Tuesday, November 10, 2015 11:46 AM

Our Love/Hate Relationship with Thanksgiving

I am not sure which is my favorite season, spring or fall.  However, what I do love about both is the weather they share.  There is nothing like that cool, crisp weather with just a slight bite in the air.  You know those occasional days when the air actually has a little bit of a coastal feel, even way inland here in Fresno.  There is no beating those days where the temp is right around 60 or so, the sun is out and proper dress code for the day is a ball cap, long sleeve tshirt, shorts and flip flops. 

That’s the way to do spring and fall California style!  It’s just a bummer that both spring and fall seasons here only seem to last all of two weeks each.  Seems like its either summer or winter here.  Anyway, the one thing fall seems to have as far as a leg up on spring is it kicks off the holiday season.  As I write this, we are one week removed from “Happy Trade Candy with Your Neighbor Day”, aka Halloween and just a few weeks removed from Thanksgiving. 

As a personal trainer I hate to see my clients fight that inner diet struggle during the holiday season.  It pains me to watch them deal with the guilt of eating something they know they shouldn’t eat, and let’s face it dietary temptations and guilty pleasures abound from Oct-Jan.  Here is the deal, as a personal trainer, I am no different.  I know!  Crazy, right?!?!? 

It’s true!  Just like you, I can’t wait to sit around the dinner table on  the 26th, hanging out with close friends, relatives and loved ones, eating way more than I should and sleeping off my food coma in front of the TV watching 250lb, NFL gladiators fight for 100 yard supremacy on the gridiron.  Here is the way I look at it: It’s one day!  I will be quite honest with you, off the top of my head I can only think of a few occasions during the entire year that I really eat like that.  We are talking Thanksgiving, Super Bowl Sunday and maybe a 4th of July BBQ.  So being completely transparent here I am totally cool with indulging like that 3 times out of 365 days a year.  

If you are one who is currently dreading Thanksgiving and wrestling with your gastrointestinal guilt knowing you are going to cave and eat more than you should, how about looking into some healthier menu options?  There are ways to change those traditional creamy, buttery rich recipes, we have all come to know and love.  A quick Google search will turn up tons of healthy versions of your favorite Thanksgiving classics.  Better yet, we the Fitness Center staff can save you a little time!  Check out the Fitness Center website for a few healthy holiday recipes.  In fact one of which is used every year and brought to us by one of our own personal trainers, Roni Smaldino. 

Nervous about pleasing the picky food palate of one of your in-laws and what they might think of breaking from traditional family recipes?  By my count you still have a couple of weeks until Thanksgiving day. Why not test drive a few options out on the immediate family?  Family traditions have to start someplace; why not start your own this year?  Who knows, maybe your new healthier find tastes better than the creamy, artery clogging traditional dish that Grandma brings to the table.  If this is the case and Grandma has issues putting her pride aside because your culinary offering is disappearing faster than my kid’s allowance in the Toys “R” Us Lego isle and her’s is not leaving the table at all…well, you are on your own dealing with the family dynamics of that situation.  Sorry, Dr. Phil I am not.  

All joking aside, since it is the nature of the holiday I would like to take a moment and say thanks from the bottom of my heart for all of you out there who venture into the Employee Fitness Center.  It has been a pleasure for the staff here in the fitness center to serve you, the CMC Employee.  It has been an honor to get to know you and watch friendships develop amongst coworkers and in some instances almost become an extended family.  We are VERY thankful for the time you spend with us in the Fitness Center, and we look forward to serving you in the coming year.  Thank you for trusting us with your fitness goals and aspirations! 

We would love to know about any good tasting, healthy holiday recipes you have tried and are fond of!  Please feel free to share with the rest of the class!