Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Thanksgiving dinner

This past weekend was Canadian Thanksgiving. A lot of people have the the turkey dinner whichever day of the 3 day weekend works best for them and their family. I know people that attended a big dinner every day. Holidays are often used as an excuse to indulge. For some people, that works. For others, a day of indulgence turns into a week, which turns into a season.

I am one of the others. I've learned that about myself and there is no point in trying to pretend that I am a naturally thin person that can occasionally gorge as long as I eat well the rest of the time. When I start eating sugary treats and large portions, I have trouble stopping. For me, a holiday is not enough of a reason to just let go.

I only had one big dinner to attend and it was on Sunday. That was 10-10-10, so it was the day that I had my own little fitness challenge. I've said it before, but I don't exercise to lose weight. I train to get better at my sports. Having said that, being active helps keep me in a better mindset for how I'm eating, putting me at an advantage going in.

I also planned ahead. I offered to bring desert. For one, I am very good at making deserts, so I knew I could do something everyone would like. The main reason though, is that it gave me control over what would be the most tempting part of the meal for me. I made an apple pie and a crustless pumpkin pie. I enjoy making pastry, and let's be honest, people expect apple pie. Pumpkin pie is a comparatively healthy choice, as long as you leave off the crust.

I followed through on my plan to eat moderately. I had large helpings of salad, carrots and broccoli (skipping the yummy looking cheese sauce). I also had small helpings of turkey with cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes with gravy and stuffing. I resisted getting seconds and finished the meal off with my crustless pumpkin pie, passing up the apple pie with the perfectly made crust.

Would I eat dinner like this every night? No. Some of those foods spell trouble for me and trigger cravings, particularly the mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce. It was a special night though, and I still stayed within my calorie range for the day. I've been watching my sugar intake very closely for a couple days now, as even the small amounts I had are sometimes enough to trigger my system to demand more.

As we enter the season of indulgence and gluttony, I plan to continue approaching it with moderation. My house won't be filled with Christmas baking, and Halloween candies will get sent off to my husband's work. It's a matter of finding the balance between will power and avoidance.

What's your plan for the upcoming holidays?


  1. I'm a bit nervous. My family is big on family meals. Thanksgiving is an all day cook fest and December is filled with cookie trades, holiday parties, dinners out with visiting relatives, and the stuff fest that is Christmas.

    Lately when I've been going to potlucks I've been bringing fruit salad so I know I'll be getting a good serving of something healthy.

    My cousin would rather have 1 calorie rich cookie than 5 reduced ones. I'm the opposite, if I see it I'll eat it. So I'm going to have to mix the real and the reduced foods and make sure there's healthy options. (like actual green beans and not green bean casserole)

    Let me know if you know of any awesome reduced fat/calorie holiday recipes!

  2. Since I cook for Thanksgiving and Christmas, I am not too worried about the holidays. As for Halloween, I find candy easy to resist, so that is not problem. My biggest weakness is booze! I limit myself to one drink weekly. That will be tougher in December.

  3. Good job with the moderation! I found that I didn't eat that much this long weekend because we hosted dinner and I was too busy doing other things than to load up on food.
    Normally I go off the deep end during Christmas time. I am fine at the various parties, my problem is the goodies people give us/are available during the season. If they are in my house, I eat them all!!! So very little baking, chocolates, etc will be allowed in my house this upcoming holiday season.

  4. Plans are lots of cooking as we will be hosting parties in Oct, Nov & Dec... thus I need to have some success while hunting this weekend so I can put some meat on the table. If not, well then I'll have to get my meat from the store.