I don’t know about you, but in the past 2 weeks I have gotten at least 5 emails a week with titles such as “Clean up your Thanksgiving,” “How to Make it Paleo,” “The Lighter Side of Thanksgiving”……

If you’ve read my previous posts around this time of year; you will find that I make no attempt to make Thanksgiving anything other than what it is.  It’s a day where we gather with family, give thanks, and enjoy indulging in things we may not any other time of the year.  It is what it is….When in Rome.

“The last few years, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend: Curmudgeons are trying to take away our holidays. You may not have taken notice, though, as this group sets about their task in an insidious manner… 

It starts around this time of year, as these curmudgeons hate the Big Three (Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas). They hate the joy that accompanies these holidays but, more importantly, they hate the gluttony. You’ll begin to read the articles: “Skinny Your Thanksgiving”. “10 Tips To Avoid Gaining Weight During the Holidays” and  “Healthful Halloween Treats”. 

Inevitably, we’re bombarded with tips like “Eat before you go to a party” or “Fill up on the veggie tray.”  Um, excuse me? The veggie tray at a holiday party is an insult to joy-makers everywhere. I don’t care if you go on an 80-day cleanse right up until the holiday party. You show up to MY party, you show up hungry…or else” (scarymommy.com) .

I saw this in a post a few months ago called Taking Back Your Halloween and to my surprise had the response, “You go girl” to the post. Don’t get me wrong; I’ve got as many food “intolerances” as the next person, but I don’t let the thought of not being able to control one day of what my food is prepared with ruin my time with family and gathering together.  

So, today I’m going to share with you my own Thanksgiving Tips that I shared with the Fortitude Fitness group I’m leading on a 4 1/2 week Pump & Shred group program.

1) If you know you will be indulging in carb-heavy sides: potatoes, dinner rolls, pies, etc then try to limit your carbs earlier in the day.  If you typically eat oatmeal for breakfast or other starchier carbs; skip them, load up on lean proteins and veggies and save your carb indulgences for Thanksgiving lunch/dinner.

2) Bring your own dish that you know is somewhat healthy and will easily fit into your plan. Elana’s Pantry has great recipes. I will be preparing a few of them for the festivities I will be attending.
3) Go for small portions of the things you typically don’t get every day of the year. For example, I know that I freaking eat turkey, sweet potatoes, green beans, asparagus almost every day of the week. So guess, what? I’m certainly not going to waste my time on those foods come Thanksgiving.
4) Send all leftovers home with friends and family; that way you allow yourself to have a bit of what you want on Thanksgiving and it’s not left around to tempt you the rest of the week(end).
5) Go heavy, Go hard, or both the morning of your Thanksgiving feast. Make the best of your workout before and then use all that fuel you consume to PR in the gym the next day. 
I’m sure there are more tips I can tell you and I’m sure you have some of your own.  The one thing I am not going to tell you is to deprive yourself. However, I’m also not going to tell you to go all out and eat everything in sight. Have a game plan of what you might eat; take the time to actually enjoy your food, the tastes, etc.  Stop when you are full; don’t eat when you’re not hungry. Easy; end of story.

And P.S.  Where are all my Shake Up November peeps?