Giving thanks for Grandmas, Turkey Trots 11/22/11
Guest Post by Dena Davis: She enjoys inspiring people and challenging them to get the most out of their life through healthy living and recently started “Get There Boot Camp” classes at Lake Eola. You can follow her facebook @ www.facebook.com/
3,000 calories! That’s what we Americans consume during a single Thanksgiving meal. Yikes. T-Day is D-Day. A daunting day of deliciousness that can set us back significantly in the diet department. You’ve been working so diligently to lose weight or simply maintain and then suddenly you’re faced with this! It’s difficult be disciplined with marshmallow-gooey sweet potato casserole, gravy-soaked tender turkey slices, cornbread sausage stuffing and buttery mashed potatoes staring us in straight in the face (sorry for all the yummy imagery)… and all while dear sweet Grandma is piling the portions high on our plates, insisting we eat more or it’ll hurt her feelings. Whether it’s feeling guilt from Grandma before we eat, or feeling guilty after we overindulge, this day can be overwhelming and challenging. But Thanksgiving is about being grateful, not about gorging ourselves on a glut of fattening foods. So here are a few ways you can step away from the table, cut calories, and focus on what’s really important… being thankful!
1. RUN A 5K! A Thanksgiving tradition in Orlando for 22 years, the annual Turkey Trot 5k run/walk & Tot Trot in downtown Orlando is a terrific way to kickstart Thanksgiving morning. Not only will you burn over 300 calories from running the 3.1 miles, a race is great mental preparation for the day ahead. It’ll help you stay focused on your goals, setting you up for a healthy holiday. Best of all, race proceeds support our elderly through Seniors First. And Grandma will love that! So grab friends and family members and sign up through Track Shack now or get there early Thursday morning around 7am (race is at 8am) and purchase your entry the day of the race.
2. BREAKFAST… EAT IT! You may think you can skip your usual AM grub, because you need to “save room” for the main event, but don’t do it! It’s called the most important meal of the day for a reason. Eat a well-balanced breakfast with lean protein and healthy carbohydrates, an egg white omelet with fruit and/or a small bowl of oatmeal, for instance. Because starving yourself during the early part of Thanksgiving Day is a recipe for disaster at dinner. By the time the big feast rolls around, you’ll be weak and have zero discipline. When you’re over-hungry, you’ll overeat.
3. DITCH THE ALCOHOL FOR WATER. Yes, it’s time for celebration, but alcohol consumption weakens your inhibitions, while inducing hunger and thirst. Also, it is just loads of empty calories! Avoid the temptation to consume wine or beer before the main course and you’ll avoid the temptation to overindulge at the table later. Instead, drink water early and often. Frequently, when people think they are hungry, they are actually just thirsty. By drinking lots of water throughout the day, you’ll be less likely to gorge at the Thanksgiving table.
4. WALK IT OFF. Decide before the feast that you’ll take a stroll after dinner. Recruit family members to go with you. Bring Grandma! Stay in your own neighborhood or go to a local park like Lake Eola and take laps while enjoying the scenery and swans. Walking will burn calories and let your mind unwind after being stuck inside all day long. Also, it’ll keep you from grazing on all the goodies and leftovers lingering in the kitchen.
5. VOLUNTEER/DONATE! What better way to show gratitude by giving back? Whether it’s giving your time on this holiday to feed the homeless, or just stopping by a Central Florida charity organization to donate canned food, toys or toiletries, etc., helping others will take the attention off the turkey and trimmings, save you some calories and give you proper perspective. It’s also a great bonding activity to do with family members and friends. Check out a local organization today to see how you can give on Thanksgiving day:
-Coalition for the Homeless: http://www.centralfloridahomeless.org/volunteer.html,
-Orlando Union Rescue Mission http://www.ourm.org/you/volunteer/
-Salvation Army http://www.uss.salvationarmy.org/uss/www_uss_orlando.nsf
-Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida
-Orlando United Way http://volunteerorlando.org/volunteer/
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