Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving: The day dietary inhibitions flew out the window

Loosen up the ol' belt, grab a dinner plate and don't skimp on the gravy.

Thanksgiving day is upon us, and with it comes generous helpings of turkey, stuffing, casseroles, pumpkin pie and whatever else your heart (and stomach) desire. Add in a side of football and a dash of beer to watch those gridiron contests with, and what you have is a recipe for dietary disaster. According to this article on, an average person will consume around 2,500 calories over the course of Thanksgiving dinner, or roughly the high end of what's considered a healthy daily intake for physically-active adults.

(side note: The article above lists pumpkin pie and mashed potatoes -- two of my more favored Thanksgiving helpings -- as healthy eating options for the nutrition-conscious crowd. Not sure if their nutritional value holds true after the multiple servings I'm sure to indulge in, but there's some good news!)

Granted, you can always say no to second helpings and that extra-large slice of pecan pie for dessert. But in my experience, it's hard to turn down a helping of the dish your aunt spent all day preparing, unless you want to deal with glaring looks from across the dinner table. Besides, there's only so many occasions where you have the opportunity to try such a wide variety of food, albeit foods that have varying degrees of nutritional value.

Consequently, I've already chalked up the day as a loss for any discernible diet I may have been on. I figure a day of indulgence is an acceptable vice, so long as it doesn't send me down the slippery slope of the holiday eating season, where family dinners and cold weather conspire to send health & fitness into hibernation.

As far as the marathon training is concerned, the current version of the Minnesota Timberwolves has a better chance of beating the '96 Chicago Bulls than I have at getting a 10-mile training run in on Friday morning. So I've been mindful to plan ahead for my "Turkey day hangover."

I put in a hard week of running (36 miles) last week, put in a fair amount of time at the gym and ran 16 miles so far this week. I'm also hoping to squeeze in one last workout before driving up to my parent's house for dinner in the morning.

Aside from that, I'm just going to enjoy the holiday, enjoy the company, and most of all, enjoy the food.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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