Thanksgiving is one of the best holidays out there, and we all know why: the food! Every year I whip up my favorite roasted Brussels sprouts and pumpkin coffee cheesecake. It’s a great time to have fun with family and friends and be thankful (and watch the Dog Show of course!).
Unfortunately, it’s also easy to get lost in all of the calorie-dense, high-fat fare at the table. We can easily lose sight of how much we exceed our limits for carbs, fat, and sodium at Thanksgiving. Want some tips to conquer the feast tomorrow? Here are a few.
- Get moving. It’s true you can’t exercise your way out of a bad diet, but if those not-so-great eating habits are gonna be concentrated into one day (a.k.a Thanksgiving), working out a little harder or longer that day can alleviate the impact of those monstrous calories (just remember that it likely won’t burn off the whole meal) . Strength training combined with high-intensity cardio the day-of is probably the most effective.
- Go easy on the butter, gravy and sauces. Like I said, the food is the best part of course! But if you want to improve the calorie profile of your food, try to withhold slathering it in gravy or drowning it in butter, which can add extra calories pretty easily. Remember that a little goes a long way!
- Enjoy the turkey and veggies first. Munching on some lean protein and fiber first thing will help quell your hunger so you don’t overdo it on the high-calorie sides and desserts.
- Most of all: enjoy yourself! It’s so true that one day of bad eating won’t sabotage your overall healthy diet. So don’t get too high-strung on counting calories and avoiding “bad foods”, because food stress can be more harmful than any unhealthy foods we may eat. Remember to enjoy the company of friends and family, and enjoy the food!
To help you get in the spirit this Thanksgiving, remember to check out these fun facts about Thanksgiving and awesome cultural Thanksgiving recipes. And don’t forget about the leftovers! Incorporate them into these delicious recipes.
Bonus: Homemade Pumpkin Puree
I thought I would share this nice little recipe A few weeks ago, I was given a cute little pie pumpkin just after Halloween. Instead of crafting a spooky face onto it, though, I mostly forgot about it and left it to sit on my coffee table. Now, I’m putting it to use and making some homemade pumpkin puree. So if you find yourself at the grocery store and they’re out of canned pumpkin but have piles of little pumpkins, consider making some at home!
1 sugar pumpkin
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the sugar pumpkin in half and scoop out all the “guts” and seeds. Lay both halves on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake 30-45 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender. Allow to cool for at least one hour. After cooling, scoop the pumpkin flesh from the skin and blend in a blender or food processor. And done! (courtesy of Alton Brown).