I don’t know about you but I am super excited for the holidays! I love Thanksgiving. Its a great time to relax and appreciate your family. I love getting out of NYC and spending time with my family. I plan on putting my blackberry to rest for a couple of days! The only drawback with the holidays is the tendency to overindulge and pack on the pounds. While I am not going to sit here and tell you not to indulge or to make a tofu turkey, I will tell you that it is, as always, all about balance! 🙂 So below are my Top Five Tips for a Healthy Turkey Day.
1. Workout in the A.M.!– Get out of bed, put on your sneakers and workout! It doesn’t have to be a long workout but do something that gets you moving and sweating. I wanted to do a Turkey Trot (a 5k run on Thanksgiving morning) but it didn’t work out this year. Maybe next year! Instead, I’ll be popping in my Jillian Michaels Body Revolution workout DVD and burning it up for 30 minutes on Thanksgiving morning. My advice is to do it early in the morning before everyone gets to your house/you have to leave to go to dinner. I know this can be hard with all the prep work involved in Thanksgiving but it is so worth the time! So pop in your favorite DVD, go outside for a run or walk, or put on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade and jump on the treadmill and burn baby burn! I’ll also be giving you some ideas later this week, so stay tuned!
2. Eat a healthy breakfast– So many people fast before holidays and they are starving by the time dinner rolls around leading them to eat everything in sight. Instead of starving yourself, make a healthy breakfast. Try oatmeal or egg whites and toast or a whole-grain cereal. Don’t overdo it but definitely have something with enough fiber and protein to hold you over for a few hours.
3. Avoid too many appetizers and get in the kitchen– We all know that the real stars of the day are the turkey and its sides so don’t fill up on too many apps before the real deal. I’m not saying don’t have any, try one of each or two or your favorite. Just don’t go crazy. Also, cooking and cleaning burn a ton of calories so if you are hosting Thanksgiving at your house, you’ll be in for some extra calorie burn getting ready for your guests. If you are going to another person’s home, offer to help them set the table, put out appetizers, make and serve drinks, or even cook! Help out as much as you can-your hostess and your waistline will thank you.
4. Keep your portions in check– Now its time for the thing everyone has been waiting for-the meal! Its Thanksgiving so it is o.k. to indulge. There is no point in depriving yourself, you’ll just regret it later and life is too short for regrets. However, that is not a license to go crazy. If you love stuffing and sweet potatoes with butter and mashed potatoes with gravy then have some! BUT, don’t go crazy on the portions. Take a little of everything you want and eat until you are satisfied-not stuffed. You can always take some leftovers home with you to have tomorrow. The food we eat at Thanksgiving is not inherently bad for you (hello green beans, yams, sweet potatoes, etc), but they do tend to be prepared in not the most healthful fashion and having too much of anything is bad. So keep it in check and savor the fact that you have some more for tomorrow!
5. Stay active after dinner– Dinner is over and its time to…watch football and crash on the couch? No way! Help clear the plates, do the dishes or load the dishwasher. Then engage your friends or family in a walk around the neighborhood, a game of touch football or, if you are like my family, break out the Wii! My mom and I are a little obsessed with Just Dance and sometimes I can get the hubs to play (if I ask nicely). But other favorites include tennis, bowling and golf. Anything that keeps you on your feet and moving will help you burn off the calories and also prevent any disruptions in your sleep that an afternoon nap might cause!
So there you have it! My Top Five Tips for a Healthy Turkey Day. Give ’em a try. They aren’t hard and you won’t have to deprive yourself, I promise! Also, remember to stay active on Friday to negate any effects from a possible pie indulgence! 🙂