Waking up post-Thanksgiving Day can mean feeling bloated, heavy and just plain sluggish. After all, on average we consume 4,500 calories from this one meal alone! Between the appetizers, alcohol, main dish and desserts galore, my guess is you’re wondering how you will prevent holiday weight gain.
Your first line of defense is to get back on the sensible
eating bandwagon right away; here’s how:
- Drink Water: Lots of it, to
the tune of one gallon. If you prefer a flavorful alternative, choose vitaminwater zero which is available in a variety of delicious flavors for zero
calories! Tip: Makes a great mixer for
your holiday table!
- Exercise: Don’t delay;
don’t think about it, just do it. Exercise is completely underrated during the
holidays. It’s the best way to control your weight along with portion control
on “non-holiday” days. Physical activity
is also a great way to control stress and anxiety during the holiday season.
- Focus on fresh: Focus on foods
such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins like turkey, chicken, eggs, shrimp,
fish and whole grains. Eat like this on a regular basis and you’ll find that
days like Thanksgiving may have no effect
on your weight at all.
- Control your
The best way to control excess weight is to control your portions on “non-holiday”
days. Remember to plan meals weekly and purchase smaller portions of
your favorite foods and beverages. For instance, the Coca-Cola Mini can is a 7.5-oz can
that also comes in flavors like Diet Coke and Coke Zero. Or try the new reduced
calorie cola Coca-Cola Life in an 8-oz glass bottle.
So…what to do with those leftovers? Here
are 5 tips…
Knowing what to do with leftovers can be just as daunting as
planning the holiday meal. Rather than feel overwhelmed, view it as an
opportunity to take some time off from laboring in the kitchen. Pre-cooked
meats and vegetables make meal prep much simpler, so take advantage and get
creative with your leftovers.
- Create a mish-mash salad topper. No need to worry about chopping vegetables
and cooking proteins to make a salad. Simply mix all of your ready-made foods
together and top it on greens. It’s that easy. Tip: Use little dressing to save on
calories. The oils from the pre-cooked vegetables and meats should be enough to
add flavor to the salad.
- Make Turkey Tostadas, Tacos or Burritos. Replace the leftover
sandwich with a hearty Mexican meal. Use whole-wheat tortillas or taco shells and
fill with chopped turkey and mixed vegetables, place in a baking dish and top
with salsa then bake until heated through.
- Use your vegetables in pasta or a stir-fry. Simmer
casserole remains in tomato sauce and serve over whole-wheat pasta or mix
vegetables with brown rice and add a small amount of soy sauce. Both are tasty
comfort dishes, perfect for a cold winter day.
- Serve indulgent leftovers with a healthier side: I always end
up with left over empanadade carne that my grandmother makes. It’s
a very special treat for me. I eat my leftover empanada with a veggie-packed
salad or vegetable soup.
- When in doubt, cook soup. Whenever I have a ton of leftover vegetables
and meats, I throw everything into a large pot with chicken stock and prepare a
hearty winter soup or stew. If you really want to clean up shop, make a lot of
soup and freeze it for later use. You will be stocked for the entire season.
Leftovers – Turkey Soup
My families’ leftovers typically consist of turkey, mixed
vegetables and baked sweet potatoes. This soup is an easy, nourishing and
delicious way to incorporate a variety of leftover ingredients while staying
light on calories!
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- 1 onion, diced into small pieces
- 2 tsp. chopped rosemary leaves
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 cup chopped, left over mixed
- 1 cup diced, left over sweet potatoes
- 5 cups turkey or chicken stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cups diced, leftover turkey
- 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
- Fresh ground black pepper & salt to
- Dash of cayenne (optional)
- Heat olive oil in bottom of dutch oven
over medium heat. Add onion and chopped rosemary leaves and sauté about 5
- Add garlic and mixed vegetables;
continue to sauté for an additional 3-4 minutes.
- Add sweet potatoes, turkey stock, bay
leaves and diced tomato. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Let simmer
for 5 to 10 minutes. Add the chopped turkey, season with salt and pepper to
taste, add cayenne if desired.
- Continue to simmer for approximately 15
to 20 minutes. Serve hot with diced avocado or crusty whole grain bread.
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