Monthly Archives: November 2016

How to Not Lose It This Thanksgiving

It’s that time of year again, Thanksgiving is upon us and ready to kick off the holiday season! I love Thanksgiving for all that it is: a time to gather with friends and family, practice gratitude for the big and the small, and of course, a time to feast! Thanksgiving is the tastiest of holidays, and I embrace every part of a traditional Thanksgiving meal; and I am definitely not the only one who loves this feast so much.

24304 Betty Crocker's Guide to Your First Thanksgiving

Unfortunately, I have found that many people harbor a great deal of anxiety around this meal because of its nature of being much heavier than we are used to eating on a normal basis. A lot of people feel that the indulgences of a traditional Thanksgiving meal are detrimental to their weight and shape. Furthermore, many people see Thanksgiving as the start of a generally feast and treat heavy season, and that it might be easier to simply give up on trying to maintain healthy weight, shape, and eating practices by indulging from Thanksgiving on through New Year’s, all the while beating up on themselves mentally and emotionally the entire time about any bodily changes that may occur.

I have been someone who has over indulged on Thanksgiving, hated myself for it, then threw in the towel for the rest of the holiday season, continued to over indulge, and treated myself poorly in my mind the entire way. This is not healthy and it truly does not serve anyone. People, we celebrate with food. We should be able to enjoy that food. And there are ways to enjoy that food without undoing our “gains”. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it’s all about moderation. If you can practice moderation in the treats and feasts that arrive with and after Thanksgiving, you can feel fulfilled in partaking in the tasty joys of the season without undoing your shape and treating yourself unkindly for it.

So, I wanted to give you a few tips for “How to Not Lose It This Thanksgiving”; how to not undo your healthy eating completely, how to not undo your shape, and how to not undo your mind by being mean to yourself for enjoying your life!

Give yourself permission to eat and enjoy –

cheers

It’s Thanksgiving. This is a time to indulge a bit, eat more carbs, eat more butter, and the like. Premise yourself to eat these foods and allow yourself to savor and enjoy them. Give yourself permission to be present when eating the meal without worrying about the consequences, because really there are none.

Exercise –

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Try and get some type of movement and sweat in. This will allow your body to use some of the food that you do eat to replenish excess spent calories and to restore your muscles. Plan on the exercising the following day as well to give yourself a burn after you’ve indulged.

Eat Breakfast and Snacks –

frittata

A lot of people make the mistake of starving themselves before Thanksgiving dinner. This is wrong for a couple of reasons: 1. You are going to feel even hungrier when you sit down to eat the feast, so you are probably going to eat even more and 2. Your body goes into starvation mode after not eating for more than 4 hours, so when you do eat at Thanksgiving dinner, it is going to store the excess calories as fat because it is concerned it isn’t going to be fed again for a long time. It is better to have a healthy breakfast and some snacks leading up to the feast so that your metabolism stays active and working. Try my Frittata for a protein and vegetable packed breakfast and snack on vegetables and hummus leading up to dinner.

Have a bit of everything –

Homemade Turkey Thanksgiving Dinner

Make a plate with all the Thanksgiving foods. Don’t avoid anything, don’t overload on anything. Simply serve yourself a few bites worth of each Thanksgiving dish. Then eat slowly and savor each bite for the different flavors that they offer.

Allow yourself some seconds –

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It’s common place to have seconds at Thanksgiving, right? Of course, this can quickly turn into a whole second heavy meal. Rather than filling up your plate again, simply allow yourself 2-3 more bites of 2-3 of your favorites rather than each dish. For example, my favorites are stuffing, yams, and green bean casserole, so I will allow myself 2-3 more bites worth of each of those dishes, but pass on additional turkey, cranberry sauce, potatoes, etc.

Small Slices of Pie –

pie

It isn’t Thanksgiving without pie; you just can’t skip it. And typically, there are 3-4 pies at a Thanksgiving feast. Rather than having a slice of each, have small slices of each so that when you put them all together, it really is just like 1 normal serving slice of pie. This way, you get all the flavors of the different pies, but just the calories of a normal slice.

