Dieting During Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving dinner

Traditional Thanksgiving

Are you dieting while trying to make it through the holidays? It just seems wrong doesn’t it? Makes me think God has a sense of humor. He gives us all this bounty and if we partake in it we will be “waddling” until next year when we do it all again.

I’m not going to bore you with all the statistics like so many people will gain at least 10 pounds between now and after the New Year, or how many people end up in the hospital every year because they don’t clean all the stuffing out of the turkey before they put it away in the refrigerator. I’m not going to put up a bunch of recipes of food that no one wants to eat because they are so strange, even if they do cut 300 calories off of a traditional side dish.

I’m just going to share with what I do to shave the calories and the fat, but still be able to enjoy all the usual Thanksgiving dinner dishes.

I substitute eggbeaters for everything that calls for eggs. About a 1/4 cup is equal to 1 egg, although some say on the side of the carton to use 1/3 cup for baking. I use Land o’ Lakes fat-free half and half, or Carnation canned skim milk for anything that requires milk. Last but not least I use Country Crock Shedd Spread, or something similar for anything that requires oil or butter.

It is totally amazing how much fat and how many calories you can cut just making these small changes. I haven’t quite gotten the hang of substituting Splenda for sugar, but I’m working on it. I just prefer to experiment sometime other than the holidays with my pies. LOL. Using the items listed above instead of the whole fat stuff works well and no one seems to know the difference if you don’t make the mistake of bragging about it.  The minute you tell someone it’s all “low fat” of course there will be someone who complains or says it doesn’t taste “quite right”. This is one secret you want to keep to yourself.

Does Housework Qualify For Exercise?

Our Diningroom Table

Our Diningroom Table

It’s only 5 days to Thanksgiving and for me the menu plan, the cooking and the baking are the easy part. This, I’m embarrassed to say, is what our dining room table currently looks like. It is truly a “catch all”. All those little bags around the bottom? They’re full of canned goods etc. that need to find a home.

So what I’m wondering is, if I’m lifting cans one in each hand, putting them away on the shelves where I have to either stretch up or bend down, would that work for “strength training”? After being embarrassed for me and wondering how I could dare to put a picture like this on the World Wide Web, you may be laughing. I’m serious. I could make quite a workout out of this. Each can weighs approximately 1 pound, between the weight and the steps back and forth to the cupboard, I could work in cardio and strength training at the same time. Of course it’ll take me a little more time to get it done (time I’m running out of) but wouldn’t that work? I just wish I had a counter that would count the calories I burn as I do it, but we can’t have it all, can we? LOL. On top of that, there are actually a couple of small, heavy appliances on the table also. I have to put those out back to make room, so there are even more steps.

You can see now why the gym I built in the kitchen hasn’t worked out too well. That blue thing to the right is my “abdoer”. You can see it gets a lot of use here. LOL. Don’t worry. After I get it all cleaned up and have the table set, I’ll put up those pics too. Then I’m going to go post them on “Organizing Junkie’s” blog. I know she’ll appreciate them. LOL.

A New “Challenge” For Thanksgiving

tofu-turkey-headerWhile most of us “Hefty Honeys” will be just trying to keep from gaining weight over the holidays, let alone lose some, there are recipes popping up all over the net for traditional, non-traditional, low fat, low carb dishes for Thanksgiving. Along with those are a host of tips on how to keep your appetite in control, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I myself substitute anything that calls for eggs with eggbeaters. Anything that calls for oil, I melt Country Crock in the microwave, and anything that calls for cream I use fat free canned milk or fat free half and half. It’s amazing, but these three things alone can cut hundreds of calories from the menu. This year I have a new challenge that has nothing to do with my weight.

I have to have Tofu Turkey for my newly vegetarian daughter. When she originally told me she had seen one at Trader Joe’s in the vain that we could have that instead of traditional turkey, I let her know there was “no way”. I had already gone through that with Raymond, and it turned out terrible. Everyone tried sneaking in “real food” without Marie knowing about it. She asked who Raymond was. “Everybody Loves Raymond, of course” in a tone that asks how she could not possibly know what I was talking about.

So I have agreed to have Tofu along side of our traditional turkey. I had pretty much forgotten about it until she brought it up again last nite on the phone. Looking at the recipes I found when I googled “Tofu Turkey” it’s a pretty scary option. I don’t think they know about Trader Joe’s, otherwise they wouldn’t have to do everything they do in those recipes to make some kind of form.

I myself am not a fan of Tofu. I have tried in all different kinds of chinese food, and I just don’t care for it. Supposedly you can stuff the Tofu Turkey with stuffing and all kinds of playful things. If it works out, I suppose I will have to have it for Christmas also, unless they have some form of vegetarian ham or something. This is really quite an experience finding alternatives to meat, especially when you’re a very carniverous household. LOL. Right now I don’t even know if I can buy one and freeze it until Thanksgiving, or if I buy it now and it will last just refrigerated, or if I have to wait until closer to Thanksgiving to buy, and then what if they run out? Oh my!

Over the next couple of weeks I guess I will be visiting vegetarian recipes, blogs, etc. altho the turkey and gravy are generally the only meat or meat by-products on our table. Most everything else is vegetarian by it’s nature. I will rise to the task, enjoying the new knowledge I gain, because I just have nothing else to do (and because I love my daughter so much). LOL.

