Indulge without the bulge

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Our first Vegan Thanksgiving. This will be interesting. My family is in a panic, no one knows what to make, so we’ve decided to take things into our own hands and add some new dishes to the Thanksgiving feast.

Food has always been what Thanksgiving, Christmas and birthdays are all about but it doesn’t have to be that way. You can enjoy the company of your family and friends without having to feel awful the next day about how much you ate. You can make some healthy adjustments to your Hallmark Holiday dinners and enjoy your meal guilt free.

Here’s what we plan on making for Thanksgiving:

-Mashed Cauliflower instead of Mashed Potatoes. I find that the cauliflower cools a lot quicker than potatoes so make sure you keep it heated until it’s time to eat. 100g (roughly a wooden spoonful) of mashed potatoes is 88 calories whereas 100g of mashed cauliflower is 23 calories. A bit more bang for your buck if you’re not looking to feel bloated afterwards.

-Baked veggies with coconut oil instead of butter. I’ve also been enjoying the Earth Balance Vegan butter. It’s a great substitute for butter. My dad didn’t even notice that we switched that up on him.

-Vegan stuffing, recipe from the minimalist baker. Stuffing was always my favourite at Thanksgiving and Christmas, so I’m really excited to try this recipe. I’m sure with enough celery and onions it will taste amazing.  [Recipe]

Before or after you’ve eaten, it’s also very important that you get active in the day. Prepare your mind and body with a workout. Here’s Mandy Gill with some great workout tips for your pre or post Thanksgiving dinner.

Temptation is everywhere during the holidays -- but is it possible to make the most of all that's on offer during thanksgiving and not pack on the pounds?

Absolutely! here are some exercises to shift that extra serving over the long weekend.

Pumpkin Pie Pushups

Pumpkin Pie Pushups

Thanksgiving Gut Buster Workout:

5 Rounds:
60 second Jiggle Buster Jumps
60 second Pumpkin Pie Pushups
60 second Second Serving Squats
60 second Football Runs
60 second rest

JIGGLE BUSTER JUMPS
24 BURNS OFF 2 SLICES OF TURKEY = 100 Kcal
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:
30 BURNS OFF 1/2 CUP OF STUFFING = 250 Kcal
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:
60 BURNS OFF A SLICE OF PUMPKIN PIE = 350Kcal
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:
60 BURNS OFF A GLASS OF WINE
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.

Happy Thanksgiving from Mandy, Chelsea, Jennifer, Jessica, Anthony!

 

Mandy Gill