Talking Turkey About Food, Fitness and The Holidays
It’s that time again. Every time you turn around someone at the office shows up with a box of chocolates, Aunt Martha shows up with the world’s biggest container of homemade cookies (just a few dear). Or maybe it’s the endless parade of holiday parties that for some reason we all feel obligated to attend. All of a sudden that beautiful dress you were so excited to wear is a little snug around the waist and you find yourself muttering death threats at your bathroom scale. As a trainer & nutritionist I’ve seen the same cycle repeat year after year no matter how many advice articles we read.
The gyms get quiet in December until mid January when the yearly Resolution Rush commences. Most people say they are too busy/stressed/tired to workout. Or that they simply cannot find the time. I call bull… I’m not saying that I expect you to hit the gym five days a week for two hours or to run 5km every day. Try to plan for 20-30 minutes every second day and do SOMETHING. Because something is always better than nothing. Here are a couple of options that you may not have thought about.
This works for the people that own a treadmill or other piece of dust or clothes covered cardio machine. Set your alarm 30 minutes early 2-3 times a week. Shuffle over to the hopefully now dust free treadmill, grab a water bottle, put on those gym shoes and walk at a moderate pace for 20-30 minutes. Hell you can even keep your jammy pants on, I do. This will burn stored body-fat, speed up your metabolism and give you a defense against those extra bites of sweets you’ll be tempted with later on. Make sure you eat breakfast right after.
This is a great option for those on a holiday budget cut or someone looking to work out on their own but they don’t have the knowledge. I love this option. I build custom programs for my clients based on whether they use a gym or want to workout at home using bands and dumbbells. Let’s face it. It has to fit your life in order to work for you.
Average weight gain over the holidays is 1-4 lbs, not ten. The catch is it takes an average of four months to shed that weight. If you schedule in shorter workouts that fit your life you will help keep those pounds off and have a head start on the January rush. I believe that the biggest issue is the lack of knowledge about food. I recently received my second nutrition degree and have been focusing on teaching clients to cook healthy as this is where they struggle the most. Even when they are going to the gym and putting the work in, once they hit the kitchen they can undo all their hard work. I am not a fan of restrictive, repetitive diets or “cheat days”. I’ve found that this leads to long term binge eating and an unhealthy attitude towards food. I teach people that no food is truly off limits. It’s how often and how much that really matters. Once you learn about the food you eat you will be that much more prepared for those crazy holiday meals and even Aunt Martha. For more tips & recipes follow me at Facebook.com/DefineFitYMM.
Turkey and Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie
Ready in 45 minutes
Makes 6 servings
- 16 cups sweet potatoes, small cubes
- 1 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
- 11 tsp fresh rosemary, finely minced
- 1Dash sea salt and black ground pepper
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 stalk celery, minced
- 1 lb leftover turkey breast or ground turkey breast meat
- 16-oz bag frozen mixed vegetables (or fresh)
- 1 tbsp whole wheat flour
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Steam the potatoes to soften, 15 minutes. When done, mash with the yogurt and rosemary. Potatoes should be stiff but creamy. Season to taste.
- While potatoes are steaming, heat olive oil in a large skillet and sauté the onions and celery. Add turkey to brown. Add vegetables. Stir to heat through. Stir in flour until dissolved in the liquid from the meat and vegetables.
- Pour meat mixture into a deep-dish pie pan or an 8”x8” casserole dish that has been lightly coated with oil or cooking spray. Spread potatoes over meat. Bake for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are slightly browned.
Nutrients: Calories: 262. Fats: 2.4 g, Total Carbs: 37 g, Fiber: 7 g, Protein: 24 g