Can we have a moment of silence please?
Last night marked the first night in the past 48 hours that I did not Thanksgiving leftovers for dinner.
And that my friends, is a very, very sad thing.
You see for the better part of 21 years, I loathed Thanksgiving. I was how do you say… the PICKIEST EATER ALIVE. I would eat the turkey. Plain. And bread. There was always lots of bread on my plate. And I don’t mean stuffing.
Then a few years ago I stopped acting like a four-year-old, started acting like the twenty-something I was, and started trying… everything. (Almost – I will still never, ever come near a raw tomato. Ever.)
And my Thanksgivings were changed forever.
Now there is literally nothing I won’t inhale at the Thanksgiving dinner table.
And Monday night around 9pm, the last bites of the most delicious homemade gluten-free stuffing, mashed sweet potatoes, green beans, toasted almonds and shallots, turkey and gravy went down the hatch. (You may have noticed I didn’t say cranberry sauce. You would be right because I saved some for sandwiches this week because I’m a sneaky little brat like that.)
And yes I was far too lazy to do a single dish this week so dinner was off of paper plates. There are just so many joys in not having a dishwasher in San Francisco.
My work has apparently jumped on the Thanksgiving food train too since on Monday Brown Butter Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Brussel Sprouts/Bacon were on one of the cafe menus, and yesterday the most delicious sweet potato fries with some spice mixture I can no longer remember nor pronounce made an appearance. (Gluten-free brownies did too, but they tasted like cardboard (yes I still ate them) so we’ll pretend that never happened. Can’t win ‘em all.)
This post wasn’t really meant to be an ode to Thanksgiving food, but I’ll definitely sing my praises to the single best eating day of the year, and the kick-off to the eating delicious food season – AKA – holidays.
Because it is amazing.
What I heard on Monday morning wasn’t so awesome.
“I need to detox.”
“Time to cleanse”
“I’m working out twice a day.”
“I feel disgusting.”
“Time to get back on track”
Ughhhh - why friends, why?
I love this season. It’s fun, and it’s festive, and it’s a time to kick back with friends and family and celebrate. So on Monday I definitely didn’t start a juice cleanse. (We all know how that worked out last time.) Or a new workout routine. Or drastically cut my caloric intake by 500 a day. (I would instantly turn into a crazy person if that were to happen).
I went to a 6am Sculpt class for 40 minutes. Then after work I ate leftovers, baked cookies, fantasized about the other cookies I will be baking, watched 5 episodes of Suburgatory (I swear I am the only person on the planet that thinks this show is genius), decorated the apartment, lit more candles than physically necessary in 600 square-feet of space. And relaxed.
I also arrived at work armed with 4 rolls of wrapping paper from Costco for my team to wrap their desks with and a “The Best Way To Spread Christmas Cheer Is Singing Loud For All To Hear” playlist. Christmas just exploded in our pods. It’s so happy in there.
A friend recently told me she admired my will-power. I come from a very long line of strong will-power-ers… my dad has the best will-power of anyone I’ve ever seen. I also have a really competitive personality – with myself. With pilates, work, projects, running, paces, distances, mileage, goals, etc. If I set my mind to it, I promise you I will complete it. So I guess it makes sense that I have will-power when it comes to maintaining some semblance of balance in regards to diet/exercise.
I exercise 5-6 days a week – spinning, running (welcome back to my life), swimming, Pilates, sculpt, walking, chasing after other people’s dogs, etc. I happened to do some sort of exercise every day over the holiday weekend- whether it was a quick jog outside with boyfriend (can we pause for a moment of how much fun it is to just go for a quick jog?
Stress Fracture you have realigned my perspective), a pre-turkey dinner bike-ride with boyfriend and my family, a sculpt class, a spin class, a walk along the beach to stalk dogs (it may or may not be a weekend tradition)… most took less than an hour of my time, and all were either a chance to be with loved ones or have some “me time”, and all made me feel really great – physically and mentally. Since I currently have nada to train for, I’m learning to be much, much more laid back about running and exercise in general. As long as I fit in ~30 minutes a day, that’s fine with me.
I also try to eat well…80% of the time. I indulge 20% of the time – and that’s the honest truth. My arm is usually found elbow deep in a bag of Food Should Taste Good Sweet Potato Chips when I get snacky. I have dessert every single night. Dark chocolate is an essential part of my daily life.
I just balance it with healthy, full, nutritious meals. Green smoothies, oatmeal, eggs or Greek yogurt and berries for breakfast. Salads with protein (and baked sweet potato fries if available) and soup or a sandwich for lunch. Proteins/grains/veggies for dinner.
Minimal snacking. (I succeed at this 50% of the time).
Reduced wine consumption on weekdays – both for my health and my sanity – apparently turning 28 ruins your wine-tolerance but makes hangovers worse.
But on special occasions and weekends? Bring it.
The wine. The desserts (including occasionally, the ones filled with gluten). The rich, delicious, hearty food. The wine. (Oh I said wine twice? That means it’s twice as important.)
Why bother stressing yourself out? Or drinking cold juice when it’s cold and rainy outside? We get one month of the most indulgent, delicious goodies…. enjoy the delicious homemade goodies – just don’t have 10 of them. I promise you didn’t get into shape in one month, and you won’t get out of shape if you indulge a bit over the holidays.
Everything in moderation…. including moderation.
I promise the kale will be waiting for you come January.