Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Gobble Gobble

So, I don't know what you're currently doing, but I just spent the past hour running laundry, washing dishes, peeling and rinsing potatoes and chopping up spinach. Productive, ey? Guess I have to be. We're packing up the car and hitting the road bright and early tomorrow morning (we did NOT feel like fighting our way through traffic today) to spend Thanksgiving with my boyfriend's family in Florida. And since I know the kitchen will be packed with people tomorrow, I'm trying to tackle the cooking of my side dishes tonight.

Speaking of holiday meals, according to research from the Calorie Control Council, the average American may consume more than 4,500 calories and a whopping 229 grams of fat tomorrow. You heard that right - 4,500 freakin' calories! And sadly, those figures only include snacking and the traditional Thanksgiving dinner, not breakfast or late evening munching. But there are ways to cut down on some of the gastronomical excess. Reducing the amount of fat and calories through simple substitutions can help prevent the average weight a person will gain during the holiday season. Extra exercise can also ward off the pounds.

Here are some tips:
  • If cooking, provide low-fat foods, or ask if you can bring a low-fat dish. You can reduce the calories in a meal by using lower-calorie products. For example:
    * Use fat-free soup in your favorite casserole (fat free mushroom soup has 70 calories per 1/2 cup serving vs. 120 for the regular)
    * Use chicken bouillon to simmer the celery and onions for your turkey stuffing - instead of sautéing them in butter (one bouillon cube has 5 calories, a tablespoon of butter has 102 calories)
    * Fruit pie filling has 90 calories per 1/3 cup serving; the light version has 60 and the sugar-free version only has 35
    * Add sucralose instead of sugar when baking pies or casseroles 
  • After the meal, start a physical fitness-related tradition -- a holiday walk or friendly game of football, for instance. We'll be heading out on a six mile hike the Friday after Turkey Day. And I plan to bring my gym shoes so I can go for a run when we arrive tomorrow. 
  • Prepare for handling your worst temptations; if you want both pecan and pumpkin pie, take a tiny slice of each, instead of an average serving.
Are you cooking tomorrow? Any recipes worth sharing? 

P.S. For anyone deep frying a turkey, I'm jealous...that stuff is amazing. But be CAREFUL! Check out this hilarious (but educational) video about deep fryer safety courtesy of Captain James T. Kirk. Enjoy and be have a wonderful - and safe - Thanksgiving!

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