Hydrate –

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Staying hydrated before and after the meal really helps. If you are hydrated before the meal, you are likely to be less hungry and therefore desire to eat less. If you hydrate after the meal, you are helping to combat your body’s reaction to the higher amount of sodium you’ve just in took which will help to minimize bloating.

Give Thanks –

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This is the point of Thanksgiving; we feast and we give thanks. Instead of focusing on the indulgence of the food, focus on why you are sitting down to eat that food and how that food is part of a celebration of recognizing our many blessings. As long as this is the main focus behind your meal, it makes it that much easier to enjoy it and then move on from it peacefully.

So those are my tips for how to not lose it this Thanksgiving! Remember to sip, savor, and enjoy! Happy Thanksgiving my friends!

From Here

Like many of you, I am still struggling to accept the results of the United States 2016 Presidential Election. Lost, confused, devastated, and fearful are just a few emotions that I have been feeling after Donald Trump was elected president. In the past 24 hours, I have experienced moments where I yearned to rush out into the streets and join the protests, screaming at the top of my lungs that these results just cannot be, I explored the immigration websites of Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, I have wondered who of my international friend base would be willing to marry me so that I could gain citizenship in their country; and I even seriously prayed to God to start the raptures mentioned in Revelations. In other words, I am taking this just as hard as the millions of Americans who voted against this outcome.

There are abundant reasons I could write about at length as to why I believe that America has made a terrible mistake in electing Trump to be president, but you have already heard all of it; there are plenty of other publications out there highlighting the consequences that are ahead for our nation and the world. Rather, I write about where I will go from here, from this defining and upsetting moment in our nation’s history.

One of my favorite authors and inspirations, Elizabeth Gilbert, shared a thought-provoking and moving Facebook post the day after the election, all focused around the question, “Who do I want to be in this situation?” A simple question, but one with deep meaning, especially now.

liz

Who do I want to be in this situation? This situation that is so uniquely distressing? With all of this happening, who does Johnny La Pasta want to be in this situation? When I sat and thought about this question for myself, I realized that I had two choices: I could allow myself to be so shaken, hateful, and angry that I start to behave in ways that are not reflective of my true self OR I could choose to continue being me.

The truth of it is, that while I believe that many of the people in America made a mistake in who they elected for their president, they do not get the opportunity to elect the person that I am at my core. I cannot control who the next president is, I cannot control what he will do, but I can control my actions, my reactions, and my beliefs.

So, who do I want to be in this situation? I want to be a person who is kind, I want to be a person who is warm, I want to be a person who is accepting, I want to be a person who is loving. I want to be a person who pours passion into my writing and my teaching so that my written and spoken words impact positively. I want to be a person who leads a healthy and happy life and be a good example for others to do the same. I want to be a force for good and light in the world, no matter how harsh and dark it may feel around me. And so, I elect to be all of this rather than allowing myself to be defeated and broken.

Another of my favorite authors and life inspirations, J.K. Rowling, tweeted the following:

jk

And these words are also representative of who I want to be in this situation. I want to be a strong person. I want to be a warrior for my beliefs and values. And so, I elect to be that warrior. There may come a time where my friends in the Black, Hispanic, Asian, Muslim, and otherwise generally non-white communities, and my friends in the LGBT community, and my friends in the feminist community are compromised and threatened even worse than they are today. Who do I want to be in these possible situations? I want to be passionate, determined, and filled with conviction. I want to be a champion and a warrior for them. I will be a person who shields them, shelters them, and stands for them, because that is the person I am and will always choose to be.

So where do we go from here? We had a choice as a country, and we’ve regretfully made it. However, we still have a choice for each of our individual selves. Who do we want to be in this situation, now that so much has changed and will continue to change? We can be fearful, we can be angry, we can be hateful, we can be violent. OR, we can be kind, we can be light, we can be love. We can still be champions for what is right. We can continue to be progressive even if others wish to regress. We can still defend and cultivate good in this world; no one can take that away from us.