Archive for the tag - thanksgiving

17 Tips For A Healthy Thanksgiving!

431A few years back, I shared 11 tips for a healthy Thanksgiving. Just to recap, here they are:

  1. Just take a small scoop of cranberry sauce. It’s loaded with sugar and can have 300 calories per half cup.
  2. Remove the skin. While the skin adds great flavor and is a nice treat for special occasions, it does contain extra calories and fat – and is usually coated in butter.
  3. Go light on the gravy. Gravy, depending on how it is prepared, can be loaded in fat, calories and tons of sodium. Just use a touch of it.
  4. Eat before dinner. Have a healthy lunch before going to Thanksgiving dinner so that you’re not hungry. This will help prevent overeating.
  5. Opt for healthy sides. Instead of going for buttery, cheesy or creamy sides, opt for steamed vegetables and smarter choices.
  6. Save your calories for the dinner. Appetizers, munchies and finger foods are notoriously high in calories and unhealthy fat. Moreover, they’re not filling. Save your calories for the main course.
  7. Drink lots of water. Water boosts your metabolism and helps you feel full. And it’s definitely a much wiser choice than eggnog.
  8. Use a small plate. Studies show that if we use a small plate, we eat less. Moreover, wait 15 minutes before going back for seconds. It takes time to feel full.
  9. Talk! Instead of chowing down, take time to talk with your friends and family. By eating slower, you give your body time to digest and feel full – thereby lessening the likelihood of overeating.
  10. Have a few bites of dessert. If you have room, just take a few bites of the dessert options. It will satisfy your sweet tooth without overindulging. And if you’re full, take your dessert to go rather than cramming it down.
  11. Don’t feel guilty. Thanksgiving only comes once a year, and if you eat a lot – so be it. All of us occasionally indulge and it’s part of creating balance in your diet. Don’t feel guilty about it – because guilt often manifests itself as additional overeating.

Today, I’d like to share 6 more strategies that you can use.

  1. Smarten up your recipes. If you have any influence over the foods being prepared, it’s easy to make your dishes healthier but cutting the recommended quantities of ingredients like sugar or butter. You can also replace ingredients like butter with healthier substitutions – including avocados!
  2. Skip seconds. While you may feel inclined to load up a second plate of food, resist the urge. Instead, give yourself a good fifteen minutes to digest your first plate. You’ll probably discover that you’re already a lot fuller than you think.
  3. Load up on protein and fiber – before the meal. When eating breakfast or lunch before Thanksgiving dinner, opt for foods that are high in protein and fiber. Because fiber and protein digest slowly, it will take the edge off of your appetite.
  4. Minimize alcohol. Though consuming alcohol may help make family conversations more bearable, it’ll also load your meal up with empty calories. That is, most alcoholic beverages are high in calories but low in nutrients.
  5. Play football instead of watching it. While it’s tempting to sit on the couch and watch a football game (though, honestly, that doesn’t tempt me at all), it’ll be far healthier to engage in a family game of football in the backyard or a nearby park. It’ll burn off some of that pumpkin pie. If football isn’t your thing, try another activity – or just go on a walk.
  6. Focus on your family. Sometimes, a shift in perspective can make a big difference. Instead of thinking about Thanksgiving in terms of the food, shift the focus to friends and family. The main event isn’t the buffet; it’s spending time with the important people in your life.

The reality is, Thanksgiving is one of more than a thousand meals that you’ll consume this year. It’s not going to make or break any diet. But having said that, you can use the above tips not just on Thanksgiving – but each and every day to improve the way you look and feel.

P.S. If you want to upgrade your diet (and, in turn, your life), I recommend downloading Davey Wavey’s Insanely Easy Guide to Eating Smarter. Especially with the holidays coming, it’s a wise investment in the quality of your life.

Myth Busted: Turkey Doesn’t Make You Tired!

Sliced TurkeyPeople often say that eating turkey makes you tired. And after consuming a gut-clogging Thanksgiving dinner, most of us feel a bit sluggish. But, according to experts, turkey isn’t the true culprit.

Turkey contains tryptophan, an amino acid that’s a component of the brain chemical serotonin. It gets converted into a sleep-inducing hormone called melatonin.

