A Healthier Thanksgiving?

In less than two days, most of the United States is going to consume more calories in one sit-down meal alone, than they should normally eat in an entire day! Numerous reports have shown that the average American consumes close to 3,000 calories in just one Thanksgiving meal.  When you think of all of the sugar-loaded, buttery side dishes, and desserts that are usually served right beside the turkey, it’s not that hard to figure out how this is possible.

(thus, this marks the end of my recitation of boring census statistics.) 

A Small Glimpse Into Reality...

I LOVE Thanksgiving! It is hands-down my favorite holiday of the entire year, and much of the reason for that is the food! You see I am an Irish girl, which means my utter love for potatoes and subsequent desire to eat them (mashed, baked, fried, roasted, scalloped, etc...), courses so thick through my Irish veins - its almost primal. Thanksgiving is the only guilt-free day of the year that can rationalize my personal mass consumption of them, so I am unwilling to give it up(.)  Let’s face it.  For most of us, Thanksgiving just wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without the tried and true family recipes that have been handed down, generation to generation.  If someone ever tried to replace my great-grandmothers cream cheese, sour cream and milk churned mashed potatoes with a healthier alternative, I’d probably take them out the door they walked in, and shoot them.  Ok... maybe that is a little extreme, but you get the point. DON’T MESS WITH MY POTATOES.

Soooo ... while I have a 101 tips on how to eat clean and stay on track during this very special holiday, more often than not, I’ve found that you ladies aren’t so unlike MYSELF -- in that, you don’t really want to hear them!   NO. What you really want is to be told that you can stuff your face, have dessert -- and go back for seconds.  Well I have good news for you -- YOU CAN. (Time out: put your eyes back in your sockets, and close your mouths -- you heard me correctly!) One day of binging is not going to wreck your diet, or ruin all the blood, sweat, and tears you’ve been pouring into your workouts with me!

It’s all about DAMAGE CONTROL.  If you plan on eating that many calories Thanksgiving day, and enjoying every single one of them (as I do!) -- then you better be prepared to offset them via exercise! My best advice is to a.) start preparing now by ramping up your workouts and b.) you better plan on getting rid of all the leftoversafter your Thanksgiving feast! C'est la vie. I mean it -- All of Them.  I started this post by saying that one day of binging won't ruin your transformation efforts, but three, four, or five days of eating left-overs ABSOLUTELY WILL. And don't think you'll magically muster the will power to avoid devouring them when they're sitting in your fridge calling your name -- you won't. GET RID OF THEM.

Fail to plan, plan to fail -- right?! So, What’s the PLAN?   Don’t worry, I’ve got the specifics covered! -- I’m including a daily workout action plan below to help you stay the course and keep those post-thanksgiving pounds at bay!   And for those of you angelic health-nuts who honestly began reading this post for my promised delivery of some healthy Thanksgiving recipe alternatives -- don’t worry, I’m still including them below. Freaks. J/k .. I LOVE YOU ALL -- even when you make me look bad :)

Without further ado ...

THE RECIPES

Rosemary Sage Quinoa Stuffing

Servings: 10

Ingredients

2 cups quinoa

2 cups vegetable broth

2 cups water

2 small zucchini (cut into 1-inch cubes)

2 carrots (chopped)

1 butternut squash (peeled and diced)

2 stalks celery (chopped)

1 small yellow onion (chopped)

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup walnuts (chopped)

1/2 tsp. fresh sage

1/2 tsp. fresh rosemary

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

1 lemon 

3 bay leaves

Salt, to taste

Directions

1. Boil the 2 cups water with 2 cups vegetable broth and season with bay leaves and salt. Add quinoa and return to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer about 20 minutes, until the quinoa absorbs water. Remove from heat, remove bay leaves, and let cool.

2. Meanwhile, heat three tablespoons of oil in a frying pan. Sauté the zucchini, squash, carrots, celery, and onion until slightly browned.

3. Combine the vegetables and quinoa. Drizzle on the remaining one tablespoon of oil. Mix in walnuts, cranberries, sage, rosemary. Grate in lemon peel and squeeze lemon juice to taste.

Cauliflower Mash (instead of Traditional Mashed potatoes) 

Servings: 4

Ingredients

12 cups cauliflower (roughly chopped

1 cup vegatable broth

2 pinches of salt

2 pinces of pepper

Cinnamon 1 pinch

Directions

1. Add all the ingredients to a pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Simmer for 15 minutes and then remove from heat. 

2. Purée in a blender or food processor until smooth. Add 1 tablespoon of water at a time if necessary to help get the mixture moving.

** For additional flavoring, try adding your favorite herbs to the mash.

Glazed Sweet Potatoes (instead of Traditional Candied Yams)

Ingredients:

5 sweet potatoes or yams (about 3 pounds)

Nonstick cooking spray

1/4 cup honey

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoon Smart Balance or other light tubbed butter spread

2/3 cup apricot nectar

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts, optional

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and mist a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Put potatoes in a pot with enough water to cover them by 1 to 2 inches. Bring to a boil and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, until tender. When cool enough to handle, peel and cut into 1/2-inch slices and add to the baking dish.

2. Combine remaining ingredients except nuts in a saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring. (Mixture will thicken.) Pour over sweet potatoes and top with nuts, if desired. Bake for 30 minutes.

THE WORKOUT PLAN

Alright ladies, we have an extra 3000 calories to burn this week above and beyond our norm -- plan to bring your "A" game -- it's gonna get intense. Make sure you check the blog or Facebook page to get the Bikini Body Mommy "workout of the day" listed on the calendar.  All of the WOD's will be posted by 6AM (EST) the morning of.

Bikini Body Mommy Thanksgiving "Damage Control" Workout schedule:

... Let the count down begin!

xx,-B