21 Nov Happy Thanksgiving
Can you believe Thanksgiving Day is next week?! I’m still in denial and really need to go to the grocery store. Wednesday is probably an okay day for that, right?! As a result, several of the recipes included this week can be made for your Thanksgiving meal. Bon appetit!
On the topic of Thanksgiving Day, I’d love to talk about six pointers for striking a healthy balance between enjoying your delicious, once a year meal and festivities with your on-going health and fitness goals.
- You’re not cheating. Please consider NOT calling Thanksgiving Day a cheat day. Why? Because “cheating” has a negative connotation and we’ve seen how hard you work in boot camp. You’re not a cheater. Remember the 80/20 rule? It means that the majority of the time (80%) you enjoy balanced meals and snacks (carbs/protein/veggies) and the rest of the time (20%) you do you. Healthy eating is a lifestyle and the word “diet” simply means the food we eat and drink, so a diet is not a fad you get on and off, it’s something you do for life.
- Survey the smorgasbord. This pointer applies to the big day and all of the upcoming holiday festivities. Take a second to browse the food available and then serve yourself the must-haves. The idea here is frequency and portion size. We talk about this often, so if it’s a food item you only eat once a year, don’t deny yourself – serve yourself a reasonable portion and savor it!
- Make a healthy back-up. If you’re hosting or bringing a dish, consider providing a healthy option – a lighter classic or veggie dish. Even if you’re famous for your butter-laden mashed potatoes, give the people what they want, BUT consider making a bonus healthy veggie dish, so you’ll know at least you ate something nutritious that day. A family member or friend who is also wellness-minded will definitely appreciate your thoughtfulness. And if others laugh at your health food stuff, that’s okay – different strokes, right?!
- Alcohol, water, alcohol, water. If you enjoy adult beverages, do so responsibly. One way to do this is to ensure you stay hydrated (with water – I’m not talking about more beer/wine/spirits). Alternating beverages with water will help you stay sharp and avoid some of the extra calories that alcohol and mixers provide.
- Keep it moving. If you’re spending Thanksgiving solo, with a small group, or a large group, consider a way to move. A Thanksgiving Day walk/run, throwing the ol’ pigskin around, taking a post-meal stroll, or knocking out a workout at home are some ideas.
- Reach out to someone. We’ve shared it with you before, but it’s worth repeating. Even if you love the holidays – the gatherings, memories, and fun – remember that for others, the holidays can trigger depression, stress, suicide, and anxiety. Please think hard about at least one person you can call, text, email, write to, or invite to share love and kindness. You might never know how much it means to them.
by Victoria Emmitt RD