What To Do After a Thanksgiving Binge
Don’t let a Thanksgiving binge turn into an “I blew it” binge that lasts till January 1st, advise the lifestyle experts at the Pritikin Longevity Center in Miami.
We all have our slip-ups and bang-ups. And that’s okay. What matters most is how we live most other days of the year. Here are 3 post-Thanksgiving binge tips.
Post-Thanksgiving binge tips…
Get right back on track.
Don’t let a Thanksgiving binge turn into an “I blew it” binge that lasts till January 1st.
Toward that effort, make sure that you’re returning to a home well stocked with healthy foods for the day after Thanksgiving. A big bowl of fresh fruit on the kitchen table. Fresh salad fixings in the fridge for lunch. Homemade Pritikin soups in the freezer. Nonfat yogurt and other healthy snack foods.
Make healthy use of leftovers. Top your salad, for example, with strips of roasted, skinless turkey breast.
Or add turkey breast, cubed or shredded, to a nice big pot of our chefs’ always popular Vegetarian Chili.
- 1/4 cup green bell pepper diced
- 1 cup red onion diced
- 1/2 cup garlic chopped
- 1 cup So Soya ground. See Recipe notes.
- 2 tablespoons All Purpose Seasoning See Recipe notes.
- 1 chipotle pepper
- 1/2 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
- 3 cups red beans cooked, (If using canned varieties, purchase no-salt-added.)
- 1/4 cup shallots chopped
- 1 teaspoon oregano , dry
- 3 tablespoons thyme (fresh) leaves picked and chopped
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup tomato puree no-salt-added
- 1/2 cup carrots medium-diced
- 1 cup tomatoes diced
- 1 quart vegetable stock (low-sodium)
- 1 tablespoon Veggie Grated Topping, Parmesan Flavor See Recipe notes.
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves chopped
- In a large nonstick stockpot, sauté bell peppers, onion, and garlic at medium-high heat until brown, about 3 minutes.
- Meanwhile, soak So Soya in ½ cup hot water for about 5 minutes. Drain excess liquid. Add So-Soya and All Purpose Seasoning to stockpot, and cook for 3 minutes.
- Add remaining ingredients, except Veggie Grated Topping and cilantro, and simmer for 1 hour.
- Finish off with Veggie Grated Topping and freshly chopped cilantro. Remove chipotle pepper before serving.
- Serve with whole-wheat, low-sodium pita chips, brown rice, mashed potatoes, or simply by itself.
In addition to a kitchen full of healthy foods, make sure you keep moving. Get back to your regular Pritikin exercise routine, or if guests are in town, plan something active for all of you for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. A hike in the woods. A game of softball. Cruising the shopping malls. In other words, do your best to stay off the couch.
Stick to your normal Pritikin routine.
Don’t, for example, overcompensate for your Thanksgiving binge over the next several days with a ton of hard-core exercise. Just stick to your regular fitness schedule. Trying to cram in extra workouts at the gym could leave you feeling stressed out. What’s worse, they may lead to an injury, benching you for the next several weeks. That’s the last thing your health and weight-loss goals need.
In the days after Thanksgiving, don’t starve yourself either. Sure, it seems like a good idea; you want to eat less to make up for the Turkey Day binge. But as you learned in nutrition classes at the Pritikin Longevity Center, restricting your food intake will only make you hungry. And when your stomach growls for too long, you know what happens. Any leftovers sitting in the fridge, especially the fatty, sugary ones, end up in huge platefuls in front of you.
Instead, start your day with a nice big bowl of hot, whole grain cereal topped with fruit, and if you’d like, an egg-white omelet full of stir-fried veggies. Round out the rest of the day with plenty more super-healthy Pritikin-style foods, like:
- Fresh fruit
- Fresh veggie snacks with hummus
- Green salads
- Baked potatoes with salsa
- Sweet potatoes with a little Dijon mustard
- Cooked whole grains like whole wheat pasta, brown rice, barley, and quinoa
- Corn tortillas with lettuce, onions, salsa, and pinto beans
- Hearty, bean-rich soups
- Nonfat Greek yogurt
- No-sugar-added applesauce
3. Stop with the guilt.
No good comes from beating yourself up. In the coming weeks (when the four main food groups for many people are cookies, candy, fudge, and booze), do your best not to descend into a “binge-guilt-binge-guilt-oh-what-the-hell” cycle.
Focus instead on the present, and praise yourself for laying the groundwork with a post-Thanksgiving Pritikin plan. Be proud that you’re conscious of your eating and exercise behaviors, and your efforts to improve them.
Even better, lay the groundwork for a healthier life in 2023 and beyond. Consider booking a wellness vacation at Pritikin in January. That way, even if you slip up over the holidays, you’ll have piece of mind knowing that you’ve already made the commitment to “get clean” in 2023.