil (spray and bottle)
  • Grapeseed oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • White wine vinegar
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Rice wine vinegar
  • Apple cider vinegar

Sauces and Spreads

  • Low sodium soy sauce
  • Unsweetened applesauce
  • Unsalted peanut butter
  • Unsalted almond butter
  • Whole grain mustard
  • Dijon mustard
  • Red curry paste
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Raw honey
  • Agave
  • Real maple syrup

Dried Herbs and Spices

  • Sea salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Paprika
  • Basil (we buy fresh too)
  • Parsley (we buy fresh too)
  • Rosemary (we buy fresh too)
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Oregano
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg

Healthy Eating Essentials: Baking Cabinet

Baking Goods

  • Almond meal or flour
  • Coconut flour
  • Oat flour
  • Quinoa flour
  • Vanilla extract
  • Baking soda
  • Baking powder
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Coconut sugar
  • Dark chocolate chips
  • Unsweetened coconut flakes
  • Frozen bananas

Perishables

  • Milk: Coconut and almond
  • Eggs
  • Plain organic Greek yogurt
  • Organic cottage cheese
  • Garlic
  • Broth
  • Crumbled cheese (we mainly rotate between goat and feta)
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Ezekial bread (we keep it in the freezer!)

For anyone looking to do an overhaul of your kitchen cabinets to get rid of the old (read: not so good for you) things lying around, I hope this post helps you! If it seems like a lot, just go through each category, pick a few favorites that you think would work for you, and add them as staples in your own pantry. The more accessible you make some of these items, the easier it will be to embrace healthier eating as a lifestyle choice instead of a chore. Also, you will be less tempted to just order out or eat processed junk if you take a few simple steps to make cooking easier on yourself. We’ve come a long way with meal planning and weekend food prepping, but just stocking your kitchen with the right items is a great first step. I promise that even though it might cost a little bit of money upfront to stock up, it’s worth it for your health in the long run.

–Let’s chat–
How many of these items do you have in your pantry? What healthy eating essentials do you keep stocked in your kitchen? Have you ever done a kitchen overhaul?
What’s the weirdest item you’d find in your cabinets?

The most random things I found while cleaning yesterday? It’s a toss-up between mini marshmallows (almost hot chocolate season), green food coloring (horrifying), and tahini paste (I STILL haven’t made homemade hummus).

Catch you later, friends!