Surviving Thanksgiving: Part 1
Thanksgiving is days away and you are already have the recipes picked out. Put THEM DOWN! It is time to plan your meal the healthy way with a few of these tips.
*Avoid Ham and buy Turkey.
*Do not Deep Fry your Turkey (I know… we will get through this together).
*Do Not put the stuffing inside the Turkey; cook it outside of it.
* Brush skin with Extra Virgin Olive Oil
*Avoid Butter and Salt
*Avoid carb loaded sides (mashed potatoes)
- Use Cauliflower instead of Potatoes. Trust me it works and no one will know
* Instead of Green Bean Casserole with high calories toppings, Use almonds or cashews in the mix.
*Stuffing, Check Out this Recipe (you will LOVE it)
*Macaroni and Cheese – AVOID
*Biscuits- Do not use store bought, make with Whole Wheat and limit salt.
*Use blue agave nectar to substitute Sugar
* Do not BUY whipped cream. Its empty calories
These are just simple fast tips to remember when planning for Thanksgiving. Part 2 will cover what to do when you are at the table.
United Way Day of Action
This past Thursday I volunteered for the United Way in its Day of Action. Now, before you think I am just writing this to pat myself on the back or look for self-glory, there IS a purpose.
Doing yard work is great exercise. Now, I am more of a “city boy.” I don’t like working outside and I prefer to not do manual labor. Well, I used to not like doing that. I had a blast mulching, weeding, and gardening for ‘Live United.’ I was in the ‘runner’s high’ mode of an endorphin-releasing rush.
My white t-shirt, in retrospect should not have worn, was completely drenched after 2 hours. Like, I honestly could have won a wet t-shirt contest; that is how bad it was. It was 100% pure, American-made sweat. I didn’t even have to pour water down my body like the steamy Abercrombie and Fitch ads.
I kept wondering, why was I sweating soo much more than everyone else? Was I working harder? … NOPE! I researched last night that when you are in a hot place your body controls your temperature with sweat. This sweat is not fat burning sweat that happens during cardio, it is your water weight sweat.
We all have heard overweight excuses blaming water weight saying - I am not fat I am just retaining a lot of water. Well, I drink a lot of water and boy, did my body feel like it was leaking.
Fun Fact: People who try to lose their water weight will only lose the pounds for a few hours but the LBs will eventually come back therefore it’s a bad diet plan to “sweat it out.”
While gardening, I started throwing in some squats while going up and down. I probably did over 100 squats and my body is regretting that as I type.
It’s amazing the small chores inside, outside, and around the house can burn good amounts of calories. Small exercises add up to a healthy lifestyle.
Nutrition Labels are Tricksters
Here is your guide to read labels and conquer failing diets.
The first things to look at on the Nutrition label is the serving size. The serving size dictates how much calories you are putting into your system. What most people don’t realize, they eat double or triple servings of the mandated “serving size” without realizing it.
Comparing snacks or cereals can be tricky because the serving size is different and so is the calories. This means people have to do math in the aisles and it can get frustrating.
For instance you might see:
Cereal A: 3/4 cups - 100 calories
Cereal B: 1 cup - 120 calories
But which one is better?
its basically like this in math 3/4 =100 4/4 = 120, Find out how many calories are in 1 cup in cereal A using math. If 3/4 cups is 100 calories than 1/3 is 33 calories then 4/4 cups is 133 calories.
It gets confusing! What can really help to visualize the serving size is to look at the amount of servings in container. If there are 8 servings in the container then you can visual divide the contents to see how much food vs calories you are getting. Its true gamesmanship.
Its said that 3,500 calories make up ONE pound of fat. To lose weight, we need to lower our intake. Try using this calorie calculator. Enter your data and it calculates how many calories you need to lose weight or maintain your weight.
The next thing I look for is the grams of carbs. Depending on the type of diet you are doing, looking at carbs is just as important as your caloric intake. Too much carbs can lead to your body to not break it down which turns into sugars and causes fat. Unless, your an athlete who needs physical endurance, carbohydrate intake should be at a moderate low.
Avoid consuming products with high sodium levels. Sodium is a major factor for high blood pressure. Also, sodium retains water. Therefore, if you need to lose a few pounds quick, sodium-free diets are the way to go. Now, I will never promote get-lean fast diets.
% DAILY VALUE
This part of the label is actually helpful. On labels, you will see a percentage of each nutrient that makes up your FDA approved daily food intake. Following the correct serving size, anyone can tell the percentage of each nutrient they are putting in their body for that meal. This percentage factors in all meals of the day so don’t think it dictates one meal, but one day.
Using all this information. You are now able to to march down the aisles and pay attention to what you are buying and consuming. Remember, that it takes math to understand these labels so a calculator would not hurt.