Thanksgiving Gut Buster Workout!

‘Use pumpkins, not babies’ was just one of many lessons learnt on CTV Morning Live’s Thanksgiving fitness special today! 

I’ll be the first to admit it, I always overindulge every thanksgiving no matter how much will power I ‘pretend’ to have! So what do I do to work off the extra calories? Thankfully a team at New York Sports Club has actually taken time to connect the calorie burn of each exercise to a serving of a particular Thanksgiving food. In other words, according to their research, a set of “Jiggle Buster Jumps” could work off two slices of turkey (100 calories a slice). Three sets of “Pumpkin Pie Pushups” could work off half a cup of stuffing (250 calories). A slice of pumpkin pie (350 calories) promises to be taken care of with three sets “Second Serving Squats.” Should I want to wind things down with a glass of wine (95 calories), I’d be in for three sets of “Football Runs.”

Jiggle Buster Jumps – This exercise gets kicked off standing, feet six inches apart. From there you bend your knees down to a 90-degree angle (like you’re sitting in a chair). Then, you “leap up as high as you can taking a giant step to the front.” You repeat this movement going to both sides and also backward. Yes, you’ll feel completely ridiculous. But in some ways this makes the experience engaging so it goes faster. And the move themselves were easy. NYSC recommends 24 to a set.

Pumpkin Pie Pushups – As you come up from a standard pushup, you’re supposed to “rotate to the right into a side plank, taking left arm up to the ceiling.” (If you’re having trouble, you can keep your knee on the floor.) The idea is to round this off by coming back into push up position, then repeating on the left side, ultimately alternating for ten reps. The strength and balance components made these considerably less fun than the jumps.

Second Serving Squats – While holding a pumpkin (or three books or a three-to-ten pound weight) perform a slow, controlled squat. Simple enough. Do 20 in the set.

Football Runs – Rounding things off-and for the wine lovers out there, start in push up position, then use a thrusting motion to bring your right knee into your chest, then return your leg to the floor and alternate, 20 times.

 

Lastly, pumpkin pie has always been my all-time favorite dessert (and breakfast, for that matter)! But how does one go about eating pumpkin pie the healthy way??? EASY! Paleo pumpkin pie filling turned into COOKIES! And what’s so good about paleo? It’s eating whole foods that provide optimal, nutrient-dense fuel for your body by avoiding process, refined, and nutrient-poor factory foods! I.e. No grains, pasteurized dairy products, or refined sugar!

Ingredients:

1 ¾ cups organic pumpkin puree (use fresh or this is the equivalent of a 15oz can)
2/3 cups raw walnut halves
1/3 cup raw or roasted unsalted cashews
3 eggs + 1 egg yolk
¼ cup coconut nectar
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice & 1 tbsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350F

Place cashews and walnuts in your food processor or blender and pulse until finely ground.  Add eggs, coconut nectar and blend for 2-3 minutes until completely smooth (you could also add some of the water if it’s too thick for your food processor or blender to puree well).  It is very important to blend until completely smooth, otherwise your custard will be watery.

Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until combined.

Pour into cupcake tray. Bake for 15-20 minutes.  Allow cookies to cool completely before serving. Enjoy!!!