Less than 1 week in the US until we feast! Leave it to Americans to dedicate a long weekend to eating! But do you need to completely derail from your fitness and lifestyle goals to enjoy this holiday? Yours truly says “no, you can have your pie and eat it too!”
First, before we dive into paleo and what to eat, what to avoid, I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to our free DRD Training Thanksgiving Day workout! 9:30am Central time – no equipment needed – you just need the human body, 5′ of space, and an internet connection! To receive your calendar invite/link, point your browser to the DRDTraining site and fill out the ‘Contact Us‘ form! Write ‘Thanksgiving’ in the subject line and I will get you added!
Back to the feast! While the world as a whole has seemed to move away from paleo and into keto, the athletic types tend to subscribe more to paleo. I don’t often agree with CrossFit, but this is an area of the CrossFit community that I do agree with wholeheartedly – Paleo is king!
Keto is a fantastic way to lose weight and tends to work very well for a more sedentary lifestyle, but if you are like me and love your endurance training, distance running, and boxing 8 rounds, you will want carbs to burn and protein to keep you going. Tons can be found online about paleo, but the long and the short is this diet-lifestyle gets the body back in tune with the way humans were intended to eat – lean meats, veggies, some fruits, eggs, and whole grains. Modern-day farming practices and GMO’s have thrown off the original diet – which some believed to have existed for about 2.5M years ago until about 10,000 years ago.
“Enough with the history lesson! What can we eat on Thanksgiving?!?” you might be wondering!? Lets take a look on what to feast on and what to avoid!
Let’s start with the STUFF YOUR FACE list!
The Bird! Turkey – 100% paleo! 2 thick slices of white meat will tip the scales at 120 calories, almost 25 grams of protein, and ZERO carbs! Dig in!
String beans! 100% paleo! 1 cup of these nutrition-packed beans will weigh in at only 35 calories, a few net carbs, and 2 grams of protein! Dig in!
Sweet potatoes! Paleo indeed! Offering gobs of Vitamin A, low in calories, high(er) in fiber than their non-sweet counterparts, and just down right tasty, I am not going to say to Dig In for this starch, but I will tell you to enjoy 1 serving! So there you go! Enjoy!
Sprouted Wheat Bread! While not really ‘paleo’ per se, this is a fantastic alternative to starchy dinner rolls. We keep a loaf of this type of bread on hand most of the time as a healthier alternative to the GMO, preservative loaded regular loaves of bread found in everyone’s pantry across the land! This hidden-in-plain-site product boasts far better nutrition than its counterparts including higher protein and fiber, as well as amino acids and tons of other vitamins. Don’t dig in, but enjoy a piece or 2!
Squash & Pumpkin Dishes! I will leave this one as a catch-all, but do a little R&D on your own based on your family’s recipes! Yes, squash is paleo, and yes it is loaded with nutrition, however depending on how its prepared, run a Google search before diving in!
Most of the aforementioned foods are on everyone’s table, so go crazy! But now let’s look at the ‘Avoid‘ list!
Mashed potatoes! Don’t hate me! I know they are amazing, and I know they are a staple, so feel free to have ‘some’, but compare 1 cup of these versus sweet potatoes, and the difference is staggering! At over 200 calories, very low fiber, and virtually no protein, don’t load up too much! Opt-in for skin-on for higher fiber content!
Stuffing! Don’t hate me, again!! Not sure what to tell you on this one! Its bread in cubes! Not much on the paleo front and certainly not much to report on the nutrition front! At well over 300 calories per cup, this one will sneak up on you! Try a half-serving to cut the craving! It’s a holiday, I get it! 😉
Green Bean Casserole! Green beans, good! The casserole part – not as good. Heavy dairy products offset this from healthy to non instantly! Go for green beans on their own – or load them up with almonds and bacon bits for a more savory and delightful treat!
Pumpkin Pie! I am probably the biggest pumpkin pie fan in the world, and I will NEVER put this on the avoid list! HOWEVER, I would recommend finding a paleo recipe online – there are millions of them! Tread lightly – and certainly, enjoy!!
Dale De Steno is part-owner/operator at DRD Training, along with wife and training partner Chanell. Join us for online bootcamps and/or personal training, or IRL kickboxing/boxing lesson! Dale@DRDTraining.com