Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Catherine's Thanksgiving Survival Guide

This is so typical of me but, if you look at the banner right above this, you'll notice that it only shows the "Before" picture. Funny, yet awkward.  Here's the "After."

A Great Thanksgiving Starts Today

Argh, yesterday was not a great day for fat loss, or maybe I should say weight loss.  Van and Colin and I drove to Merced to have lunch with Van's sister and her husband.  We had a delicious Indian buffet (the Indian restaurant in Sonora burned and never re-opened).  I knew to avoid the naan, but I made a mistake that you'll want to avoid if you're eating away from home on T-Day.

Hey, That Orange Stuff Looks Like a Vegetable

So there was this very bright red/orange dish on the buffet, and when I looked at it I thought,

"Oh look, beets,  or maybe very bright carrots."  So I put a nice big scoop on my plate along with some other mixed veg, chicken, and lamb.  I went easy on the sauce, and I thought I was cool.  I sat down across from Colin, and he was happily munching away on the red/orange stuff.  He smiled and said, "This is really good!"  I said, "What is it, carrots?"  He replied,

"Oh no, it's sweet rice- try it."

Sweet rice.  Sugar and carbs, and from the looks of it, butter or ghee, or something that made it nice and shiny.  Did I eat it?  Oh yes I did.  You know I did.  That's me, living on the culinary edge.  It wasn't that big a deal, but it led to some weirdness which I'll relate:  kind of a food issue cascade.  Here's how it went.

1. Ate freak out mystery food, and overate at lunch, at 11:30 AM.
2. Resolved not to eat the rest of the day to make up for freak out mystery food
3. Ate nothing then found Quest bar in my car on my way to 5:30 yoga class, ate half.
4. Ate other half on the way home.
5. Resolved to eat nothing else.
6. Ravenous at 8PM, ate 2 pieces of El Pollo Loco, a salad, and about 3oz. of cheese.

Woke up this morning so bloated I couldn't get my rings off.

The Point, The Takeaway, and The Moral of the Story Is:

At least know what you're eating before you put it on your plate.  It's Thanksgiving, no one will judge what you eat, but for heaven's sake it's going in your mouth- make an informed decision.  This is a time for eating the very best.  Go for real quality and satisfaction.  Don't settle for less than what's best for you.  If it's truly an anything goes meal- fine, but make that choice before you start filling your plate.
So have a plan.

I have set some boundaries for my day, and for the holiday meal.

Imagine that you're single and you're going on a date with someone who is outrageously attractive and desirable.  Yes, you want to have fun but you don't want to wreck the budding relationship, and end up full of regret the next day, because you threw caution to the wind and went too far.  Don't be a food hussy.  Be discerning, a lady, wear something nice too: no elastic.

Don't Try for Absurd Levels of Self Denial

Within your reasonable boundaries arrange for some real eating pleasure.  Some traditional foods are good for you as well as being tasty.  I've got turkey, green beans, sweet potato, two very good glasses wine, and even a sugar free pumpkin cheesecake that I'm making myself on the menu.  (There are major advantages to being the head cook!  Don't worry, there will be real pumpkin pie and cornbread stuffing on the table, I just don't choose to eat them.)

I've Got a High Volume Healthy Breakfast Planned

I'll share my secret weapon breakfast with you:
2 Organic Eggs on a bed of sautéed spinach, mushrooms, onion, and cabbage with 2T salsa.  You will be full, and full of energy if you start the day with this.  Um, if you don't normally eat a lot of vegetables and fiber, maybe go easy on the amount, especially if you have guests.

At any rate, some people have the abdominal fortitude to seriously restrict their eating before the event meal, but I'm not one of them.  And please, drink a lot of water all through the day.  There is a great deal of sodium in the traditional holiday dishes, and you don't want to be thrown into a funk the day after over what amounts to water weight.

Bottom Line

I have already planned my eating for the day and my calorie count comes in at:
This is a little higher than maintenance, so I'll be making sure to move during the day- extra walks for me, Tippy, and anyone who wants to join me.
I have a plan.  It's full of enjoyment, including the 49er/Raven's game:  The Harbaugh Bowl should be exciting.  I'm looking forward to laughter, fun, pictures, gratitude, and yes, food.  I will survive, and so will you.

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