Thanksgiving’s Over, Or Is It?

I hope everyone had a very enjoyable Thanksgiving filled with food, friends and family! I myself had a wonderful day! As usual, I was not ready on time still cleaning & setting the table right up to the time to take the turkey out of the oven. Once again, if it wasn’t for my absolutely wonderful boyfriend (whose an absolute great cook), I could have never pulled it off. He has also been retrained to cook lowfat and doesn’t seem to mind at all. Maybe that’s because before we got together his favorite saying was “there ain’t no fat chicks sleeping in my bed”. LOL. How disgusting! Maybe I just persued him to shut him up! Sorry. Got off track there for a minute. My point was, it’s to his advantage to cook lower fat and healthier if he doesn’t want me to gain more than I have.

I did good with my eating on Thanksgiving. My daughter made the pies with my lowfat changes, (any body have an idea on how to substitute the sugar? They used to have ‘sugartwin’ that was supposed to be used like real sugar, but I remember the couple of times I tried it, it was really sweet) they came out terrific! I only ate a spoonful of each thing, made fresh asparagus instead of greenbean casserole, and instead of “candied” yams, I just added brown sugar and cinnamon. I was still plenty full and was happy with a tablespoon vs. a cup or half cup of everything.

To me, the real test comes the day after Thanksgiving with the leftovers. While before the big day, I was glad to be having Thanksgiving dinner at our house so I could control the ingredients. After Thanksgiving the leftovers pose a constant threat. Even tho I gave food for company to take home, it was not enough! How much willpower can 1 fat girl have anyway? I made Turkey soup for dinner last nite, and that helps a little. I actually took the time to make an actual stock and everything this time. Pointswise it comes out at 2 for a cup, if that, and was so nice and warm as the nites are getting cooler.

So, while I wait to weigh in, I am still working on making it a “down” Thanksgiving instead of “up”. On this side of the Turkey day, I am thinking that it might have been nice to go somewhere else for Thanksgiving so there weren’t still 2 pies and a dutch oven full of stuffing sitting in my fridge!

One Thing To Remember…

This time of year we get so busy we have a tendancy to put off eating until we’re starving. This is a definate ‘no, no’. Yesterday I kept saying to myself that I was just going to do ‘one more thing’ and then I’ll eat. I finally got to the kitchen around 1pm. I was hungry and I knew exactly what I wanted. We were out of bread. Had to go to the store.  I’ll do that after I do ‘one more thing’. By the time I got my shower, went to the store and finally fixed my soup and sandwich it was 4pm and I was famished. My old way would be to grab whatever was fastest and easiest, no matter what the points. Because I have been committed to being good, I just starved myself. (I should have grabbed a piece of fruit, but that still isn’t the first thing to come to mind).

We need to remember how important it is to keep fueling our body, especially with all the added chores during this time of year. It also doesn’t do your metabolism any good, as your body starts to hoard the fat it has. The latest research says that ideally we should be eating every three hours, at least. Now it’s a matter of putting it into practice. Ever been around those really skinny people that eat all the time? Now you get it!

The Good News and The Bad…

 As if in answer to a prayer, the following recipe showed up in my email yesterday. I have mentioned before that I am a cheesecake FREAK! Here is what I got-

Recipe Rating: 5 Star
Prep Time: 10 min
Total Time: 3 hr 50 min
Makes: 8 servings

2 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Fat Free Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
Dash ground nutmeg
1/3 cup HONEY MAID Graham Cracker Crumbs
1/2 cup thawed COOL WHIP FREE Whipped Topping
MIX cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs; mix until blended. Do not overbeat after adding eggs. Remove 1 cup batter; stir in pumpkin and spices. Spray 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray; sprinkle bottom with crumbs.
POUR remaining plain batter into crust. Top with pumpkin batter.
BAKE at 325°F for 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool. Refrigerate 3 hours or overnight. Top each serving with 1 Tbsp. of the whipped topping.
Nutrition (per serving)
Calories 150
Total fat 2.5g
Saturated fat 1g
Cholesterol 65mg
Sodium 340mg
Carbohydrate 23g
Dietary fiber 1g
Sugars 18g
Protein 9g
Vitamin A 80%DV
Vitamin C 0%DV
Calcium 25%DV
Iron 4%

If you use eggbeaters instead of eggs, and now they have ‘lowfat’ graham crackers, so the nutritional info can go down a little more still! No one could possibly know how happy this makes me! And it had several reviews that said it was absolutely the best!

Thank you to Kraftfoods.com/healthyliving

This will be one of my favorite steps in taking control of the upcoming holiday.

Now, for the good not so good news.  After reading Ladyshanny’s and HPWNow’s blogs the other day, I got very inspired. I was going to go to WW on Monday, but was afraid they were closed due to VA day. Tues. I was too late, so I finally made it yesterday. I bought my monthly pass, etc. and went and weighed in. I’m afraid I have just been playing stupid games with myself up to this point and the scale definately show it.  Not only do I weigh more now than I did the last time I started on WW, but my scale is 5lbs. off, so it was even worse than I thought! I now weigh more than I did when I was 9 mos. pregnant with any of my 3 children. Talk about a wake up call! So, even tho the holidays are coming up, I have control over what gets made, how it’s made and how much I eat. I have a new, truer commitment and I will see this thru!!