Monday, November 19, 2012

10 Ways to Make Thanksgiving Healthy

Well, it's official. The holidays are here. In just a few days, a vast majority of us will gather around a table bursting with food and we'll pile up our plates in celebration of all that we are thankful for. And in the back of our heads, at some point or another, we'll freak out about that very plate full of food. We're human, it happens. But that's okay. The holidays come once a year and they don't have to wreck all that you've done to live a fit life thus far. As proof, let's review some of the ways you can make the holidays healthy, particularly Thanksgiving as it's this week.

1) Participate in a fitness event with a holiday theme. Turkey Trot, anyone? Recruit your relatives to join in the fun. Winner gets to opt out of doing the dishes after dinner. Or put the wishbone up for grabs.

2) Offer to contribute something to the menu, be it an appetizer or a main dish, and make it healthy. Even the classics like stuffing and green bean casserole can be made with the best of ingredients and the healthiest of intentions. And if you're the cook, cook it clean. Fresh is best and often quite delicious.

3) Indulge in your favorite "naughty" treat. Otherwise, you'll just obsess about avoiding it. And by "indulge," I do mean with portion control in mind.

4) Drink if you must. But keep the water flowing, too. For every glass of wine or bottle of beer, chug a wine glass or beer bottle full of water. Rinse them out first, of course.

5) Fill a plate. Walk away. Eat, and be done. Pretend that "seconds" don't exist.

6) Don't "wait for dinner" to eat for the first time. You'll be way too hungry to eat clearly. Have breakfast and lunch, treat your holiday dinner like any other.

7) Pack your workout gear—and use it! Who wants to lug something for no reason at all? And let's be honest, if you go for a nice run the day of a delicious family meal, that nice run'll be fresh in your mind as you build your plate. Right?

8) If you're visiting family for the weekend, check out their gym. Attend your aunt or cousin's favorite fitness class.

9) Power walk post-dinner with your favorite family members. It's the best way to catch up on all the family drama—or to help the kiddos and cousins burn off the energy such a grand meal will surely provide.

10) Forget about being unhealthy. If you eat too much of something or consume one too many glasses of wine or decide not to go for that run in the morning, so be it. It's a holiday and you're human. You can pick up right where you left off the second you realize that you've gone astray. Or, you can wait until the next day.

Question: How you do plan on keeping the holidays healthy this year?

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