Tag Archives: thanksgiving

None of the Above

21 Nov

Happy (almost) Thanksgiving, fellow Americans! Apologies to all blog readers outside the USA – the Thanksgiving mayhem is almost over. The turkey photo above is a huuuuge blow-up that is in the front yard of one the houses I  walk past as I come home from the bus stop. They had a pretty great Halloween set-up, too. I can’t wait to see what they have in store for Christmas!

Do you remember the dilemma I faced yesterday, when I couldn’t decide between Zumba, Spin, or Boot Camp for my daily workout? I ended up choosing (d) none of the above and went to yoga instead. After this post by Allison at Wicked Healthy Washingtonian, I took a few minutes to listen to my body and decided that I needed something that would get my body moving, but was low-impact. At Body Pump on Monday, I noticed a sharp pain behind my left kneecap while I was doing the squatting and lunging sets, which had me a little worried. Between that and really tough chest and triceps sets (I increased my weight!), I really needed to just stretttttttch.

Ha! Maybe someday…


Yoga was exactly what I needed and I felt much better after leaving the studio…although the yoga studio has been temporarily moved, due to construction at my gym, so we were right next to the Spin class. Needless to say, listening to Pitbull while I’m trying to get my asanas on doesn’t put me in the most namaste of moods.

After getting home, I wandered aimlessly around the kitchen before putting together a tuna salad wrap for dinner.

I also learned that one of my roommates hates the smell of canned tuna. Interesting!

I didn’t have the most restful of sleeps and was awake half an hour before my alarm was meant to go off. That left me with a bit more time in the kitchen this morning, so I put together some pumpkin spice oatmeal for breakfast.

  • 3/4 cup oatmeal
  • 1 1/2 cups vanilla soy milk
  • sprinkle of chia seeds
  • dash of ground cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice
  • a tablespoon or two of maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin

I’m so precise.

Along with the new vanilla and cinnamon tea I picked up from Trader Joe’s, it was a cozy breakfast – perfect for pre-Thanksgiving!

Speaking of Thanksgiving meals, I came across some great blog posts this morning that I feel are great reminders of approaching how we eat during the holiday season. You might remember my brief post about it, when I was discussing the 80-20 rule of eating, but I just wanted to bring it up again, since tomorrow is the start of Holiday Meal Mode.

Lindsay of Lindsay’s List and Colleen of The Lunchbox Diaries both had some great things to say. Essentially?


Yes, now is the time when everyone puts on weight from holiday indulgences and then proceeds to diet immediately afterwards, thanks to New Year’s Resolutions.

Guys? It’s going to be okay! Eating a slice (or two) of pumpkin pie isn’t going to ruin your life. Dipping a candy cane into some spiced cider while you’re at home for the holidays is not going to derail your fitness regime. The time between now and New Year’s Day is a time to be thankful, to spend quality time with loved ones, and to realize that it’s okay to indulge and then get right back on the healthy eating wagon. I, for one, am not going to skimp on stuffing just because it’s not the best decision for my fitness goals. How many times do I eat stuffing outside of Thanksgiving dinner? A whopping ZERO times.

What Lindsay called “fake eating” in her post, is an insult to all that I believe holidays stand for: being grateful for what you have. In this case, good food and loving family/friends. I thought these words she wrote were particularly poignant:

“From 1998-2004 or so, I would “fake eat” at Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I’d follow all of those rules I listed above and make up some of my own.  Pushing food around on my plate to make it seem like I ate.  Spitting food out into napkins, hoping no one would notice.  And if I’m being perfectly honest, a couple of those dark years, I’m sure I went upstairs and purged that meal.  The meal my mama worked so hard to cook.


Dude.  What the heck!

It’s unacceptable behavior.  And it directly opposes the very thought of Thanksgiving.  We’re supposed to be THANKFUL for this food that we’ve been blessed with.  Thankful for the hands that prepared the meal.  Thankful that we can break bread together.”

So. PLEASE enjoy yourselves tomorrow, this weekend, next month. Don’t eat a whole plate of cookies, but don’t beat yourself up for eating one or two or three. Eat the mashed potatoes and the pecan pie and the yummy bread rolls that come right out of the oven. You’ve got January through October to eat clean. Enjoying special holidays with loved ones? That is healthy living.

I wish you all a most wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. If you’re not celebrating Thanksgiving tomorrow, I hope you have a wonderful weekend, too!


