It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is just a few days away. It happened so fast I’m not sure the trees were ready.
When we think about thanksgiving it’s filled with family and lots of lots of eating and sitting around. Or that’s how it is in most families. Mine is a bit different as my parents are snow birds and fly south the end of October. They don’t plan on coming back to see snow so stay there until spring.
Our tradition is to have Thanksgiving and Christmas all together on a random weekend in October. My mom decorates her tree with Halloween decorations, we carve pumpkins and exchange Christmas presents. My mom also empties out her fridge and freezer so we feast on casseroles and a combination of things she is trying to use up. No turkey for us. The best part is my brother and I load up our coolers with everything that wasn’t eaten before we leave and what is left in the freezer. It’s a lot of fun. And Christmas day we get to relax and enjoy everything that Santa brings without a lot of travel and chaos.
Afterwards we question
what we did to ourselves?
Most people celebrate Thanksgiving with turkey and ham and all of the fixing followed by pies and cakes and other delicious sweet treats. Everyone is so stuffed and in a turkey coma after that they can barely move. Afterwards we question what we did to ourselves. Why did we eat so much? As we are starting to come out of the sugar coma we tell ourselves we will never do this again. This gross feeling after is not worth how good it tastes during.
Thanksgiving is the time when the weather changes and people become less active. Social activities start to increase especially leading up to the end December. The combination of poor food choices, late nights, alcohol and decreased activity increases stress to the body and brain. People often give themselves a 3 month pass on their personal health and wellness journey. And then in January New Year’s resolutions are made to try to undo the damage that was done.
So how do we break this cycle?
How can we start this Thanksgiving right?
At Home Fit we believe in balance and have come up with a few tips and tricks that can apply to this Thanksgiving as well as social obligations going forward.
1. If you are hosting make sure you have a lot of veggies precut. You can store them in the fridge in a sealed container ahead of time and just put them out on a tray midafternoon. If there are only healthy options people will be more apt to grab them. If you aren’t hosting, bring a veggie tray with you.
2. Eat your food on smaller plates. Not everyone will want to partake, so you may want to give people the option of small and large. If you are a guest ask for a smaller plate. It takes 20 minutes for your food to digest. Sit and chat with people around you. If you are still hungry after 20 minutes, then help yourself to another half a plate and repeat. This makes eating a social event and more enjoyable.
3. Fill half of your plate with salads and veggie options. Not only are greens full of amazing vitamins and minerals that help your body and brain, but they are also packed with fibre. Fibre helps you feel full faster than if you were to eat a high calorie alternative.
4. Put dressings on the side. You can cater to the health-conscious guests and those who are not ready to make that choice yet, by adding dressings and salts on the side. Have them on the table so they can add as much or as little as they want.
5. Serve fruit for an option for dessert. This can be as easy as thawing out frozen berries. There is nothing wrong with having a small slice of cake or pie and adding fruit on the side instead of whip cream.
6. Start your day with a healthy breakfast. Our cottage cheese and berry breakfast is a great choice.
7. If you are going to be a guest eat a healthy meal before you go. You don’t know when you will be served dinner and what snacks will be provided. To prevent yourself from filling up on high calorie low nutritious snacks, fill your belly before you go.
8. Schedule your workouts before hand. Having a plan in place can make the difference between completing your workout and not being able to fit it in. Make sure you get your heart rate pumping for at least 30 minutes in a row.
9. Try to get a few people to join you for a post dinner walk.
10. Make a pie without the crust. A few of us in my family are gluten free. My mom always has a crust free pumpkin pie ready for us. Not only does it cut the calories you would normally get from the crust, but allows guests who have a gluten intolerance to enjoy a slice as well.
Holiday eating and social events do not always have to be associated with stuffing yourself until you are full and gaining extra weight.
This year let’s focus on having a more active and healthy social calendar. One full of nature walks and activities. Bring some games that everyone can play and enjoy. Outdoor games are an added bonus. Get the focus off of food and more about everyone having a good time together.
We’d love to hear how you plan on making your Thanksgiving more active and healthy. Comment on our Facebook page or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org the recipes and activities that get you out in this beautiful fall weather.