Nov 302015

My Thanksgiving started out ok — this year I slept in a bit and then went to the gym. Because I had a leisurely morning I missed the crowds at the gym, which was also nice! Usually it’s a freakin’ mad house but there weren’t many people there by the time I arrived. Last year I went to the Warrior Room for a killer workout, this year I took it kind of easy. I was feeling kind of yucky due to some dental work and being pregnant I wasn’t all about killing myself to get a mega calorie burn before a day of marathon eating. I was more into doing everything (including eating) in moderation.

I did my standard warm-up (PT stretches, pushups, jumping jacks) and then went into the weights part. This was my workout of the day:

Bent-over Row

Squats (just body weights)

2-Handed kettlebell swing

Leg Press Machine

Seated Cable Row

Lat Pulldown machine

Triceps pulldown

Pec-fly Machine

Then I did some “Ab” work. I use that term loosely because I wouldn’t really call it ab work these days. My usual ab routine is down to just a few things on a matt: planks, Bird Dogs, and the Glute Bridge. Then I did 3 miles on the elliptical and called it a day.


I got home and cleaned up and then prepped the veggie tray for dinner and then we went over to Michael’s mom’s house for the holiday. His sister made her amazing deviled eggs (yum) and we munched for a few hours. Because of the dental work I had done I was eating mostly softer foods, so the eggs were nice.



Michael’s brother got the entire thanksgiving meal from Zupan’s again (I think this is the 3rd year we’ve done this?) and it was fabulous! Everything comes pre-cooked and you just heat it up in the oven for 30 minutes or so and it’s done. It’s so tasty and easy.


Michael usually carves up the bird and this year he tried it the Alton Brown way and it went surprisingly well!


I love Thanksgiving. It’s one of my favorite holidays. Probably because I love mashed potatoes, stuffing and pumpkin pie. Those are like my favorite foods. :) Thankfully most of the traditional foods of the holiday are on the softer side so I could actually EAT my favorite foods despite my tooth pain.


The upside to being pregnant on Thanksgiving? I was already wearing stretchy pants! Yay maternity pants! The downside? I think there is less room in my body for food. LOL Oh well. I still enjoyed all my favorites!

There was some extended family with us this year, one of which is an almost 2 year old. Who is adorable and charming. And he discovered the black-olives-on-fingers tradition for the first time, which was so cute to watch. He spent the rest of the evening sticking his finger out wanting olives. It’s hard to believe that next year this time we’ll have a little munchkin discovering new things too!


I barely had room for dessert but it was my favorite so you better believe I made room! Yay pumpkin pie! Food coma commenced pretty much immediately.



It was a really chilled day, which was nice after some of the stressful stuff we’ve had going on lately. Never felt rushed or frantic and could just kind of relax and hang out. And we got lucky and scored some leftovers for a few days! Hope everyone had a lovely holiday!

Nov 252015

Yay! Thanksgiving is almost upon us. I am a huge fan of the holiday. It has some of my favorites foods. I love the mashed potatoes, I love stuffing, I love pumpkin pie!

Thanksgiving dinner is a feat in itself. I remember when Michael and I did Our First Bird. We had a bunch of friends over and did thanksgiving at our place. It went well but yeah…it was a lot of work!

Over the years I’ve written a lot of posts about the holiday and how to balance the splurge and still lose weight. You can read some of those old posts here:

Any Way You Slice That Pumpkin Pie

Repost: Why You Don’t Quit for the Holidays

Repost: Setting a Skinny Table



In the past I usually started reigning in the food and alcohol intake after Thanksgiving until Christmas, trying to be balanced and eat in moderation without going overboard. Inevitably I’d gain around 3-5 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s but I’d lose it pretty quickly and easily in the new year. This year feels a little different, obviously. I’m not trying to lose weight, I’m not too worried about gaining a few pounds, and my priorities have shifted a bit.

Instead, I wanted to share some favorite recipes you may want to try at your holiday:


Grandpa’s Atomic Garlic Dip – My grandpa’s famous dip. It’s super garlicky, like prepare-yourself-garlicky, but it’s SO good. It’s a fabulous appetizer to take to your holiday party and goes great with raw veggies.


Buffalo Celery Appetizer  – Another easy appetizer that is low in calories.

Side Dishes

I love me some Brussels Sprouts! I have two favorite recipes I wanted to pass on. The first is a super easy and fast side dish (that we often do with just dinner on a regular night):

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Onions:


This Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad was one I made for a previous Thanksgiving holiday and it was absolutely delicious and a hit. Plus, even people who weren’t fans of Brussels Sprouts, liked this recipe!


Martha Stewart’s Mac n’ Cheese – I don’t know that this is really a “side dish” but it’s an AMAZING recipe and is a must-make for any holiday party Michael and I get invited to. He made it once and now it’s requested. By everyone. It’s seriously that good. This particular recipe is a huge time investment but it’s so worth the effort.


Red Quinoa and Carrot Salad with Currants, Chickpeas and Cashews – This would be a great side dish for Thanksgiving or Christmas. It’s healthy, delicious and goes with everything.


Butternut Squash Cashew Soup – another great option for a side dish or appetizer. Make a small batch and serve it in tiny bowls or even in shot glasses!


Main Dish

If you’re not a fan of turkey, but want to do something similar, check out this recipe that was a fantastic dinner: Crockpot Cranberry Chicken

Another alternative to turkey: Roasted Garlic, Herb and Lemon Cornish Game Hens


We’ve done Cornish Game Hens instead of turkey a few times. On years when we were not getting together with family and doing the big “thing”, this was a nice option because it was MUCH less work, similar to having a turkey, but no massive quantities of leftovers.


Here are few recipes for bread type things:

Apple-Cranberry-Pistachio Bread

Star’s Cornbread – Her cornbread is amazing! Cheesy, moist, spicy…all my favorite things!

Cornbread Stuffing – Okay…for most of my life I was a firm “traditional stuffing” kind of girl…then I had cornbread stuffing and don’t want anything else now! I love cornbread stuffing and have had a few different variations of it and it’s all good…some cashews, some spicy sausage mixed in? Delicious!

Now it’s your turn: what are your favorite alternative recipes for the holidays? Share your links here!