Tips for a Healthy and Grateful Thanksgiving: Don’t Get Stuffed Like a Turkey

By Anne Hart, 3FU3L Athlete and Professional Cross Country Ski Racer

untitled-design-14As a self professed “foodie,” I believe Thanksgiving is maybe the greatest thing to happen to November (which in the world of professional ski racing can be a pretty dark time…cold, but no snow).  But as an athlete with an eye on health, I also understand Thanksgiving can be a daunting meal. A day that first and foremost is about gratitude can also be a day that is completely centered around food. In my mind that isn’t necessarily a bad thing — I love good food. But I don’t love feeling as stuffed as the turkey.  

It has taken me a couple of years to figure out how to navigate the Thanksgiving dinner, but I’ve figured it out. Here are some Turkey Day tips to help you stay thankful this holiday season!

 

Thanksgiving Day Tips

  1. Don’t starve yourself in anticipation of the meal. the_first_thanksgiving_cph-3g04961Start your day with the breakfast you normally have (or if you’re feeling festive, might I suggest the 3FU3L pumpkin spice smoothie).  And if you are having an early dinner, make sure to have a snack around lunch time.  The worst thing to do is mess with your normally routine. Also if you stick to your standard meal schedule, you won’t be as likely to overdo it come Turkey Time.
  2. Get a workout in! Most cities have Thanksgiving Turkey Trots, and a lot of gyms will have a Thanksgiving themed workout. This gets your metabolism going, keeps you in your routine, and if you happen to indulge a little bit (more on that later)…you won’t feel as guilty.
  3. If you’re hosting everyone for Thanksgiving, you are in complete control of the menu. There are TONS of recipes out there for Thanksgiving classics that only use real, unprocessed ingredients. If you’re going over to family or friends’ houses, ask if there’s anything you can bring, and once again you can pick how you make your side! And thankfully (pun intended), turkey is the centerpiece… and most turkeys stick to a few good ingredients.
  4. DON’T be the person who keeps asking about ingredients in dishes. Unless you have a serious food allergy, asking if Grandma’s Pecan Pie has gluten or sugar in it is just annoying.
  5. Remember that one meal won’t completely throw your entire health off the rails. It’s okay to indulge sometimes — in fact knowing you can indulge without hating yourself is essential to healthfulness (of mind and body). With that in mind…
  6. Have the glass (or two) of wine!
  7. Also remember that Thanksgiving leftovers are maybe better than the actual meal itself. There’s no need to overstuff yourself.  Think of preparing food for Thanksgiving as one giant meal prep for the week.
  8. Be thankful that you have the mindfulness to maintain a healthy body, a healthy outlook on life, and healthy relationships with the ones you love.

And be thankful we at 3FU3L have found some awesome Thanksgiving dishes that use real ingredients! Gobble gobble.

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