Thanksgiving can be a tough time for many health conscious individuals, so follow these simple guidelines and you’ll survive the holiday like a champ!
Imagine all the savory smells that permeate the house during the holiday season: roasted turkey, baked ham, seasoned stuffing, sweet yams smothered in brown sugar and covered in a blanket of lightly toasted marshmallow. The tantalizing aromas of warm apple, peach, pecan and pumpkin pies tickle our senses, as they adorn the desert table just waiting for everyone to unbuckle their belts and make room. Oh yea, Thanksgiving feast can be tough, especially when everyone around you is gorging themselves in this food-fest of reckless gluttony, all the while encouraging you to do the same. “C’mon, it’s once a year! Relax and enjoy yourself! You look great, live a little!” Believe me, I’ve heard them all. If you give in, rest assured you’ll make everyone feel a whole lot better. Why is that? I’ll tell you why…it’s because misery loves company. I don’t know about you, but I’m going to do as I do each holiday season and stick to the plan.

Just in the nick of time – I give you the Turkey-Day Survival Guide! Follow these 5 simple rules and you’ll enjoy this holiday season without losing your game in the gym, or around your waist.

I always eat a healthy meal about 3 hours before the holiday feast. If I’m heading to the scene of the crime, the in-laws house where all these delectable treats will be in my face, I make sure to arm myself with a Muscle Chow worthy meal just before heading out the door. This allows me to keep my eyeballs in my head and my portions within reason. If you don’t have time, drink a protein shake or munch a protein bar.

There’s bound to be plenty of cheese platters, breads, chips, dips, holiday cookies, candy, and other tempting finger food to occupy your time prior to the main meal. Opt for the raw veggie platter, a half-a-dozen water crackers, a handful of nuts, and the fruit plate instead. A key to controlling your grazing is to enjoy everyone around you. Make your rounds, talk with Uncle Phil, give Grandma a kiss, play outside with the kids, and before you know it dinner is served. Do this and you’ll actually have a great time in the process.

Think about tomorrow and how your choices today will affect that outcome. I’d rather be hitting the ground running than just hitting the ground! If you lose focus, just look around you for inspiration. A quick look at Uncle Phil’s goliath mid-section should do the trick!

Think about nutritional balance and steer clear of the high fat, high sodium stuff. Enjoy a nice sized portion of roasted turkey garnished with a side of cranberry sauce instead of gravy. Forego the mashed potatoes since Aunt Helga added a pound of butter and a tub of sour cream to them. Instead, go for the fresh herbed potatoes, lightly cooked greens, and colorful squash. Its okay to grab a small portion of yams, but the stuffing is an absolute no-no!

While everyone goes for the cakes, pies and other sweets, I always start with a nice tall cup of hot aromatic coffee. Not only does it satisfy that sweet craving, but the caffeine also acts as a hunger suppressant. There’s usually fruit that you can grab as well. If you don’t see any cut up in a bowl, comb through the kitchen for fresh bananas or apples. And if you absolutely have to do a dessert, go for a small piece of homemade apple pie as it’s usually the freshest.

Make it a great holiday season!
Live a High Integrity Life,
Gregg Avedon

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  1. Scott Says:

    Good stuff Gregg,! I do your trick of eating an apple before the big meals or going out to eat. It doesn’t always work, but I’m trying. Thanks for the encouragement and the steps to make the holiday healthier. I don’t want to wake up some morning looking like “Uncle Phil.”

  2. Jessica Says:

    Good Article Gregg!! I know, everyone’s favorite line is “it’s once a year, it won’t change anything!”. Just by making better choices, you can still reap all the benefits of the holiday season!

  3. Andrew S. Says:

    I’m currently reading Chris Carmichael’s (Lance Armstrong’s Trainer) 5 Essentials for a winning life-And in the book he says to shun protein shakes because the excess protein gets converted to carbohydrate,which if it’s not burned through excercise ,ends up as fat.Whereas you support protein shakes.I’m really confused.I’m going for lean and ripped look.I follow Muscle Chow and have a whey/Casein protein shake after a hard work-out.
    Please help!

  4. Brad Says:

    Good info Gregg,
    I can absolutely relate to eating a lot at the in-laws. “I didn’t have any boys so you need to make up for the girls not eating as much Brad!” haha I like the idea of eating something healthy before. I always have trouble with snacking as well but if its on healthy veggies with minimal dip involved I suppose that would work!

  5. Loryn Huff Says:

    Great tips for Thanksgiving, Gregg!! It’s so hard to eat right during the holidays but your tips will help tons of people! 🙂

  6. Jon Says:

    Can’t explain enough how happy I am your website is back!

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