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Thanksgiving

Chef Robert Irvine’s Tips for Transforming Turkey Day Leftovers

Written on November 29, 2013 at 10:13 am , by

Chef Robert Irvine makes whipping up healthy leftover dishes possible. (Photo courtesy of Robert Irvine)

Written by Alena Hall, editorial intern

Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, and you’ve likely allowed a little (hopefully!) indulgence to occur, what are you supposed to do with all the leftovers hanging out in the fridge? Celebrity chef Robert Irvine from Food Network’s Dinner: Impossible and Restaurant: Impossible is here on behalf of Gold’s Gym with a few tips for making the most out of Thanksgiving scraps while leaving our diets in tact, of course.

First and foremost, think ahead when preparing each dish for the big day. Make more of the vegetable-based sides so you have healthier leftovers to work with the following day. And watch the cooking time! “I like vegetables that still have texture to them,” says Irvine. “When we cook carrots, we don’t cook them so you can actually squash them in your hand. They should have some bite to them, so when you reutilize them the next day, they still have nutrients in them.”

And on the flipside, make fewer desserts to avoid the post-holiday sweets binge. While Chef Irvine is a believer in ending every meal with a bite of something sweet (read: not a handful of cookies!), he doesn’t go to town on the holiday pumpkin and pecan pies. “I make individual servings so that everybody gets one and that’s it. There is no seconds and therefore there’s no leftovers and I don’t have to deal with it staring at me the next day,” he says. “There’s only the good stuff.”

When it comes to the main attraction, there are plenty of ways to reinvent Mr. Turkey that don’t include two slices of gravy-soaked bread. Irvine combines the star ingredient with cranberry, brussel sprouts or cabbage and mashed potatoes—white or sweet—and gives the typical potato cake an upgrade. After chopping and combining all of the leftover ingredients, form each cake, coat them in egg white and panko breadcrumbs, pan-fry and top with a runny, poached egg. Now that’s a post-Thanksgiving breakfast! Check out this version of his recipe where good-for-you collard greens take center stage.

Otherwise, try making risotto without your leftover potatoes. Chef Irvine poaches diced potatoes and combines them with chicken stock, sour cream, chopped parsley, a little salt and white pepper, and uses it as a risotto. “People look at me like I’m crazy, but it’s really good and healthy,” he says.

And as far as those leftover carrots are concerned, why not transform them into a gourmet salad dressing? Reheat them in chicken or vegetable stock and blend them in a blender with fresh, unpeeled ginger and a teaspoon of stone ground mustard. Add a little grapeseed oil and sparkling water, and voila! “You have a brand new carrot and ginger dressing for salads that will keep for a week or so. And you can do that with any othervegetable you have left,” says Irvine.

Last but not least, a solid post-workout recovery meal is key for a guy who loves fitness almost as much as he loves food. Chef Irvine uses Thanksgiving turkey and vegetables in a fresh egg white frittata, which he serves cold, Spanish-style. After letting the pie cool, he plates slices alongside fresh tomato pico de gallo and smoked salmon. “That’s our post-workout meal and it only takes 25 minutes to make,” he says. You leave it on the side, let it cool down, wrap it up and leave it in the fridge. Then it’s always there to munch on.” Maybe the day (and weekend) after Thanksgiving won’t be such a diet disaster after all.

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Turkey Trot Before You Gobble: A Running Tradition At Any Age

Written on November 27, 2013 at 10:18 am , by

Willa with her trot swag. What an inspiration! (Photo courtesy of Dana Point Turkey Trot)

Thanksgiving is all about tradition so before diving into a slice of killer homemade pumpkin pie, many runners lace up and join together for a holiday-inspired footrace. Run to eat—why not?

This upcoming day of thanks is no different than the past 26 for 82-year-old Willa Porter, who will be earning herself yet another race tee at the nation’s sixth largest turkey trot in Dana Point. For the speedy former marathoner (she wins her age group every single year in the 5K), the annual fit festivity provides an opportunity to give it her all with kids and grandkids in tow. Supporting the race’s charitable partners like the Dana Point 5th Marine Regiment is also important to Porter, especially since her husband holds a chair position for support group.

Known as “The Race Before You Stuff Your Face,” the Dana Point Turkey Trot 5K, 10K and Kids’ Gobble Wobble has become a Californian favorite that stretches along breathtaking Orange County cliffs and coves. “It is so beautiful and family-friendly,” says Porter.

So how does the inspirational athlete brine her bird and keep dinner on schedule if she’s out there pounding the pavement? “I [used to] prepare food the night before and put the turkey in the oven before I left for the race,” explains Porter, but things are easier now that her sons—grown with families of their own—take turns hosting. The last two years, she also participated in the turkey dinner for veterans and military following the race, and will celebrate the same way next week.

Despite being in tip-top shape now, Porter didn’t start competing – or really exercising regularly – until her late 40s. “I started jogging and bike riding in my late forties when my sons were almost grown and I had more time,” she says, adding that it wasn’t so much of a goal as it was a hobby and fun recreation. Her one piece of advice: give running a try, no matter what age. Cheers to that!