But turkey isn’t alone in containing tryptophan. It’s also in other poultry. In fact, all these foods have more tryptophan than turkey – including, per 200-calorie serving, crab, fish, duck and even spinach.

According to Live Science, it’s not the turkey that makes you tired but all those carbohydrates:

Consuming carbs triggers the release of insulin, which removes most amino acids from the blood, but not tryptophan — that dearth of competitors allows tryptophan to enter the brain and form serotonin and, ultimately, melatonin.

Moreover, the blood sugar spike is followed by a low-energy crash. Add alcohol into the equation (and listening to your Uncle Bruce blabber endlessly), and it’s no wonder that so many of us want an afternoon nap.

 

 

 

How Much Alcohol is Too Much?

With the holidays here and with plenty of parties to attend, many adults will find themselves with a drink or two in their hands. Or maybe three, or even more. Because the holidays tend to be rather alcohol-centric, it’s a good time to address the question, “How much alcohol is too much alcohol?”

The government has some very clear guidelines:

  • If you’re male, over 65 and healthy (or a healthy female of any age), no more than 7 drinks per week is recommended. On any given day, alcohol consumption should not exceed 3 drinks.
  • For healthy men up to age 65, a limit of 14 drinks per week is advised. Do not exceed 4 drinks per day.
  • At the discretion of a healthcare provider, lower limits or abstinence are recommended for other populations.

So what constitutes a drink? In the United States, it’s any beverage that contains 0.6 fluid ounces of pure alcohol. That translates to a 12 ounce beer or cooler, 8 ounces of malt liquor, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor. Keeping in mind that many beverages actually contain several drinks worth of alcohol, things can add up quickly.

Of course, most casual and light drinkers have little to fear. Light to moderate drinking has been associated with some health benefits – and has even been linked to longevity. Heavy drinking, on the other hand, is extremely dangerous. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcohol is a factor in about 60% of fatal burn injuries, drownings, and homicides; 50% of severe trauma injuries and sexual assaults; and 40% of fatal motor vehicle crashes, suicides, and fatal falls. Not to mention heavy drinking can lead to health problems like liver disease, heart disease, sleep disorders, depression, stroke, etc. The statistics are quite sobering.

This holiday season, it’s fine to get in the merry spirit of the festivities. But keep track of how much you drink by counting and measuring. Pace and space your drinks, and include plenty of food to help slow alcohol absorption. Explore alternatives (how about a glass of water?) and know your “no.” When you’ve reached your limit, be ready with a polite but firm “no thanks.”

4 Worst Holiday Foods EVER! [Video]

While it’s no secret that many holiday foods deserve to be on the “naughty” list, these four deserve special recognition for their belly-bursting calorie and fat content.

Spoiler alert: If you like eggnog, you may not want to watch this video!

Check out the video via my Davey Wavey Fitness YouTube channel. And, if you’re not already subscribed to my fitness channel, click here to make it happen!

How to Eat Healthy at Thanksgiving: 11 Tips!

Dear Davey,

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and I could really use some help to eat healthier. Too many temptations like stuffing, buttery mashed potatoes and pie! Any words of wisdom?

From,
Colin

Hey Colin,

Thanks for the email; it’s certainly timely given that we’re entering the holiday season full of hustle, bustle and unhealthy food choices.

First things first, remember that Thanksgiving only comes once a year. While eating healthy is important, one meal isn’t going to make or break your diet. A nutritious diet is really about the bigger picture and the patterns or trends in your life. The bowl of ice cream you eat before bed each night, for example, will have a much larger impact. In other words, don’t sweat one meal too much – and keep things in perspective.

