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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Dealing With Turkey Guilt

Thanksgiving, the most wonderful day of the year, in my opinion, has come and gone, but the well-deserved and undoubtedly tasty calories still linger. In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, news channels across the United States broadcast the number of calories and fat in each scoop of mashed potatoes, drizzle of gravy, and slice of succulent turkey. Newspapers and television commercials overload society with advertisements for Black Friday sales on items we just absolutely have to have. 

Many stores opened at 9 p.m. this year with people lining up Thanksgiving morning, completely missing out on the fellowship with friends and family and a chance to consume that high-calorie meal. Sadly, the day dedicated to giving thanks and enjoying the fruits of our labor has turned into a day of preparing for the next day's shopping and, perhaps, feeling guilty for that second and third helping of pie.

Sure, we are all entitled to make our own decisions and spend our holidays doing what we want. But just in case you want a little advice on what to do about those decadent bites, which lasted a moment on the lips and a potential lifetime on the hips, check out the following 10 tips:
  1. Stop the guilt! One day of decadent indulgence and allowing your taste buds to experience culinary brilliance will not hurt you. In fact, you will probably feel pretty darn happy, take much needed naps, and wear a smile that is contagious. Permit yourself to experience the joy and gratitude that Thanksgiving gives back to us.
  2. Holidays are meant for celebration. However, if we indulge too much, our health pays a price. Commit to eating with awareness 360 days of the year.
  3. Educate yourself. Know what you are consuming and where it came from!
  4. When preparing your meals and ordering an entree at your favorite restaurant, ask yourself, "How will this food contribute to my health?" Processed foods — you know, things that have a shelf life — offer little nutrition compared to foods in their purest form.
  5. With an understanding of the previous statement, make better decisions based on how much you value your health and your family’s health.
  6. Give into your cravings during the holidays, but choose to crave nutrition-packed, whole foods every other day! Sure, high-fat, sugary foods taste good, but I promise you, they do nothing for your health but increase your chances of living with diabetes and cardiovascular disease. It's up to you.
  7. Now that you have committed to eating a clean diet, commit to getting physical activity every day or at least five days a week.
  8. Choose the physical activity that you enjoy! You are more likely to stick to it and become an advocate.
  9. Increase your heart rate and work up a sweat for at least 30 minutes at a time. Walking, jogging, dancing, swimming, riding a bike, and hiking are all wonderful activities. Not only do they improve your cardiovascular system and jump-start your metabolism, but being active stimulates the release of endorphins, which literally makes you happy!
  10. Choose to live a healthy, active, mindful, and guilt-free life. And be sure to bring your family with you on this journey.
Post submitted by Marisa from The Mommies Network's Content Team

1 comment :

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