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Giving Thanks and Gaining Control

It’s Thanksgiving week!

thanksgiving gif

As a working mom for 20+ years, I love when the holidays come around because it’s forced time off for EVERYONE at work. Unlike a vacation, when the rest of your office is still working and may be inconsiderate enough to keep sending you emails, texts, etc. Company holidays are the grown-up equivalent of snow days! Add into it the buffer days people take with the holiday (The Wednesday before, Friday after and maybe an extended weekend with Monday off) and you could conceivably have almost a week away from the office with little work missed and less stress.

Catching up on Getting Healthy?

So, what can you do to maximize that time off to benefit your well-being? Can you “catch up” on getting healthy in just 5-7 days? Especially with a holiday dinner thrown in? Yes! You can use this time to refocus and take action to be healthier when you return to work and as you face the rest of the holiday season. Here are 5 ways to use 5 days to refocus on your health and regain control of your habits.

  1. Map out your workouts. Plan to do at least 3 days. 45 minute workouts. Cardio and strength. Bonus points if you can squeeze in a relaxing yoga flow the morning of Thanksgiving to help you namaste sane with all your family.

  2. Plan your portions for the big day. You know it’s going to be an atypical day of eating but go into aware of portion sizes and calories so you don’t blow it completely. The average Thanksgiving dinner is 2000 calories. Here’s a guide for having a little bit of all your favorites for fewer calories (all are estimates):

  3. 2 tbsp. of store-bought Spinach/Artichoke dip with 5 crackers – 175 calories

  4. 4 oz. of turkey breast, no skin (size of a deck of cards) – 160 calories

  5. ½ cup (size of a tennis ball) of mashed potatoes with milk and butter – 150 calories

  6. ½ cup of bread stuffing – 175 calories

  7. ½ cup of green bean casserole – 72 calories

  8. 1 crescent roll – 100 calories

  9. 1/8th of a 9” pumpkin pie (no whipped cream) – 323 calories

  10. 1 5 oz. glass of red wine – 100 calories

Total: 1255 vs. 2000-3000

  1. Don’t over buy, and gift the leftovers. If you host Thanksgiving buy for the crowd you are going to serve – not for an army or college football team. Food waste is already a huge problem in this country. When planning your menu, buy only what you need. And, if there are leftovers, be sure to share the wealth. Send the goodies home with friends and family (your broke college-age cousin would LOVE the extra food for him and his roommates).

  2. Water, water and more water. Staying hydrated will keep you feeling full, keep you feeling regular and keep your immune system at peak performance. These are all things you need during the holidays. Drink ½ your body weight in ounces plus 8-10 ounces before, during and after exercise.

  3. Make time for sleep and downtime. It’s tempting to cram in a lot of catching up when you have time off. Visiting with friends and family, neighborhood gatherings, black Friday shopping. Don’t overbook yourself. It defeats the purpose of taking time off. Get a solid 8 hours of sleep and protect your time. There’s nothing worse than needing a break from your holiday break because you overscheduled and overcommitted to everyone and everything. Boundaries, people, BOUNDARIES!

Be the Change; Engage your Tribe

These are just five ways to get refocused on your health and wellness but they are only effective as the support you have. You can’t do all of these things alone. Enlist the support of friends and family. Engage them in your quest to do better. Set the example. Be the change you want to see, right? That means telling the family that you are trying to lighten up the menu or that you’ll be working out before you can commit to doing something else like shopping. Invite them to join you. See who can be the most creative in lightening up a favorite family dish. Organize a family walk or activity outside before or after dinner rather than collapsing on the couch in a tryptophan coma.

And, if you’re looking for more support, a formal plan for food and fitness, and daily accountability, let’s chat. I’m running some holiday promotions for complete wellness plans (nutrition/meal planning, workouts, etc.).

In the meantime, have a very happy and HEALTHY Thanksgiving!



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