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Running Off the Turkey

The Gobbler Grind a few years ago. My friend
Amy and I were chilled to the bone.

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching and it is almost time to enjoy spending moments with family, shopping Black Friday (if you are crazy enough), and most importantly, the food. Oh the food.

Thanksgiving food is my absolute favorite food of the year. I love turkey with all my heart. I crave cranberries, stuffing and my mom's corn bake casserole. My mother-in-law makes some mean mashed potatoes too, and there is always pumpkin pie, pumpkin bars and usually ice cream dessert.

The eating is delicious. It is absolutely delicious. Thanksgiving is the kickoff to the start of good eating which really won't stop until after the holidays. I love holiday eating.

But I don't love the calories. 

Sometimes I sign up for Thanksgiving races, like in the picture above, but this year I did not. In not doing so, I've been less motivated to get the miles in this last month. Which isn't helping my eating/running balance.

Since I've gotten more serious about running the last year or so, I've noticed that diets don't really work that great for me. I used to eat low carb, but with 30 miles a week of running some weeks, low carbohydrate diets do not give me enough calories. I need all the energy I can get.

I haven't figured out the perfect combination yet, and I definitely have added a few pounds to my frame the last few years, but overall, I am still happy with my size. I am stronger now. Running is more important to me than being super slender, and I have made that choice happily.

But, the holidays and eating definitely make me think twice. This is always the time of year that I start to lag a little in my motivation to run; cold weather makes me want to stay in my warm bed rather than get up early and run in the dark, frosty freezing temperatures.

Not that I follow them all, but I do have a few tips for holiday eating:

1. Drink lots of water with you meals. Fill up your tummy with this calorie free drink which also replenishes your body's need for hydration.
2. Focus on turkey. Eat lots and lots of turkey. Or whatever meat is being served. Also, eat more vegetables like corn or green beans, but focus on the vegetables most pure in form- not the ones smothered in cream cheese, cream of mushroom or cheddar.
3. Enjoy the fattening food too (but in moderation). Leave two bites of everything more unhealthy (yet undoubtedly most delicious!) on your plate. This would be things like mashed potatoes, stuffing, pie, rolls, etc.
4. Run!!! Or do whatever exercise you like to do. Do this exercise both the day of and the day after Thanksgiving. Burn off those calories so you can feel better about feeding your face (and to make room for leftovers the next day!).

So here's to holiday eating. May we enjoy the food, family and friends- but not the extra pounds.

My run this morning. Trying to get a head start for the turkey!

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