Thanksgiving is finally here. Although it does not have quite the same build up to it as the American Thanksgiving, there is still plenty of opportunity to overeat, skip workouts and get side tracked from you fitness goals.
All you need to get through this weekend, without taking a big step, back is a plan. Figure out how many family dinners you will be attending. Take a look at your gym’s schedule to see when they are closed. The last thing you want when you do manage to emerge from your turkey induced stupor Monday morning is to show up at the gym to find the doors locked or your regular class cancelled.
For many Canadians, including us at Staterra, the weekend will start early afternoon Friday with the Blue Jays game. If you are heading to a bar to watch the game you can make some choices that will not completely undue that hard workout you did Friday morning.
- If you are getting a sandwich, opt for whole wheat bread.
- Keep in mind wraps can be deceiving, they are often more processed than bread and restaurants usually put more filling in a wrap than the equivalent sandwich.
- If it comes with fries or salad, go for the salad with dressing on the side.
- If you are getting something that is generally fried, like chicken wings ask if they can bake them instead, one place you can get baked chicken wings is Fat Alberts, they have a few locatio
ns around the city that will definitely have the game on.
- As far as other game time snacks, try for veggies and dip when possible, popcorn or even pretzels.
- Also, change how you look at beer/alcohol from something you have with your snack, to the snack itself.
- Make your snacking beverage of choice water.
There are a number of ways that you can make your Thanksgiving dinner or dinners healthier. Since my parents are hosting dinner as they usually do I have offered to bring a couple of items, this helps them out with the cooking and lets me bring a couple of healthier options. I am bringing potatoes and brussel sprouts to dinner. Some years we have fried brussel sprouts but this year they will be steamed, here are a few ways to steam brussel sprouts
We will be making mashed potatoes which isn’t the healthiest way to eat potatoes but it is hard to break some Thanksgiving traditions. We will make them as healthy as possible by leaving the skins on and using fat free milk with olive oil instead of butter.
Once you start filling your plate here are a few tips to make sure you don’t have to undue that button on your pants to fit in dessert.
- Dig in to the veggies first, fill up with veggies that are high in nutrients and leave less room on the plate for the less healthy options.
- Go for meats next. Many people choose white meat over dark meat for the health benefits. While the white meat has slightly less fat it also has less nutrients, so having a bit of both won’t totally derail your healthy Thanksgiving dinner as long as you stay away from the skin.
- Choose simple carbohydrate foods (if at all). This includes dinner rolls, turkey stuffing or dressing.
- On to dessert, pumpkin pie is a staple in my house at Thanksgiving. A piece of pie is going to give you plenty of nutrients, if you stay away from the whipped cream that people often add to it pumpkin pie is relatively healthy as far as desserts are concerned.
- Remember that moderation is key. Even normally healthy foods have a way of turning unhealthy on Thanksgiving (think veggies soaked in butter and sweet potatoe pie), so eat in moderation as much as possible.
This weekend there will probably be a lot of family around, maybe a long drive to start and end the weekend and plenty of sports to watch giving you more than enough excuses to stay away from the gym. With the weather forecast this weekend, everybody should be able to find something to do outside. Whether it is a game of football while the turkey is cooking or an early morning walk through some of the cities picturesque NCC Trails there will be plenty of ways to get out and active during this mostly warm and sunny weekend.
Enjoy your weekend, be thankful for everything you have but be mindful of what you are putting into your body and how you exercise it so that you come out of the weekend feeling healthy and energized instead of over stuffed and lethargic.