Thanksgiving Fun with Your Family Takes the Focus off Food

I love Thanksgiving. It’s my very favorite holiday ever. Lots of friends, lots of food, no gifts to buy – it’s just about the perfect holiday, in my mind. There’s just one small problem – the food and the festivities tend to make one a bit, shall we say, sluggish. After filling your belly with a week’s worth of calories, you feel like taking a 3 hour nap. Instead of doing that, why not try some of these fantastic, family friendly options that will help you not only enjoy the day but end it feeling as if you’ve done something good for you?

Start the day off right. This year, all of my kids are finally old enough to participate in a Turkey Trot and I hope to make this an annual tradition. Even just running a mile, first thing in the morning, gets the blood flowing and gets everyone off on the right foot. Knowing you’ve done even a tiny bit of exercise makes it less likely that you’ll fall, face first, into the pecan pie.

Be active in the midst of it all. Do pushups on the counter while you wait for the green beans to heat. If you’ve got time before the guests arrive, take a walk while your turkey bakes to view the fall foliage.

Snack Wisely. Set out a tray of raw veggies. Many of us want to snack while the main meal is cooking, and we can often eat an entire meal before we even sit down at the table. A tray of cucumber slices, carrot sticks and the like will help you keep your fingers and mouth busy and keep you away from the cookies.

Make it competitive. Got a house full of family over? Pull out the Wii and challenge Great Aunt Tilda to a Just Dance 2 showdown. Bust out your white glove and take on Michael Jackson. Do Zumba with Grandma.

Here are some of the ways that the Diets in Review staff keeps the blood flowing on the holiday known for the encouragement laziness.

Kelly Turner, Blog Editor, shares, “My mom used to kick everyone out of the house for an hour right before dinner was served to go for a walk so she could get all the food on the table without people picking at it or being in her way.”

Brandi Koskie, Managing Editor, seconds the outdoor activity. “There’s usually some time chasing the kids around the backyard, climbing trees, throwing a ball. Just general backyard fun.”

Amy Crews, Holistic Health Counselor, shares her family fitness tradition. “My family hosts a football game the day after Thanksgiving, another fun tradition that gets everyone burning calories post meal but lets you enjoy and indulge on the actual day.”

Alicia Rose, publicity, chooses a different path.”Shopping of course! The next day I burn off all of those cals bouncing from store to store!”

Maris Callahan, our Healthy Culinary Expert, has a different take: “I embrace the sloth. It’s only one day!”

Perhaps the most exciting plan from our staff comes from Robert Derow. This year, he’s planning to surf at Manhattan Beach.

Whatever you plan, make sure to include a little exercise to get your blood pumping and start your day off with a bang.

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