Harley Pasternak is known for sculpting the bodies of some of the biggest names in Hollywood, from Kim Kardashian to Katy Perry. And what makes the trainer so sought out is his focus on simplicity. After all, his clients have some of the busiest schedules imaginable. So, we had to get his thoughts on how to stay healthy during one of the most challenging times of the year: the holidays.
Here Pasternak reveals his top tips. (Bonus: he shares some recipes, too.)
Walk 12,000 Steps a Day
Pasternak says not to worry about getting in intense sweat sessions to work off that Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas cookies. All you have to do is walk to stay fit. "Just focus on getting those steps in. Walk at least 12,000 steps per day," he says. "You can be anywhere in the world and walk your steps."
Do One Resistance Move
Luckily, there is plenty of digital content if you want to get in a complete workout. But according to Pasternak, you don't need one. "You can do as little as one straight move a day, each day of the week for different body parts," he says. "Monday might just be reverse lunges: do four sets of 20 reps. Tuesday might be hip thrusts four: do 20 reps. Wednesday might be deadlifts or active clamshells. It's really about simplifying your program."
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Focus on Sleep
"Sleep is another big one when it comes to staying healthy during the holidays," says Pasternak. "And make sure you don't have too much screen time during the day. That's so important because that affects your sleep and then affects how much you move and your food cravings."
Keep Recipes Simple
The holidays are often filled with elaborate meals that take tons of time to prep. So, for the other ones during the day, keep it simple. "I'm a big smoothie guy," he says. "I'll start the morning with a smoothie using Maple Hill Creamery milk, then mid-morning I'll have some nuts, like 20 cashews. Lunch can be a tortilla sandwich with turkey, spinach, roasted peppers and jalapeno. Then afternoon snack could be a baked apple." (Check out the baked apple recipe below.)
Enjoy Your Meals
The holidays are all about relaxing and indulging a bit. That's why Pasternak says there are no rules when it comes to celebratory mealtime. "It's just one meal," he says. "It won't ruin anything. Don't look for healthy Thanksgiving alternatives. Celebrate it, embrace it. Don't be a glutton or make yourself sick by overdoing it, but don't restrict yourself. There should be no guilt associated with it."
Harley Pasternak's Favorite Recipes
- 8 apples, cored
- 32 oz. Maple Hill organic plain Greek yogurt
Core apples, place in a baking dish in one inch of water, and sprinkle cinnamon over everything. Cover with foil and bake at 400 for two hours. Then mix two teaspoons of cinnamon into yogurt, pipe yogurt and cinnamon mixture into the center of the apples. (Piping tip: put the yogurt in a Ziploc and cut the corner off of the bag to squeeze the yogurt into the apples.)
Makes five servings
- 1 cup chia seeds (white, whole)
- 4 cups of Maple Hill Zero Sugar organic milk
- vanilla extract to taste
- sweetener to taste, using maple syrup
Mix well and let sit overnight. Serve with blackberries or raspberries on top.
Pina Colada Smoothie
- 1 medium orange, peeled and sectioned
- 1/3 cup Maple Hill organic plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons whey protein powder
- 1 frozen banana, chopped
- 1 cup fresh pineapple chunks (fresh, not canned!)
Blend until smooth.