Only 7 days until Americas most gluttonous day of the year, Thanksgiving! If you are anything like me, you are already dreaming about all of the tasty treats that you will be indulging in next week at this exact time.
Pumpkin pie, sweet potato casserole, gravy, stuffing...mmm, my mouth is already watering.
Since I haven't celebrated a turkey day since 2007 because I have always had to work, I am jumping up and down inside with the thoughts of a full day of my life devoted to the three F's in my life...
|Thanksgiving circa 2007|
Family, Food, Faith.
The family and the faith part I can handle, it's the food part that can get a bit troubling around at times. When amongst great company and great food on holidays, it can be difficult to have the willpower to not over stuff my mouth with junk food. I know I'm not the only one with this problem, this is America and 33% of adults and approximately 17% of children are obese (source). Yikes, those numbers scare me every time I think about them.
While I'm not a dietitian, I try my best to make the healthiest choices I can for this one body that I am given. That being said, here are a few things that I am making note of to get me through the holiday season without busting the seams on my pants.
Fill up plate with veggies first.
Is it just me, or do the plates seem to get larger and larger every holiday? My rule of thumb is to devote at least 50% of the plate to veggies and put them on my plate first, that's just my system. This way by the time I get to the gravy, rolls, and sweet potato casserole there is limited space and I'm not overdoing it on my starches, proteins, and fats.
Don't go crazy with the appetizers.
Ever heard of a "hanky panky"? No? Is my family the only one that gives appetizers obscene names?
|Hanky Panky (source)|
I generally tend to avoid the crudites or healthier choices and instead fill up on the fattiest and greasiest appetizers available. Don't be like me, don't sit right in front of the table with all of the appetizers. Instead get up, socialize, and remove the temptation to gorge yourself on the apps.
Start the day with a healthy breakfast.
Back in my earlier years I used to save all of my Thanksgiving day calories for later in the day, meaning I just wouldn't eat. BIG MISTAKE! Ignoring hunger earlier in the day turns the human stomach into a ravaging beast that when unleashed does major damage. These days knowing that I'll be consuming some high fat and calorie foods later in the day I like to fill up on fruits, grains, and proteins that will leave me feeling full until dinner. Best to start the day making healthier choices, I find that the selections I make early in the day tend to effect the common sense of my choices later in the day.
Try to fit in some type of physical activity.
This can be tricky, but it is manageable. Take a brisk walk with some family members while the turkey is roasting, start of the day with a 15 minute yoga session, play football or take the dog for a walk. Some activity is better none.
Go easy on the cocktails.
If my family reads this, they may be appalled that I am even suggesting this. Booze tends to have a lot of empty calories and often times makes us dehydrated. Nurse your drinks and allow yourself a "max" while sipping on water every now and then.
|Pumpkin martini anyone? (source)|
Just like the cocktails, go easy on the sauces.
I love a good sauce more then I can even put into words, but this is where the fat content of the day is hidden. A little sauce is good, a plate swimming in sauces may not make the tummy feel too good later.
Know that it is OK to indulge.
There is no crime in having an extra piece of turkey or a little added whipped cream on the apple pie, Thanksgiving only comes around once a year. As long as you are making mindful choices and remember that Monday will bring a fresh start to make new choices, it's all good.