I’m getting ready for the holidays at the home of Us 4 Carters.
We survived Halloween.
DOC and Gram (my mom) passed out the beverages to the neighborhood (this drink recipe for an Apple Cider Margarita made us very popular with the parents out trick or treating.)
And we have been having fun transitioning from the end of football season, where I was working out twice a week running bleachers at the high school, to working out at home. The Girl has been awesome at doing Focus T25 with me and having me chase her as she rides her scooter. Y’all don’t know a tough personal trainer until you’ve been bossed around by this chick.
As we head into some colder weather and towards the holidays, I’m running a challenge group to “Squash The Stuffing.” This group is an accountability group to help each other stick to 30 minutes or more a day of sweating (whatever YOU want to do, but I’m going to restart Focus T 25 for anyone that wants to join me! and running three days a week).
I ‘d also love to share some tips! I asked my group how THEY stay focused and stop the holiday slide and I’ve compiled their responses here. These folks are so dang smart!
1. IS IT WORTH IT? – There are going to be a lot of options when it comes to food. Some of these options will be things you love and just can’t live without. I LOVE my moms Thanksgiving Stuffing. I eat it cold the next day. That is a dish that is worth it to me. Once. Not the leftovers the next day. I’ll chose to eat that dish but pass on the mashed potatoes that I can get anytime. Think about it before you put it on your plate. If you take a bite and it’s not OMG BEST FOOD EVER don’t finish it. (Jillian Michaels says ruin it. Drop it on the floor, throw it in the trash, dump salt on that bite. Whatever it takes not to finish it.)
2. Don’t Get Hungry – Whether you are the chef or the guest, letting yourself get hungry isn’t helping your plan. Eat a nice leafy salad with some protein before you go to a party or as the cook leave a plate of fresh vegetables within your reach so you’ll pick the broccoli over the spare roll. If you don’t get hungry you’re less likely to graze on the hors d’oeuvres and over indulge at the meal. When you are the cook and need to taste test, use a small spoon or have someone else taste test for you!
3. EAT ALL THE COLORS – I mean all of the FRESH colors, not the dyed colors. Skip the painted holiday cookies and enjoy the beautiful veggie displays, winter squash dishes, pomegranates and apples. Have you tried purple sweet potatoes? Try putting those on the table instead of the white potatoes! In fact – unless it’s cauliflower, parsnips or turnips – skip all white food.
4. Sign up for a Holiday-Related Race – There’s the Turkey Trot. the Tacky Light run in Richmond, a Jingle Bell run in our area – so I know there must be one where you live! Search your local paper for a fun run near you! Or start a new family tradition of going for a long walk or run on Thanksgiving morning and on Black Friday. I used to love to stay in my jammies all day until the meal is ready but now I’m more excited about a 5K on Thanksgiving morning! I can record the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and skip through all the commercials that make the kids think they need everything. WIN-WIN! It will make you more conscious all day of your eating choices and for me, it helps me not graze. This MIGHT sound crazy, but I also like to cook in my workout clothes and leave my heart rate monitor watch on. The workout top and watch are reminders of how hard I workout so don’t give into temptations.
5. Beware the Buffet – One small salad plate, not heaping high. Stick to fresh salads with leafy greens, vegetable dishes not loaded down with creamy soups (I’m looking at you green bean casserole) or piled high with marshmallows (sweet potato casserole) and lean meats. When picking your side dishes go with root vegetables like sweet potatoes, parsnips, turnips and leave the chips, crackers, breads and baked goods on the buffet.
6. Offer to bring a dish – It is awful to show up to an event and not see a fresh food or la healthy protein. (Pizza parties, fried chicken, fried turkey, you are killing me!) Offer to take a dish that everyone can enjoy and that you know you can count on filling you up.
7. Allow a little indulging! – Split that dessert with a friend. Enjoy a cocktail. Have a plan in advance and know that you can enjoy the holidays and all your favorite dishes in moderation and a small treat!
I’ve heard time and time again “it’s just one day, indulge a little” or “can’t you take a cheat day” one too many times. For me, a single day of over indulgence leads to two, to a bender to me finishing a bag of potato chips with my pants unbuttoned. I love the holidays, I love showing my love for people with food. But I want to get through this next few weeks without feeling like I’m back at square zero on New Year’s Day.
What are some of your tips to get through the holidays?
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