Wow, Thanksgiving is only two days away! I can’t wait! Tonight, I’m making Artichoke Torta (our family’s tradition) and getting everything packed to head to my parents’ house tomorrow. Keenan is so excited to go to my parents’ house that he keeps saying, “Go to Nonna and Avo’s house now!” I keep reminding him that we are going tomorrow and not today. He definitely has Thanksgiving down because when I ask him why we are going to Nonna and Avo’s house, he says “Thanksgiving and eat yummy food!” It is too cute!
Speaking of Thanksgiving and all of the delicious food that will be around, it is a great time to re-evaluate your eating habits during the holiday season, check-in on your goals, and have a plan in place to not get off-track. For myself, I look forward to eating all of the tasty goodies that I only get once a year. I allow myself to splurge, having a little bit of everything (though not going overboard). I always try to get some sort of exercise in on Thanksgiving or really push myself the day before, as well as working out the day after. I say “try” because it doesn’t always work out the way I plan, so I just aim to do my best. We usually do something fun as a family the day after Thanksgiving, so I might not have a chance to work out. Either way, I try not to be hard on myself and just plan to get back on track the following day (by then, my body is usually craving my normal routine!).
In preparation for the holiday season, here are a few healthy eating tips that I try to follow:
- Don’t starve yourself: With a big meal ahead, you might be tempted to eat as little as possible (or nothing) during the day, to save your calories. By not eating, your metabolism actually slow down. In addition, you might feel cranky, irritable and even tired, if your body isn’t consuming its regular calories as it is used to. Instead, eat as you normally do during the day, but a little lighter, saving room for consuming extra calories at your holiday feast.
- Portions: Since most of the foods at your holiday feast are probably ones you only get once a year, allow yourself a small handful size portion of everything and don’t go back for seconds. By having a taste of everything, you won’t feel guilty or too full! Even if you think you are still hungry, save yourself for a small slice of pie or other dessert. I’m sure that after having dessert your stomach will feel satisfied! We tend to eat with our eyes instead of our stomachs, so having a small portion of everything will be enough.
- Leftovers: I love Thanksgiving leftovers because you can do so much with them! When you think you need a second helping of your grandma’s casserole or mashed potatoes, think about saving it for the next day. This way, you get to enjoy your “once a year goodies” again the next day (without stuffing yourself the day of your feast). Change up the form, like turning mashed potatoes into potato pancakes with some turkey and cranberries. Or, chop leftover turkey into small pieces and add to a salad for lunch the next day.
- Exercise: Keep moving! Plan your exercise accordingly. If you don’t have time to fit in a workout on the holiday or the day after, do as much as you can on the days leading up to it. I try to workout extra hard on the few days leading up to Thanksgiving and Christmas, as well as plan some time on the days after to workout (to make up for all of the calories I consumed!). If it means involving your family in your exercise, do it (what a great way to model healthy behavior!)! Go for a jog with your little one in the BOB stroller, a long family walk, ice skating, sledding or snow skiing! Most importantly, stay as active as you can during the holiday season, making sure to not miss a workout no matter how many things you have to do. The more you move, the more you will be able to stay fit throughout the holiday season and not gain those extra pounds!
- Maintain: If you have been working on weight or body fat loss the past few months, change your focus to just maintaining during the holidays. With all of the tempting goodies, it is hard to eat healthy 100% of the time. Take off some of the pressure and allow yourself to taste everything (a small handful size portion), without depriving yourself. But, keep things in check so you don’t go overboard. Be mindful of how your clothes fit and how you feel to make sure you don’t get completely off-track.
- Being Mindful: Take the time to truly savor each bite of the scrumptious food you will be eating. Listen to your body and know when you are full. Enjoy and cherish the time you are spending with your loved ones, appreciating each and every moment. Sometimes we get in “rush mode” (as I like to call it), due to the craziness of life and we forget to slow down during the holidays, taking the time to appreciate the important things in our life like family.
- Don’t Beat Yourself Up: If all else fails and you indulge in a little too much pumpkin pie, egg nog, gingerbread or stuffing, don’t be too hard on yourself. Get back on track the next day with your healthy eating and exercising. One day isn’t going to destroy all that you have worked hard for!
Well, today was another “semi-lazy” day at home. We were going to meet some friends at the park, but Keenan woke up late (8:05 a.m.!) and after eating breakfast, preparing tonight’s dinner (another new recipe, coming soon!), cleaning out Keenan’s closet and battling an eye infection (…from trying a new eyeliner on Sunday. Ugh, my eyes are just too sensitive!), we both were not motivated to leave the house. Instead, we had some good play-time of making soup in his kitchen, racing his cars, dancing and riding his trike. By the time Keenan went down for his nap, he was pretty tired! It was a great morning!
After Keenan went down for his nap, I headed to the box to do some extra work of kettlebell swings, snatches, GHD (glute hamstring developer), double unders and bench presses. Once he wakes up from his nap, we’ll head to the box to do today’s WOD of burpee box jumps, deadlifts and double unders (which I’m not looking forward to!).
Before I forget, here is my new recipe for pumpkin muffins. After searching the internet for new pumpkin ideas, I came across a couple of recipes for pumpkin pie muffins, so I experimented and came up with my Paleo-friendly ones!
Paleo Pumpkin Pie Muffins (makes 8 muffins):
– 1 tbsp baking powder
– 1/2 cup xylitol
– 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
– 1/2 tsp cinnamon
– pinch of salt
1 cup pumpkin
2 tbsp applesauce
1/4 cup any milk
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 tbsp xylitol
2 tbsp applesauce
1 tbsp coconut oil
– pinch of salt