Yep, Thanksgiving is right around the corner. It came so quickly this year, didn't it? I can't believe it's this week! Seems like just yesterday we were celebrating Halloween and the start of Fall! Anyway, I'm sure you're all catching up on the latest tips for not over-indulging this year, and looking for ways to cut down on the calories during your Thursday feast. There are many sources out there on revamping recipes to be healthier, ways to cut back on the amount of food you eat, etc. So instead of giving you the "usual" pointers for a healthier holiday, I decided to give you some non-traditional ways to be healthier, but also let yourself "indulge".
1 | Get moving! (That includes you, chef!)
Thanksgiving is usually filled with sedentary activities - watching the game, sitting around the dinner table, idly chatting in the living room, or even taking a long nap after the feast. Try to combat being sedentary by getting yourself and your family/friends up and outside! "But the game is on - I can't miss it," you say? How about going out and tossing a football around during halftime? "But I'm slaving in the kitchen all day - I don't have time to go outside." There are plenty of mini exercises you can do to right in the kitchen while you work! Squats while mixing? Sure! Lunges to your cabinet/fridge and back? Okay. Jumping jacks while you wait for things to boil/mix/bake/etc.? You bet! Before you know it, you'll have gotten in a full workout by the time the table is set! (Scroll to the end of the post for a Turkey Day workout you can do right at home!)
2 | Actually allow yourself the pie (within reason).
I think this is an important tip. Just like one healthy meal won't make you entirely healthy (although it IS one step closer), one indulgence won't make you overweight. This is NOT by any means a green light to have a free-for-all at the table, however. What I mean is it's okay to tell yourself that SMALL indulgences are allowed! In fact, I believe they actually HELP with keeping you on track for heathy eating. No one person can eat healthy 100% of the time, and if they do, I guarantee you there isn't a day (or many days) that goes by that they don't think about indulging. Sometimes being SO strict with your diet can do more harm than good (when you finally allow yourself to give in, you go nuts!). So, bottom line, if you want the slice of apple pie, or the mashed potatoes with butter, have it - in moderation.
True, this isn't a way to add exercise or healthy eating to your Thanksgiving Day game plan, but volunteering to serve a hot meal at your local shelter is a great way to "indulge" in spreading love, giving thanks, and getting up and about instead of sitting stuffed at a table. Get some friends and family together and find your local homeless shelter, senior center, or anywhere accepting volunteers on Thanksgiving Day. Spread the love and be thankful you are able to do so.
I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday filled with fun and memorable moments with your beloved family and friends. Remember, one healthy choice at a time, even if that means having that slice of pie (but just one!). Until next week, have a healthy and happy week (and holiday) ahead.