Turkey Day S.O.S.

Hey folks, happy (almost!) weekend.  Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about one of my absolute favorite holidays: Thanksgiving.  Memories of thanksgiving involve: making up plays with my cousins to perform to all of my family, the smells of roasting turkey throughout my grandpa’s house, my mom going nuts with all the cooking (obviously thanksgiving isn’t complete without the yearly meltdown), a nearly-severed finger while cutting apples for a galette (fancy french word for an apple pie), and of course….AMAZING FOOD.

On the down side, I often feel like Thanksgiving (and the days following) are spent in an eating haze with unending amounts of leftovers, pie for breakfast (not the best idea if you don’t want to crash and burn by 11 o’clock) and lazing around the house doing not much.  Not the best for staying in shape through the holiday season, especially if you plan to be able to zip up that gorgeous sparkly dress you got for New Years.  Here are some simple tips I’ve picked up over the years to help get you through Turkey Day unscathed:

Start an Active Holiday Tradition

Ok so I’m not saying that you can’t be a little lazy…however, there’s lots of fun things you can do over Thanksgiving that take advantage of the beautiful season and get your butt in gear.  Taking walks to the grocery store or around the neighborhood can be a great way to spend quality time with your family and while getting some exercise and taking care of last minute errands (where’s that damned baster anyways!).  For the outdoorsy, www.localhikes.com has lists of local hikes outside main metropolitan areas – a perfect opportunity to get some fresh air with your family and see the beautiful fall leaves.  For the more ambitious, many cities host “Turkey trot” runs, which are open to all ages and is a great ways to get some exercise prior to Thanksgiving dinner, so you can really earn that slice of pumpkin pie!

Potluck It!

If you are not hosting Thanksgiving, offer to bring something nourishing.  Great ideas include salad, or veggies with homemade hummus or bean dip.  Try making lightened version of a traditional holiday dish, such as homemade stuffing using chicken broth instead of butter.  Not only are you a help to the host, you’ll know that there is at least one healthy item on the menu!  If you’re hosting, try to do lighter versions of some of your holiday favorites — my family usually does a mix between traditional recipes and healthy ones. Cookinglight.com has some really droolworthy, healthy recipes for Thanksgiving.

Don’t STARVE YOURSELF before the meal!!

You may think that by skipping meals or not eating enough the day of Thanksgiving that you’re “saving up” for the big meal.  But in reality, if you walk into a party full of tempting foods when you’re starving, you may be setting yourself up to gorge on sweets and other unhealthy fare.  Try to have a nutritious snack beforehand, such as yogurt with fruit, a banana with peanut butter, or a handful of almonds to take the edge off your hunger.  If you choose to indulge in alcohol at the party, try to limit it to 1 or 2 glasses and make sure to drink plenty of water in between.  No one likes a sloppy cousin/aunt/uncle.

Make Time for Yourself

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season can be incredibly taxing on both your physical and emotional health.  Make sure to schedule private to do the things you love, whether it be taking that weekly yoga class or reading a good book.  Try to get a proper amount of sleep.  Not only will you feel more calm, your body and immune system will thank you for it!

and finally….

Thanksgiving is ONE MEAL

While it may be tempting to eat pecan pie for breakfast…I wouldn’t recommend it.  If you’re hosting Thanksgiving, try to give your more fattening dishes away and keep the healthier ones (aka turkey, simples veggie side dishes, fruit) for yourself.  Hey….you’re the boss!  Keeping all those holiday desserts, stuffing, and buttery potatoes around all week isn’t gonna do anything for you and it certainly isn’t helping starving children in Africa if you eat it!  So get rid of it  — give it to your neighbors or guests instead.

And as is tradition in my family, I am sharing one thing that I am thankful for this year, and that is ….YOU, my readers!  Thanks for your interest and your enthusiasm!  I hope that this blog continues to inspire you to make healthy choices and enjoy all that life has to offer!



p.s.  Stay posted for a delicious fall recipe that will knock your socks off!

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