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Food & Nutrition Holiday Fast Track Uncategorized

Tips To Stay On Track During Thanksgiving

Tips To Stay On Track During Thanksgiving

A time to be with loved ones, eat family favorite dishes and express our gratitude. I am talking about Thanksgiving. Along with all the wonderful things this holiday brings, it unfortunately can come with stress, unwanted pounds and feeling run down and sluggish. Add travel on top of that for some more added challenges, right?  However, if you are smart, you can stay on track to win.  I’m going to share some very easy and smart tips so you have no worries this Thanksgiving.

In no particular order, here are my best tips to still indulge, still have a wonderful time and still feel amazing throughout it all! We are going to watch out for the “B, L, T’s” (bites, licks, and tastes), stay active (Turkey Trot is a great idea!) and try to slow down.

With the proper hydration, proper sleep and staying mindful, you just can’t go wrong. It’s as EASY AS PUMPKIN PIE! Remember, our eyes are bigger than our stomachs. Let’s get started.

Drink More Water

No surprise there. You’ve heard it before and you will hear it again, but it is one of the best and easiest things you can do. Start your day off by polishing off two huge glasses of water, especially during a holiday like Thanksgiving. Your goal is to drink half your body weight in ounces. Example: if you weigh 150 lbs drink 75 ozs. It may sound a bit much but it is necessary. Trust me. Remember, you can flavor your water, if that helps.

Much of the time during the holidays people think by saving all their calories for the “big” meal is a fantastic idea. Sorry to tell you but it is not a good idea at all. It will just make you moody; you will over eat and in return, feel awful. It is never a good idea to not NOT eat. This will only backfire and make you feel more physically and mentally not so great and we do not want that.

  • Instead, start your day with a superstar breakfast. Great examples include; oatmeal, eggs, high-fiber cereal, smoothies, or the best choice–a green drink, are all great choices.
  • Again, most people try to save calories during the holidays but instead I recommend packing a snack and having something to eat before the big feast.
  • Also, bring your own dish if you really want to have this nailed. Nothing wrong with bringing in a veggie tray with hummus or fruit. This will help you not be so tempted to over indulge and keep your energy up.

Lighten up Dishes and Experiment with Recipe Modification

What this means is instead of comfort food all around the table, try a few new things. For example, try cauliflower mashed potatoes. You can make the traditional version, but try this too. You may be shocked at how much you like it. I make both every year but many guests request the cauliflower mashers! Remember, if you put it out, people will eat it.

  • Bring out the veggies and make sure you have a few healthier options with less fat, less sugar and less calories.
  • Great substitutions are to use applesauce or pumpkin instead of oil in muffins, cookies, or breads.
  • In place of sugar, try a sugar substitute or fruit purées.
  • Try Greek yogurt in replace of heavy sour cream or cream cheese for savory dishes.
  • Don’t forget to load up on the veggies and go for nutritional dense food like turkey, sweet potatoes, fresh cranberries, chest nuts and green beans.  At least there is still some nutrients in these. (Hopefully, they were not over cooked or drowning in butter!)

Eat Mindfully

This is a great time to eat mindfully, not only during the holidays like Thanksgiving, but for every day.  This is a huge tip if you want to lose pounds! We are all on the go, especially during Thanksgiving (travel, shopping, entertaining, etc.) but we need to slow down. This helps you to savor your meals.

  • A food journal would be a great tool right about now to help you monitor your meals.
  • Try to not hurry, try to watch your portions and try to skip seconds and you may just realize you don’t need them after all. This would be, in thanks, to that healthy breakfast and snack you chose in between. See how this works? This way you can still indulge without packing on all the pounds. Just be smart.
  • Remember to eat until you are SATISFIED, NOT STUFFED!

Try to Not Socialize by the Appetizer Table

Such a simple tip. Think about it. Ever been stuck with the awkwardness (we all have that one relative, right!) and then you look down a beautiful tray of fresh baked cookies or fried appetizers that are calling your name in hopes they will save you! Even if you are having a great time with all the food, you will eat mindlessly if you stay by the appetizer table. This takes you out of the present moment.

  • I say, grab some items on a small plate and walk away.
  • I also love to put a spoon in bowls of food like nuts, so people know how much they are putting in their hand. A simple tip with a great result and no one will notice. Plus, it’s more sanitary! Nuts are so great for you but not in HANDFULS!

Stay Active

Not a food tip, but you knew it was coming because I am a trainer! Exercise is usually put off  this time of year but I encourage you to not avoid exercise this year. In a dream world you would start the day off hitting the gym or do a Turkey Trot as I mentioned earlier. That can too much to ask though. So instead, I encourage you to be the motivator and keep the family active.

  • The best tip is to MOVE after the big meal.
  • This is a perfect time for the family to take a walk and have quality time together.
  • Record the game and put everything on pause. A walk, bike ride, hike, or taking the dog for a walk are all great activities. Plus, the kids will need to burn off some energy so have fun with them.
  • Play Frisbee, have plank or push up competitions and see who can do the most jumping jacks or burpee’s while you are at it. This will make you feel better and keep you healthy. Then when it’s time for pie, you won’t feel sluggish and you can still indulge!

