Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Healthy Turkey Day Tips

Happy Thanksgiving! Well, almost I guess. One more day until the caloric celebration begins. This day can be SCARY, being as how the average Thanksgiving dinner comes to about 3,000 calories. Because that is only one meal for the day your calorie count could easily skyrocket to a scary place. Here are some tips to keeping your calorie count at a happy place.

1. Start the day off with some physical activity. Participate in a local community Turkey Trot, or create one of your own! My family has had a tradition over the past few years of going and doing the 10K Turkey Trot in mesa the morning of Thanksgiving. It is so much fun and a great way to burn some extra calories! This year I can't run, unfortunately, so I think I'm going to go to the gym with my mom and sister and we'll hold our own Turkey Climb? (I'll be doing some stairs and the elliptical...I don't have a fun creative name for that.)

2. Eat a healthy breakfast...like reaaallly healthy. Although only eating Thanksgiving dinner, and avoiding all other meals may seem like a smart way for you to save on calories, it's not the best option for your body. You will cause your blood sugar to come down to a scarily low level, and then once you do eat it will skyrocket to a very high level. This will cause an excess of insulin to be released to bring that blood sugar back down, and because insulin is a storage hormone, it will cause you to store a LOT of fat. Eating a good breakfast will help you to regulate your blood sugar throughout the day. If you are eating later for your big turkey day meal, eat a good lunch as well. This will make you less likely to be starving and binge once dinner is served, and it may stop you from snacking on every possible thing that you pass by.

3. Try to "healthify" at least one of your dishes. You'd be amazed at how great food can taste without 18 sticks of butter, and 20 gallons of cream. There are healthy ways to make things, and have them taste good! Some of my favorites are...
Healthy Pumpkin Pie (And other pumpkin flavored goodness)

4. Be sure your plate gets loaded in this order...
Veggies - lots of them. Skip out on the butter and cream.
Lean - proteins Go for the white meat on the turkey, it's lower in fat and calories. Avoid eating the skin.
Carbs - go easy on the buttery spreads
Other Thanksgiving Delights...There is a possibility a lot of unknowns on the table. Unknown as far as...how foods were prepared. A delightful bowl of seemingly harmless green beans might be your downfall if they are swimming in butter. A good rule of thumb is, if you can't identify the ingredients in the dish, stay away. If it looks like something you're dying to try just get a small amount. That may just satisfy you.

5. Pick your favorite dessert and stick with it. Grandma may have made 20 pies, but that doesn't mean you have to try all of them. Pick a favorite, and stick to that one.
Read HERE for more Thanksgiving Survival Tips. 

Today I've been baking like crazy with my mom, in preparation for tomorrow. I made the healthy pumpkin pie recipe I mentioned above and some yummy healthy pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.

Cookie Nutrition Facts: (For One Cookie) Calories: 78 Fat: 2.4 grams Carbs: 12.9 grams Fiber: 1 gram Protein: 1.6 grams Sugar: 7.2 grams

I love baking at home with my mom because she has an awesome kitchen, all the ingredients for anything you can think up, and the greatest cookware. And of course...I get to bake with my mom. I hope everyone has an amazing, healthy, Happy Thanksgiving!