Hey guys! HAPPY TURKEY DAY. I hope you take some time to unwind, eat delicious food and watch exciting football (GO COWBOYS!).
My family and I are traveling to Tampa, FL to spend Thanksgiving with my baby brother who’s a sophomore basketball player at the University of Tampa. We’ll attend his b-ball tourney this weekend and eat Thanksgiving dinner with his basketball team. It should be entertaining to share a Thanksgiving feast with 15 college boys. I’ll be sure to give you a recap, haha.
Yesterday I posted about acts of gratitude. One of the recommended actions is to write down things for which you are grateful, including your personal accomplishments. It’s okay to give yourself a little pat on the back every once in a while. This year has brought a tremendous amount of change in my life, but I’m so grateful for where I stand right now. From turning the big 3-0 to starting a new business and developing new personal relationships, I have so much to be grateful for. I’m also grateful for my blog victories like being published with SELF Magazine and POPSGUAR Select +. Hard work certainly pays off. It may not seem like it the midst of late night editing and killer works, but the truth is that we ALWAYS reap what we sow!
As I check out of for the holiday, I want to share two of my past blog posts that can help you have a happy, healthy Thanksgiving:
Happy (almost) Thanksgiving, Grit by Brit readers!
The other night, I hosted my first family-style “dinner party” of sorts: a pre-Thanksgiving potluck/apartment-warming, Brooklyn-style. The combination of the good energy from my pals, and the scrumptious Thanksgiving-esque fare they all contributed made for one of the most fun Big Apple nights I’ve ever had! While admittedly, I ate more in quantity, and more “indulgently” than I would have on a typical night, I walked away from that meal with an incredible sense of well-being, contentment and nourishment.
Reflecting on the evening inspired me to post on this topic – The Healthy Side of Thanksgiving – because so often, this holiday gets a bad rap in the nutrition world. I mean, let’s face it, “nutritious” isn’t exactly the first adjective that comes to mind when we think of Thanksgiving… “diet buster” or “gluttony” is more like it. Furthermore, during this time of year, the media is relentlessly flooded with stories featuring tips on “how to avoid holiday season weight gain” or “how to re-work traditional holiday dishes into healthier versions.” While I certainly recognize the value that this type of information offers for health-conscious individuals looking to sustain their healthy habits throughout the holiday season, I also feel strongly that there is not nearly enough attention paid to the (perhaps less obvious) healthful aspects of Thanksgiving that we may forget to embrace and appreciate.
Thus, I’d like to draw your attention to my personal top 4 underrated (yet wonderfully nourishing, and yes, even nutritious) parts of Turkey Day!
Expanded food repertoires. We are creatures of habit, and so often, we get stuck in foods ruts, eating the same things for breakfast, lunch and dinner without even realizing how routinized we’ve become. But food variety is an important part of good nutrition, too. With an extensive “food-scape” to choose from on Thanksgiving, we can use this meal to expose our palates to less familiar flavors and textures, learn about new cooking techniques, and even garner inspiration for some new meals ideas outside of holiday time.
Kitchen collaboration.There is a TON of research touting the benefits of family meals. For example, children of families that cook and dine together regularly tend to have more nutritious diets and a decreased risk for developing disordered eating habits. And while meals together may not always be a realistic gig for families on a regular basis, what better holiday than Thanksgiving to make it a family affair! Cooking as a group also provides a natural foundation for bonding, which occurs through the collaboration and communication necessary for preparing and enjoying a home-cooked meal. Speaking of which…
Emotional nourishment and group entertainment value. We receive nourishment not only in the form of the physical nutrients that enter into our body through food, but also through the emotional satisfaction that comes from experiencing fulfilling connections with others. The convening of family (or friends) in a group setting such as Thanksgiving provides us a unique opportunity to bond with loved ones, many of whom we may not see on a regular basis. There is also a special dynamic that comes along with a group meal. Groups have a way of forming a life of their own, and if you take a step back and actually listen to the group’s conversation, it can be quite humorous and highly entertaining. Or, maybe this is just my family… 🙂
A perfect opportunity to practice self-compassion. Remember my post on “Finding Balance?” The definition of healthy eating is: consistently blending basic nutrition principles (cerebral knowledge) with your body’s intuitive hunger-fullness cues and taste preferences (internal knowledge). Key word: “consistently.” Overindulging is TOTALLY normal and natural at a meal like Thanksgiving, when we’re presented with an overwhelming amount of food (and perhaps overwhelming people, too). If nothing else, we can use Thanksgiving to practice being compassionate with ourselves, especially after we realize we were waaaay off the mark when we reached for that 3rd helping of sweet potatoes…. (yum).
