Carpe Run

Seizing the day (and the run) one day and mile at a time!

Having a Healthy Thanksgiving and Falling Off the Wagon

on November 21, 2012

Good Morning!  So basically….I’ve had a rough few days.  Not in a mylifeissohorribleIcan’tseeanythingpositiveinit sort of way, just a I’msostressedmyeyewon’tstoptwitchingandI’vegottoomuchtodo way.  I’ve put myself in a bit of a bind between school work and Thanksgiving prep and it has left me in a rut.  The real problem is that I’ve used this stress as an excuse to overeat and not exercise these past few days, and guess what?  True to form, I feel like crap.  Monday night wasn’t great and I did do Body Pump yesterday but I didn’t run and I managed to eat everything under the sun.  The great part is TODAY IS ANOTHER DAY and I can start fresh right now.  There is no need for “oh well I’ll just start over next week after Thanksgiving”.  <– In the past that totally would have been my solution.

I wanted to share our dinner from last night as it was a success but I forgot to upload the pictures (oops).  We had a lightened up version of Shrimp Scampi from here over spaghetti squash that I roasted on Sunday and of course the requisite bowl of raw spinach.  I bought a ton of fresh green beans but forgot to steam them so we just had the salad.  Then I proceeded to go and eat ice cream, mini pumpkin muffins, half of a Panera goodie, a Creme Brulee latte, a few nips of the fried cornbread I was making for our turkey dressing and the finished dressing that I couldn’t fit in the dish I was putting it in to bake for tomorrow.  If I’m not careful MY stuffing is going to be hanging over the edge of my jeans tomorrow…I digress.  That leads me to the rest of this post, and the plan I’ve devised for this year’s Thanksgiving.  No it’s not rocket science people, and this isn’t change your life information, just thought I would share my thoughts on how I am going to consciously make an effort not to stuff my face and end up consuming THOUSANDS more calories than a typical day and literally gaining a pound or two from ONE DAY.  I truly think that it is possible and even easy (speaking for my own eating habits at holiday meals) for us to eat disgusting amounts of calories on Turkey Day and I want to try and avoid that.

– The first thing I’m doing to combat the holiday pudge is starting my morning with a Turkey Trot!  Ben and I will be running the Tidewater Striders Turkey Trot 10k first thing in the morning.  I plan to do my regular routine of a healthy protein filled breakfast and then hit the run to burn some proactive calories and get a good sweat in.  There are 3 Turkey Trots of all lengths in our area this year and tons all over the country.  Most allow morning-of registration so it’s not too late!  Even if you don’t want to join in with others to work for the turkey make your own Turkey Trot with friends or family!  If all else fails, head out on your own and enjoy the quiet of Thanksgiving morning when no one is rushing off to work.  Whatever you choose to do, start your day off with sweat!!

– This year I’m going to make a conscious effort to drink TONS of water throughout the day.  All the sodium I’ll be consuming is bound to make me bloated and I need to focus on staying hydrated anyway.  This could also combat some of my perceived hunger.

– I plan to eat a healthy amount of greens before heading out for our Thanksgiving meal.  That may seem silly…eating before going to eat to avoid eating too much…but I think putting a little bit of yummy raw spinach and romaine in my tummy may keep me from eating too much of the good stuff.

– When I approach the table of bounty, my strategy will be this:

  • An appropriate amount of white meat turkey, meaning about 4 or 5 ounces
  • A small square of dressing and normal portion of mashed potatoes (about 1/2 a cup)
  • As many green things as I can get my hands on.
  • SMALL portions of all the sweet things I love that aren’t even part of the dessert course i.e. sweet potato casserole, corn pudding, carrot souffle, etc.  I think I should have a taste of all the things I love just not huge portions of all of them!
  • NO dinner rolls.  If I’m already eating dressing I’m getting more than enough of my share of bread and don’t need a roll.
  • NO seconds.  I’m not going to lie and I’m not proud of it, but in the past I am usually one of the first ones to go back for seconds, and I get another full portion of all of those delicious things I love!  The trouble is, I ate so fast the first time and I’m not even entirely sure I took the time to taste them!  Not to mention I end up feeling like I’m in the running to be the newest float in the Macy’s Day Parade by the time I finish.  There is no reason to make myself that miserable.
  • Dessert.  Oh boy.  Dessert is my weakness, but I think by having a cup of coffee or tea and slowly sipping it and getting a plate with SMALL portions of the things I want to try will help.  I am a known grazer who will just linger around and keep eating dessert, and that is changing this year.

– After lunch (we eat at 1:00) we are headed to Ben’s dad’s for round 2, but before we do that I’d like to get in a good walk and squeeze in this workout I found on Pinterest:

It should be another opportunity to sweat and burn off a few calories.  I also think it would help me to not feel as sluggish and tired as I normally would by Thanksgiving evening.

I know Thanksgiving is just one day, but it is one day that can send us spiraling into bad habits throughout the holidays.  I don’t need to include all the statistics about holiday weight gain that are out there, but I just like to keep in mind that 3500 calories = 1 pound and it is EASY believe it or not to eat that many calories with big meals like Thanksgiving, especially if you can eat like I can if I put my mind to it.  At the heart of the matter the meal is just a meal, nothing more, and the holiday shouldn’t be just about crushing on a massive meal.  Other than the practical things I listed above, I hope to be conscious and thankful this Thanksgiving that I have a table to sit at, wonderful family and friends to fellowship with, and most of all an abundance of food to eat at my leisure, a LUXURY that so many others will never know.  With these things in mind, I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday that is less food-centric and doesn’t break the bank.

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2 responses to “Having a Healthy Thanksgiving and Falling Off the Wagon

  1. Laura, thanks so much for sharing my recipe for Shrimp Scampi Pasta Lightened Up. I’m so happy you liked it!

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