Having said that, here are a few tips that you can use at Thanksgiving – or any other holiday meal – to make smarter, wiser choices:

  1. Just take a small scoop of cranberry sauce. It’s loaded with sugar and can have 300 calories per half cup.
  2. Remove the skin. While the skin adds great flavor and is a nice treat for special occasions, it does contain extra calories and fat – and is usually coated in butter.
  3. Go light on the gravy. Gravy, depending on how it is prepared, can be loaded in fat, calories and tons of sodium. Just use a touch of it.
  4. Eat before dinner. Have a healthy lunch before going to Thanksgiving dinner so that you’re not hungry. This will help prevent overeating.
  5. Opt for healthy sides. Instead of going for buttery, cheesy or creamy sides, go for steamed vegetables and smarter choices.
  6. Save your calories for the dinner. Appetizers, munchies and finger foods are notoriously high in calories and unhealthy fat. Moreover, they’re not filling. Save your calories for the main course.
  7. Drink lots of water. Water boosts your metabolism and helps you feel full. And it’s definitely a much wiser choice than eggnog.
  8. Use a small plate. Studies show that if we use a small plate, we eat less. Moreover, wait 15 minutes before going back for seconds. It takes time to feel full.
  9. Talk! Instead of chowing down, take time to talk with your friends and family. By eating slower, you give your body time to digest and feel full – thereby lessen the likelihood of overeating.
  10. Have a few bites of dessert. If you have room, just take a few bites of the dessert options. It will satisfy your sweet tooth without overindulging. And if you’re full, take your dessert to go rather than cramming it down.
  11. Don’t feel guilty. Thanksgiving only comes once a year, and if you eat a lot – so be it. All of us occasionally indulge and it’s part of creating balance in your diet. Don’t feel guilty about it – as such guilt often manifests itself as additional overeating.

As we give thanks, remember to express gratitude to your body for all that it does. One of the best ways to express that gratitude is by making decisions that honor your body – like going to the gym or exercising. Perhaps Thanksgiving can mark a new (or renewed) commitment to your body’s health.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Love,
Davey Wavey

P.S. If you have a question to ask Davey Wavey, email me. And for additional nutrition guidance, download Davey Wavey’s Eating for Fitness program.

Holiday Fitness Tip: Just Say “No.”

Carlos Freire: Someone to whom I'd definitely say "yes."

I’m a big fan of saying “YES!” to life. But that doesn’t mean saying “yes!” to everything that comes along with it. It’s important to be the best version of yourself – and that doesn’t happen when you’re over-committed and stretched too thin.

With the holidays around the corner, striking a balance and keeping yourself prioritized can be a real challenge. But to that end, saying “no” can be a powerful way to make everything a little easier.

Diane Petrella, a friend of mine who happens to be a spiritual weight release coach (check out the wonderful resource that is Diane’s website), recently touched on the topic in one of her newsletters:

As simplistic as this may sound, putting yourself first this holiday season, and always, ensures that you remain happy, healthy and strong.

I’m not referring to a self-righteous, entitled sense of doing for yourself at the expense of anyone else. I’m referring to valuing the importance of honoring your needs. When you adopt this attitude, you not only have the energy and happiness to fuel yourself, you’re better able to be there for others.

Saying “no” gets easier with practice – and it need not be rude or abrasive. Just politely decline any requests that don’t serve your highest good, and know that your decision is in the best interest of everyone.

The fitness and nutrition implication is a strong one. Diane writes:

When you put yourself first by learning to say “no” and setting loving boundaries on your time and responsibilities, you honor your needs. And when you honor your needs, you’re less apt to feel resentment, frustration and anger which often triggers emotional eating.

As the holiday season quickly approaches – and as our schedules get all the tighter – put the power of “no” to work for you. By doing so, you’ll have the energy and balance to navigate this holiday season with ease and grace.

Are You Thankful for Your Body?

Of all the feelings you direct toward your body, how often do you express gratitude?

Many of us are angry or frustrated that we’re too large, too thin, too weak, too this or too that. Some of us feel shame, guilt or even fear about our bodies.

The desire to make our bodies healthier and stronger is positive. But I think that intention is best served in a package of gratitude. If we can be grateful for our body in its current form – and accept it as it is today – then I think our transformation comes from a place of true power. And if you are grateful for your body, then you are more likely to nourish it with healthy foods and actions. It’s an upward spiral.

Gratitude can lift us from a world of low frequency emotions like shame, guilt and anger into the higher frequency emotions of willingness, acceptance and love. It’s like a ladder on which we can climb out of the darkness.

Today, on the day before Thanksgiving, I give thanks to my miraculous human body. And I invite you to do the same. Regardless of where you’re at or what you’d like to change, give thanks.

What about your body inspires gratitude? Let me know in the comments.