Wishing you a Thanksgiving feast that is truly nourishing!
Merry Christmas everyone! We got snow in Texas – yippee!!! #whitechristmas. I hope you had a wonderful, joyous day celebrating the birth of our King Jesus Christ. There’s no greater gift to mankind than GRACE. Can a I get a AMEN?
All in all I very much enjoyed my holiday…maybe a little too much. I ate one too many Christmas cupcakes, but boy were they good! Nevertheless, tomorrow calls for the official start of my 3 Day Post-Christmas CLEANSE. Below is my diet for the next 3 days.
As for my workouts, I plan to do 1 TurboKick class + 1 PureBarre classevery day. This totals 2 hours of exercise for EACH of the next 3 days (1 hr cardio + 1 hour toning).
P.S. I’ve only been to 1 PureBarre class so far and I can’t decide if I’m a fan or a hater. BUT after this detox, I’ll know for sure. I’ll also write you guys a full review of the workout.
Try it for yourself and let me know how it goes – enjoy 🙂
Dallas people, join me for 2 super-fun SWEATY holiday workouts. Both will be 90 minutes and are guaranteed to TORCH calories (expect to burn up to 1,000!). I’m putting together some extra special music play lists. Die-hard Turbo fans, let me know if you have any special requests or favorite rounds and I’ll surely put ’em in the mix.
My Christmas Eve class will be in Rockwall, TX and my New Year’s Eve Class will be in Dallas, TX. Both of the classes will be mostly Turbo Kick format but I’ve also added in some core, legs and booty toning exercises as well.
What better way to stay in shape over the holidays or to kick start your New Year? We will have a BLAST, so don’t miss out 🙂 Send me a reply message if you are not a member of 24 HOUR Fitness but want to come!
Special offer just for my Facebook friends, Twitter and GRITbyBrit blog followers – on CYBER MONDAY (Nov.26th) you can purchase my newly released total body workout DVD for 50% off! To take advantage of the offer, follow these 3 steps:
It’s almost Turkey Day ladies and gents! While you’re giving thanks and spending time with the people you love DON’T be like the average American and pack on unneeded pounds – you’re better than that 🙂
Here’s my top 10 list to keep your weight in check on Turkey Day…
Wake up and work out. I like to think of this as “putting a credit on my account.” Since I know there will be lots of irresistible food coming my way, I do at least 1 hour of cardio on Thanksgiving morning. Lots of my NYC and Dallas fitness instructor friends are holding special thanksgiving day classes, so do some research the day before and prepare to attend one! You can also do the GRIT by Brit Ultimate body burn DVD 😉
Eat breakfast. It’s natural to want to sleep in on your day off and “save room” for the big Thanksgiving meal, but doing so will make you binge because you are so hungry. Go ahead and eat some oatmeal, fruit or protein in the morning to keep you from inhaling food later on.
Drink up before you eat up. As always, hydration is key on Thanksgiving day and on any day. Drinking a liter of water before your big Turkey dinner will make you feel full and keep you from over eating.
Fellowship first. Be sure to chat and spend quality time with your family and loved ones before devouring your food. Enjoy your total holiday experience not just your meal.
Be “grateful” without a “plate full.” Instead of loading up huge servings sizes, go for quality over quantity. Try small portions of a variety of foods and really savor the taste.
Color is King. Make sure that your plate is colorful! These means it should have lots of veggies on it: green beans & sweet potatoes are excellent. They are full of fiber and nutrients, will digest easier and satisfy you longer.
Enjoy the rare stuff. Don’t get full on rolls, chips and dips and other foods you can have every other day of the year. Instead, enjoy those one-of-a-kind holiday foods. Eat them slowly and enjoy every bite 🙂
STOP when you’re full. Keep in mind that your stomach is the size of your fist. Don’t hurt it and over expand it by simply eating too much.
Enjoy some “tea time.” Sip hot tea (preferably green tea) after your meal to help aid digestion and also to keep you from going back for seconds out of boredom or convenience.
GIVE THANKS. Because life is good and a joyful spirit is good for your health!