Hints for Happy, Healthy Holidays

Sharon Rekieta, Fitness and Wellness Director - 16th November 2012

Thanksgiving arrives next week and not only signals the beginning of the holiday season but also the season of treats at the office, snacks at the school, dinners with the extended family and parties with your friends.  In other words, plenty of opportunities to overindulge.
During the next few weeks, you’ll find many hints and tips at the Fitness Friday blog for getting through the holidays healthy and happy.

Let’s start with Thanksgiving; some estimate that each of us will eat approximately 3000 calories in one meal.  For the average person that is enough calories for a day or two!  Check out the calorie counts below for many Thanksgiving dishes and the hints that follow on how to keep the taste while eliminating some of the calories and fat.
There are ways to enjoy the day’s delights without packing on pounds.

Holiday Favorites
Calories and Fat Grams

Roasted Turkey:
4 oz. skinless light meat
220 Calories 2 Fat grams

4 oz. skinless dark meat
180 Calories 5 Fat grams

Stuffing:  1/2 cup
170 Calories 9 Fat grams

Gravy:  2 Tbsp.
75 Calories 3 Fat grams

Sweet Potato: Baked medium-sized
80 Calories 0 Fat grams
1/2 cup casserole
150 Calories 4 Fat grams

Corn on the Cob:  4” long
65 Calories 1 Fat grams

Green Beans:  1/2 cup
20 Calories 0 Fat grams

Corn Bread:  3 oz.
180 Calories 6 Fat grams

Dinner Roll:  3” diameter
130 Calories 3 Fat grams

1/8 of 9” Pie
Apple, Cherry, Berry
350 Calories 15 Fat grams
Pecan Pie
520 Calories 24 Fat grams
Pumpkin or Sweet Potato
260 Calories 11 Fat grams
Chocolate Silk or Coconut
500 Calories 32 Fat grams

Keep the Taste, Cut the Calories and Fat
Easy Substitutions

Gravy, Stuffing, Potatoes: Skim milk instead of whole, low-fat butter and low-fat sour cream.

Stuffing, Breads, Pastries: Skim milk instead of whole, low-fat butter, egg substitutes.

Fruit Salads and Desserts: Cool Whip instead of heavy cream.

Think fresh! Make the green bean casserole AND prepare a bowl of fresh beans.

Make the sweet potato casserole AND prepare a bowl of fresh potatoes.

Make the fruit salad AND prepare a bowl of fresh fruit.

Did you know? Most of the calories and fat in pies are in the crust! Two options: Make a cobbler or eat only the filling.

Concerned about drinking too many calories? Alternate glasses of wine, beer, or mixed drinks with water, tea, or any unsweetened beverage.

Concerned about cholesterol? Exercise BEFORE the big meal.

Concerned about consuming too many calories? A couple of hours before dinner, eat a light snack. Immediately before dinner, drink a large glass of water.

I’ll let the words of Don Henley close this week. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone!

My Thanksgiving
Lyrics by Don Henley

I've got great expectations
I've got family and friends
I've got satisfying work
I've got a back that bends
For every breath, for every day of living
This is my Thanksgiving

Here in this fragmented world, I still believe
In learning how to give love, and how to receive it
And I would not be among those who abuse this privilege
Sometimes you get the best light from a burning bridge

And I don't mind saying that I still love it all
I wallowed in the springtime
Now I'm welcoming the fall

For every moment of joy
Every hour of fear
For every winding road that brought me here
For every breath, for every day of living
This is my Thanksgiving

For everyone who helped me start
And for everything that broke my heart
For every breath, for every day of living
This is my Thanksgiving