Lace Up The Sneakers & Pass The Stuffing.
It’s easy to tell ourselves “Thanksgiving is only one meal,” or “I deserve to enjoy my Thanksgiving dinner.” And it’s true. You have the right to enjoy this once-a-year, rich and savory meal followed by a soft, sweet slice of warm pie.
The question is, is it really one meal? Do you find yourself snowballing the whole weekend and end up off your game?
Fit your fitness into the madness.
Thanksgiving week is a busy one. Gyms have abnormal schedules, you’re traveling, or you have family in town visiting. You’re preparing, cooking, squeezing in all of your work hours, and of course, shopping at dawn. It can be hard to get to gym or studio. But maybe, just maybe, you don’t have to.
What if you could squeeze in a workout while your bird is in the oven? Or sweat with your sister while she’s visiting without involving “guest passes” and “waitlists”? What if you could squeeze in a workout in the morning, before breakfast, before responsibility, and not have to worry about it for the rest of the day? You can.
Swapping to an at-home high intensity workout has worked wonders for my schedule, and for holidays in particular. I don’t feel bad about taking time for me when all I have to do is throw on some leggings and flip on the TV.
2. Include your family in your passion
Feeling guilty about taking time for yourself when your siblings are visiting? Why not drag them along for the fun! Nearly every town now hosts their version of a “Turkey Trot” 5K, a super fun way to break a sweat before you break down for the turkey. Not a runner? No problem at all- most Turkey Trots aren’t competitive, so you’ll have fun regardless of whether you’re a “runner” or more of a “run-walker.”
3. Swap the sweets out of your cocktails
Sangria, Spiked Cider and Moscow Mules are all super cozy options to get you fired up for fall. But those cocktails are also loaded with sugar. In fact, a typical glass of Sangria boasts up to 16 grams of sugar! There are plenty of delicious options out there that are more aligned with your goals.
My favorite: Muddle some orange or grapefruit with a few drops of agave, and a sprinkling of cinnamon. Mix this with vodka or gin, add club soda, and adorn with a citrus rind and a cinnamon sprig. Club soda is a great low-calorie cocktail alternative, as it maintains a refreshing sensation, but has zero calories, carbs or sugar.
4. Make time to gain Headspace.
I feel like this topic can be a bit taboo. No one wants to talk about how stressed they are when the point of the holidays is to literally be grateful. But with travel, family visiting, annnnd the pressure of preparing dishes, or even a whole meal, Thanksgiving can bring on stressors that not even a full day of discounted retail therapy can help. It is so important to carve out some time for your sanity next week. I do this by popping on some headphones and listening to some uplifting audio.
My favorite meditation app is Headspace, which offers free 10-minute guided meditations to help to transport you into a new train of thought.
If you’re not into meditation, don’t worry, there are tons of podcasts on the web that aim to bring positivity and shift in mindset.
If you’re hosting dinner, it’s a good idea to prepare a playlist to set the mood. Throw together your favorite fun and calm tunes or find your favorite yoga teacher on Spotify, and plug in during appetizer hour. The calming ambiance is sure set the mellow-calm vibe.
5. Swap your sides for lean and clean
I lived in the Southeast off and on for years. I waited months for the taste of sweet potatoes adorned in brown sugar and walnuts, and green bean casserole with the crunchy, salty onions on top of the creamy, cheesy sauce. These dishes might be staples on some Thanksgiving tables, but they don’t have to be on your table this year. I’ve compiled a list of Thanksgiving sides that are absolutely delicious, without the excess sugar and fat.
Swap your creamy ranch crudite dip for PaleOMG’s Creamy Butternut Squash Pomegranate Dip
Swap your green bean casserole for Food & Wine’s Gingered Green Beans
Swap your crispy salty bacon brussel sprouts for PaleOMG’s Air Fryer Bacon Brussel Sprouts
Swap your nutty mashed sweet potatoes for Country Living’s Roasted Butternut Squash with Cider Vinaigrette
Swap your honey glazed ham for Country Living’s Sweet and Smoky Cedar Plank Salmon
Swap your pumpkin cheesecake for PaleOMG’s Dairy Free Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
Hopefully these tips help you to stay a bit more balanced this holiday. If not, it’s okay. Forgive yourself. You’re only human. Thanksgiving comes once a year. No one ever fell obese from one holiday weekend. Commit to getting back on track on Monday and putting in the work. I have a group starting Monday for the 3-Day Refresh, a 3-Day cleanse to jump-start your metabolism and help you break the habits you picked up over Thanksgiving. Click here to join or learn more.
Drop a comment below with your favorite healthy holiday recipes!