What’s On Your Menu?

19 Nov

To my fellow Americans, Thanksgiving week has finally arrived! For those of you living internationally, I apologize in advance for the barrage of Thanksgiving related posts over the next few days.

I took a vacation from technology this weekend and mostly enjoyed being around my roommates and Stefano. I went on a hike in Rock Creek park, watch the Huskies beat Colorado, and celebrated my roommate and his fiance’s engagement with ice cream, Oreos, and Jurassic Park (her request!).

I also watched the Sounders lose to the Galaxy in the semi-finals of the MLS tournament, but we won’t talk about that as I’m still in mourning.

Since it is T-minus three days until Thanksgiving, I thought I would tell you what my Thanksgiving plans are. Stef and I decided not to fly back to Seattle, as plane tickets are expensive and we couldn’t justify the trip for only a couple of days. Luckily, there are some other West coast stragglers who are sticking around for the holiday, so we are going to have an orphan Thanksgiving at my house on Thursday and watched Thanksgiving-themed episodes of Friends (yes!). Can’t wait to see a repeat Monica’s turkey dance.

Here’s what we’ve got planned.

Turkey Day Menu for Orphan Thanksgiving:

  • Turkey (Duhhh! Though we are having a difficult time finding an appropriately sized one, as there won’t be many of us!)
  • Stuffing (both in an out of the turkey – Stef and I can’t get enough)
  • Gravy
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Bread rolls
  • Pumpkin pie

Last year, I cooked Thanksgiving dinner for 15 of my ex-pat friends living in Rome and I made a ridiculous amount of food. I am having a hard time scaling it down this year, but we just don’t have enough people to eat all of the food I am inspired by! As it stands, I am responsible for everything but the pie and rolls, which will be managed by my one of my roommates, who is a much more proficient baker than I.

I am so looking forward to the meal, even though it will be my second Thanksgiving in a row away from my family. On the bright side, Stef and I are going back to Seattle to visit exactly one month after Thanksgiving and will be there until New Year’s Day, so we will both get plenty of family time in.

Food For Thought: What’s on YOUR Thanksgiving menu? Is there any dish that is absolutely necessary at your table for it to feel like Thanksgiving?

The Price You Pay

25 Oct

Good morning from cold, grey Washington, everybody.

I woke up with a bit of an upset tummy today, so the only thing that sounded even remotely appealing was a PB & J and some hot tea.

I immediately knew why I felt so icky. It’s because I had too much of this last night:

Apple pie a la (chocolate) mode. This, coupled with some CVS-induced poor decision making (read: Halloween candy) and my stomach was not a happy camper.

My Body Pump workout was really subpar. I had to take multiple breaks during the bicep and delts songs and was feeling too low energy to stay for Zumba afterwards. I guess that’s the price you pay when you put junk into your body.

I tried to mitigate it by having a light dinner of spaghetti squash faux pasta, with some pasta sauce and a sprinkle of grated parmesan for dinner. This dish is seriously so good for people who are looking for a pasta substitute – just stick that baby in the microwave for 11 minutes and then cut in half, de-seed, and scrape into “noodles”. Unfortunately, the damage had already been done and I woke up feeling not so hot.

With the holidays coming up (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.), I know it’s going to be a challenge to stick to healthy choices when there will be a plethora of delicious, heavy treats just waiting to be consumed. I know this time of year is hard for everybody because of all these special occasions, as well as the cold weather that makes you only want to eat stick-to-your-ribs kind of food. A crisp green salad doesn’t sound nearly as appealing as a big bowl of hot spaghetti when it’s cold and dreary outside.

This weekend, I’m hoping to compile a list of healthy versions of comfort food. Don’t get me wrong – sometimes you need to have a the real thing and there are just some meals you shouldn’t ever try to fake. But a lot of times, it is easy to make just a few changes and fill that craving without all the unhealthy extras.

Food For Thought: What’s your favorite fall comfort food? Is there a holiday staple that you can’t get enough of?

My holiday staple is the stuffing at Thanksgiving. I swear, there’s some kind of crack in it because I can never get enough. I feel like my family has begun to make two batches of it: one for me and one for everybody else. Stef is a huge stuffing fan as well, so I have a feeling that it’s going to be the star of our Thanksgiving this year. Who needs turkey?

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