Over the next few weeks our Facebook feeds will be filled with blog posts and articles claiming to have the ultimate holiday survival guide.”15 Tips for Guilt-Free Holiday Eating”, “Fend off Holiday Weight Gain”, or “The Skinny Girl’s Guide to The Holiday Party ”. We start feeling guilty before the turkey is even in the oven! There doesn’t need to be so much guilt and negativity surrounding such a joyful time of year. Let’s switch our focus to some of the healthful aspects of the holiday season, so that we can all celebrate with a little less guilt this year.
Extra Time Off – Sneak in an extra sweat session or make time for some extra work at the gym since you don’t have to rush out the door to get to work/school.
Plan a Fun Activity as a Family – Check your community for activities such as a Turkey 5k. Find traditions that are not food related.
Sleep – Stress hormones from lack of sleep, such as cortisol, wreak havoc on metabolism, mood and athletic performance. Take advantage of some extra zzz’s on your days off.
Turkey – One protein packed serving of turkey contains many B vitamins, selenium and potassium that play a role in immune function. Enjoy a few slices of the bird knowing you are fueling your muscles for next week’s training sessions.
Sweet Potatoes – A great source of complex carbohydrates (yes, carbs are not evil after all), fiber and vitamin A. Making this side dish a great energy source for athletes. Sweet potatoes also contain carotenoids, a potent antioxidant important for cell maintenance and repair.
Green Bean Casserole – Try a healthier version (see recipe below) this year. Green beans are packed with important micronutrients including, vitamin K, folate, Vitamin A, and manganese.
Pumpkin Pie – So this one is a bit of a stretch, but if you want to enjoy a thanksgiving dessert, choose pumpkin pie (as long as it is made with real pumpkin). Pumpkin is high in Vitamin E, another potent antioxidant important for cell maintenance and repair.
1 pound green beans, trimmed
3 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
½ cup fresh whole-wheat breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1.Steam green beans (5-7 minutes).
2.Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat, add garlic and breadcrumbs. Cook until crispy (3-4 minutes). Toss breadcrumbs, garlic, and oil with steamed green beans and top with parmesan cheese.