Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Guilt-Free Turkey Day

You've been doing well and sticking to a sensible Zone Rx for over 2 weeks now.  You've emptied out your cupboard, you bought a food scale, you've planned out all your meals and resisted the temptations of office holiday cheer in the form of donuts and apple pie.  You're starting to notice a difference in the mirror and in the way your clothes fit.  You've done really, really well.

Here comes the hard part...  4 days at home with mom's famous mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie and a bottomless supply of homemade comfort food, remember those exorphins?  After all, from a woman's standpoint, it's in our nature to want to feed our men.  There's good and bad news.  The good news is that you have all the tools you need and the motivation to not have a complete nutritional derailment.  The bad news is that the temptations are on overload and most of the time, our families are not on board with our quest for "optimal health", especially if it means you passing up on seconds of the pecan pie that they spent all day making.

First let me say that living life and enjoying time with family and friends is #1 on the priority list.  No one should sacrifice the joy that comes from a nice home-cooked meal with the fam and the food coma that undoubtedly pursues.  The trick is moderation.  You have to have a goal going in, a plan of attack, and a little ammunition to help with your war on holiday weight gain.  For those of you that are 3 weeks deep in "The Holiday Meltdown", this is your chance to practice that discipline that you know you wanted to attain when you signed up and were so motivated to put in practice that first week.  Do not give in!  You are on a mission and you will not fail.  There's a prize at stake and don't forget, pictures to take in 3 short weeks.

Here are a few tips to help you on your quest:

1.) Allow yourself a cheat meal/day.  and DO NOT feel guilty.... with a few caveats.  Choose more turkey instead of potatoes, more veggies instead of dinner rolls.  You all know how calories stack up and the insulin repercussions that you face when choosing one form of nourishment over another.  Thanksgiving festivities offer MORE than a few healthy options in terms of good sources of protein and vegetables. 

2.) Test your culinary skills.  There are a lot of ways to turn Thanksgiving Day into a really healthy primal feast.  This is probably your vacation too, so don't try to tackle all of it.  But a good solution could be to volunteer to be in charge of the one dish that you know you'll be tempted with.  Pumpkin, pie, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, these can all be easily transformed with a few tweaks in the preparation process.  Here are some good recipes I have found below, try one or all of them to round out your holiday feast!

Download these recipes for a guilt-free Turkey Day!

3.) Monitor your alcohol.  We all know how quickly these calories can add up.  Ask yourself if you really want and need these extra calories before diving into the family liquor cabinet.  Have some sparkling water between glasses of wine.  This will keep you full, satisfied and allow you to partake in all the toasting without the guilt.

4.) Spread out the holiday buffet.  Tell yourself BEFORE the toast that seconds are not an option.  Left-overs are always better a few hours later or even the next day so pace yourself.  You've learned how to do it in the box... practice it at the dinner table.

Jen's Skinny:  Moderation is king, enjoy your holiday and time with your family. Drink lots of water and keep your goals in sight.

1 comment:

  1. In case any one wants to know, I analyzed the zone blocks contained in the recipe for the Primal Almond Butter Pumpkin Brownies and the Cinnamon Walnut Turtles. I have had the Primal Almond Butter Pumpkin Brownies and they are great! One of these will be my "cheat" for tomorrow.

    Primal Almond Butter Pumpkin Brownies: only 5 ingredients: 1 cup almond butter (raw); 3.4 cup mashed pumpkin (canned); 1 egg; 1/3 cup honey; and 1 tspn baking powder. Zone blocks for entire batch: 1 protein; 16.6 carbs; 99 fat (355 mg of sodium from baking powder).

    Cinnamon Walnut Turtles; only 4 ingredients: 2 cups walnuts; 1 cup raw honey; 1/2 cup cinnamon; 1 tspn vanilla. Zone blocks for entire batch: 0 Protein; 34.5 carb; 101 fat.

    As yummy as the Cinnamon Walnut Turtles sound, I think I am opting for the Primal Brownies due to lower carb impact. Enjoy!! Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!