So, that’s it! Try your best to focus on the holiday meal with friends and family. Be grateful for all you have and give thanks for all your blessings. We are all so fortunate to have this amazing food along with our health that ties us together. Give thanks and celebrate! Try to maintain your weight and not lose it. We all need a day of celebration that only comes once a year. Follow these tips you can have your “pumpkin pie and eat it too.”

Happy Thanksgiving from my home to yours. When you coming over?

EAT WELL. STAY FIT. FEEL GREAT

Source:  by Monica Nelson

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Food & Nutrition Holiday Fast Track Uncategorized

How to Enjoy Being Alone on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Dinner for One

So, you are going to be alone and perhaps even in a strange city on Thanksgiving, and the very idea is getting you down. Cheer up and welcome to the club. Lots of us Americans don’t gather around a groaning board on the last Thursday in November surrounded by family and friends. Some people are alone by choice and some by circumstance, and whatever your situation, you can choose to get maudlin about the whole thing or have an enjoyable or maybe even a super fabulous day.

Lots of people have to work on Thanksgiving. If that is your situation, know that your coworkers will be working too and make a point of enjoying the day with them. I have a friend who is divorced with grown children and who is a nurse at a local hospital—she always signs up to work on Thanksgiving and always has a wonderful time sharing the day with patients and their families. She also gets paid overtime which goes a long way towards making her thankful too.

Students, ex-pats, the recently divorced, the widowed, all huddle together at holiday time, like cows under a tree before a rainstorm. Many of these will be spending Thanksgiving alone, and if you will be in their ranks, the trick is to not feel sorry for yourself but to let go and enjoy the day.

Personally, I enjoy my own company and really enjoy my solitude. I am often with family and friends on Thanksgiving, but have chosen to spend a few Thanksgivings by myself and have had some wonderful, serendipitous Thanksgivings alone or with a band of other solo celebrants. Sometimes complete strangers can be better Thanksgiving dinner companions than far flung family.

I’ve been on my own for the past decade and before that was married for 33 years, raising two children, working, playing, and generally juggling life. My husband and I were both only children of divorced parents, so the holiday season always presented familial challenges, but we were inventive, and it was always fun.

I have cooked many a turkey and presided over many a table, which is perhaps why I am so serene about being on my own for Thanksgiving. But even for me, it does take a bit of planning. Here are my tips gleaned over the years from here and there.

Make it a party of one
Make it a party of one | Source

Tips for Celebrating Thanksgiving Alone

  1. Plan Ahead: If you know you are going to be alone and not working, try to find a kindred soul or souls ahead of time and make plans to get together for a Thanksgiving meal. It can be a potluck at somebody’s house or a seasonal feast at a fancy restaurant. One year, I went to a local diner with a group of women who were alone for one reason or another. It was great. It’s a way of observing the holiday without pain. If you are working on Turkey Day, plan some sort of celebration with coworkers. It’s best not to spend the day at home alone watching sentimental holiday movies or The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV all by yourself. Make a plan, and do something to give the day a little structure.
  2. Make the Day YOURS: If you are going to be alone, do what you feel like doing and not what you think you should do. That is, don’t go to somebody’s house for Thanksgiving just because you think you should. Sometimes, being grafted on to somebody else’s family celebration can make you feel more alone than being alone. Do what you want to do. Feel like going to the gym? if it’s open, do it. Feel like taking a hike or catching a film or concert? Do it, and don’t feel you have to eat turkey either. If your idea of a great meal is pizza, get a pizza. In fact, it might be a good idea to NOT go anywhere near traditional Thanksgiving fare if you are on your own for the day.
  3. Do Unto Others: I know it is going to sound like a cliché, but if your church or temple has a soup kitchen or if there is a local food pantry or charity Thanksgiving dinner, you might want to plan to work for them on Thanksgiving. There is nothing to make you grateful for what you have like helping those who have less—they do call it Thanksgiving for a reason, you know.
  4. Stay In Touch via Skype: Through the wonders of the internet and video calling and chat, you can now stay in touch with your family on Thanksgiving without actually being with them. Sometimes, I think this is the best of all worlds, but then my family history is full of contentious Thanksgiving dinners. Never mind—that’s another article. I also love getting videos from everybody to replay later over the long weekend.
Source

Thanksgiving Dinner for One

One way to take the lonely out of alone on Thanksgiving is to go all the way and cook yourself a fabulous Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings. Whether you polish up the family silver and get out the best china or buy a package of holiday paper plates, set a festive table and make it special.

Frozen turkey dinners can seem pretty pathetic, but for the truly hopeless cook, they can be a Thanksgiving solution if, and ONLY if, you nuke the dinner and then put it on your best china plate, use real sliver and cloth napkin, and sit yourself down at a real table to eat it like a real meal. Ditto if you go out to your local deli or fast food place and get take out turkey with all the trimmings.

Presentation, as the French are fond of saying, is everything when it comes to food. No scarfing your Thanksgiving dinner down in front of the TV. Sit down at a real table in a real chair and eat like a real human being off real plates with real cutlery and chew with your mouth closed, ok? Oh, you can listen to music if you want—but NO TV.

For those with greater culinary skills, here are some links to Thanksgiving menus for one and hints on how to enjoy.

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