If I have a strategy before a big event, I fare much better. This Thanksgiving, my game plan will include three components: 1. burn some calories early in the day, 2. fill up on lighter fare in the middle of the day and 3. enjoy sensible portions of delicious Thanksgiving dinner and dessert in the evening.
First thing in the morning, I’m planning to run a Turkey Trot with my boys. (It will be our first race together!) Finding time for exercise will give me a little wiggle room later on. There’s talk of a neighborhood football game, so I might have the opportunity to burn a little more if the weather cooperates.
My mid-day strategy is simple. Have a filling, but light meal. If I’m hungry going into Thanksgiving dinner, I won’t make good choices. So skipping or skimping at lunch would certainly backfire. My go-to light meal at present: 4 egg whites (1P+ for Weight Watchers followers) topped with Trader Joe’s Salsa Verde (0P+), a toasted English muffin (3P+) with a spot of butter (1P+) and low-sugar jam (1P+), plus fresh fruits and veggies (0P+) on the side. With the protein in the egg whites and the bulk of the fruits and vegetables, this meal is filling and satisfying. If I’m anything less than full by mid-afternoon, a snack of fruit, a light cheese stick and a cup of coffee with a teaspoon of creamer and a teaspoon of sugar (0P+) will be my choice.
We’re gearing for a late afternoon Thanksgiving dinner. I will definitely sample everything. (Hopefully “just a dot, not a lot.”) On the menu will be:
- Oven roasted turkey
- Mashed potatoes (made by my husband – his first attempt!)
- Roasted Brussels sprouts drizzled with balsamic vinegar
- Bacon-wrapped green bean bundles
- Homemade cranberry relish (made by my daughter, with a little help from me)
- Lightened-up oyster dressing
- Fresh pineapple
- Corn bread (made by my younger son) with honey butter (made by my older boy)
- Pumpkin pie and apple strudel à la mode for dessert
The Thanksgiving table is already set. I like to prepare the table in advance, as it lends to the excitement and anticipation. In hopes of having a relaxing and enjoyable meal, we made placemats from kraft paper and put out crayons for coloring. Inside the place cards are quirky questions to spur dinner table conversation.
By crafting and following this game plan, I hope to emerge post-Thanksgiving being no worse for the wear. Fingers crossed that you will, too.