Holiday Food Log Day 1: Thanksgiving



I’m not sure why there was a T-Rex at the annual Galloping Gobbler 4-miler at Saint Francis University Thanksgiving morning, but it provided an amusing touch. 

I’m often struck by how an eating plan, like a game plan in sports, can utterly fail despite looking like sheer brilliance when it’s drawn up ahead of time. The question is, what do you do about it? There have been times when I’ve just given up on that particular day, resolving to do better next time. On Thanksgiving Day I fought through a rough period and came through at the end feeling like even though I “lost the game,” calorie-wise, I’d managed to regain my composure and make some progress on a couple of things I’d been working on.


Breakfast casserole on a bagel as prerace breakfast.

The failed gameplan was eating a small meal early on and then “saving up” for the feast. Scooping a square of the breakfast casserole I’d made for the kids onto a whole wheat bagel before the annual Galloping Gobbler was hugely satisfying and I honestly thought it would hold me. I did manage to avoid the postrace cookies. So far, so good.

But around noon, as I was baking bread to take to my parents’ place, my stomach got pretty rumbly. Another dose of breakfast casserole to tide me over. And then, because it was a holiday and I wanted to be feeling more relaxed than I was, two glasses of red wine. That led to a generous spoonful of the deviled egg filling and “cleaning up” the pumpkin bread that had stuck to the bottom on the pan.

Munch mode followed me over to Mom and Dad’s, where I sampled more bread as I sliced up four loaves (wheat as well as pumpkin). Then it was a couple of strawberries and grapes off the fruit platter, a piece of cheese, three or four handfuls of cashews, a chocolate chip cookie, and a “taste” of fruit pizza.

So yeah, this “game” was not just lost, but turning into a buttkicking. I was already full and we hadn’t even had dinner yet! I can’t even tell you how many times in the past I’ve been in this exact same situation and continued to eat myself miserable, packing in as much of the worst choices as possible. Instead, when I went through the food line, I put some turkey, green beans, corn and salad on my plate.

And then … I was done. Which is huge. Because that means no visit to the dessert bar. And the cool thing was, I didn’t feel like I was “punishing” myself. Unless I’m in the grip of a feeding frenzy, I’m just less and less interested in anything that isn’t made from scratch, using “real” ingredients, and so that eliminated three or four choices right off the bat. That left the pumpkin and sugar cream pies. But since neither of those rank among my favorites, why bother?

So. A big loss in terms of the numbers game. It definitely would’ve been preferable if my game plan would’ve worked out so that I got to really enjoy the feast rather than gorging myself on mindless snacking. On the plus side, Gunnar’s smoked turkey really stole the show on my less-crowded-than-usual dinner plate. And I probably paid more attention to another rare treat, green beans with bacon, than I would have otherwise.

Well, that wraps up Day One of the Holiday Food Log. We’ll see where it goes from here.


Colleen and I before the start of the Galloping Gobbler. Too bad her turkey hat didn’t make it into the pic. (Not sure why this is so fuzzy, either. Oh well.) 

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5 Responses to Holiday Food Log Day 1: Thanksgiving

  1. bgddyjim says:

    I’m guessing the fuzziness of the photo is due to the lens fogging up. I run into this problem a lot when I try to take in-paceline cycling photos… If I have the phone in my pocket with the lens facing my body, it’ll fog up when I pull it out of my pocket. I have to have the lens pointing away from my body in my pocket to be able to pull it, bring up the camera app and snap a photo one handed.

    I did the calorie shuffle yesterday myself. We ate at 4 and all I’d eaten prior was a few pieces of French toast and two pieces of bacon…. I was about ready to start gnawing on my fingers when the turkey hit the table!

  2. bonny says:

    Tanya, You really do not have to avoid any good food as long as you know how to burn the excess calories. It works for me all the time.

    • tischcaylor says:

      Bonny, it probably would help if I spread my exercise out through the day like you do rather than getting it all at once. But I cannot “outrun my diet,” as the familiar phrase goes. I am not one of those people who can trust myself to stop eating just because I am full.

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