Interested in squeezing in a pre-feast sweat-fest of your own? Head over to Active.com to get your gobble on.

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Take a Walk on the Wild Side This Thanksgiving

Written on November 26, 2013 at 10:11 am , by

Work off that slice of pie with loved ones this holiday. (Photo courtesy of USFWS)

Written by Alena Hall, editorial intern

With Thanksgiving only a few days away, many of us are starting to feel the stress creeping up. Yes, it’s one of the best holidays when it comes to gathering with friends and family, not to mention indulging in some delicious eats. But extensive preparation often cuts into our stress-relieving workout time, and the focus on food can really threaten our waistlines. So why not take a bit of your Thanksgiving celebration outside this year?

The National Wildlife Refuge is hosting several fitness events across the country that honor our feathered friends in their natural state. The upcoming walks and runs coordinate with some of the peak migratory bird seasons, so you just might get to see Mr. Turkey trotting nearby! Check out these Thanksgiving-themed events for fun ways to get the whole family out and about together.

  • Ready to get moving? Join in the Modoc National Wildlife Refuge’s Turkey Trot 5K Walk/Run on Thursday, Nov. 28, at 9 a.m. for just $20. You’ll see plenty of mule deer, eagles, Canada geese and mallard ducks.
  • Rather go with the flow? The Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge is hosting the Bird Migration Walk on Saturday, Nov. 30, 1-2:30 p.m. Free to all visitors, this walk features peaceful views full of shorebirds, wading birds and waterfowl.
  • Walk off all that turkey with the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge’s Turkey Walk on Saturday, Nov. 30, 1:30-3:30 p.m. With a little luck, you’ll see some wild turkeys, deer, red foxes, bald eagles, great blue herons and hawks on this free, easy stroll.

Can’t make it out to one of these events? No problem! The refuge trails are open from sunrise to sunset daily—even Thanksgiving Day. Search for a fun spot near you on the Refuge’s trail system website and get moving. What better way to give thanks for your health? 

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Kristin Cavallari Gets Bumpin’ for the Holidays

Written on November 22, 2013 at 10:26 am , by

Eating organic, Pilates and Just Dance 2014 keeps preggo entrepreneur Kristin Cavallari going—and glowing! (Photo by Casey Rodgers/Invision for Ubisoft/AP Images)

Kristin Cavallari has a lot to be thankful for this year—a talented hubby (Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler), 15-month-old Camden, thriving jewelry and shoe lines and now another baby on the way! So what does the former reality TV star have up her sleeve for the holidays? Like most of us, a whole lot of turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing…her faves.

“We’re very traditional,” she told us a few days ago, shortly after putting her order in for an organic bird from Whole Foods. “This year, I’m actually hosting the meal at my house. It’s my first year making anything for a large group so I’m a little nervous!”

The fit mommy, who admits to giving into a few cravings lately (sweets and carbs!), won’t be digging into preservative-laden treats anytime soon, though. “With both of my pregnancies, the first trimester I’ve been really tired and I kind of eat like crap,” she confesses. “Once I get some energy back, I kick it into health mode.” One thing you’ll never see Kristin doing is counting calories. “I only read what’s in it and if there are chemicals and a bunch of crap in it, then I’m probably not going to be putting it in my mouth.” She and her growing family try to eat as organic as possible with lots of fish, veggies, fruit and whole grains, including Ezekiel Sprouted Bread, brown rice or quinoa pastas.

Kristin’s strict exercise regimen has also been dialed back a bit with baby on board. “I’m not as hard on myself about going four to five times a week and when I do workout, I don’t work out as hard as I typically do,” she says. Lately she’s been taking Pilates twice a week, followed by 15 minutes on the Stairmaster and a half-hour of light weight training. “The bigger I get, I’ll probably start yoga again,” Kristin says, adding that she enjoyed hitting the mat when she was pregnant with Camden. Another fun way she gets the family moving: Ubisoft’s hit video game Just Dance 2014. “It’s such a fun, silly way to fit in exercise,” she exclaims. “We’re big fans of ‘Get Lucky’ by Daft Punk.” Talk about a fun way to burn off that slice of apple crisp!

Cutting down on gym time has surely freed up some time for her other passions. For one, she’s been having fun cheering on the Bears—even though a few years back she wasn’t much of a football fan at all. “I didn’t even know who Jay was when I met him!” she told us. “I’ve learned a lot in the last few years.” (And on that note, we’re sending speedy recovery vibes Jay’s way, who’s been sidelined battling an ankle injury.)

She’s also been killing it in the fashion industry with her own jewelry collection and Chinese Laundry shoe line. “Shoes for me were always my obsession, so to have my own line was really a dream come true,” explains Cavallari. “The jewelry came next—accessories are just so fun and there’s a ton you can do.” Her one piece of advice for those interested in becoming your own boss? “You’re going to get a lot of ‘no’s’ but you can’t let that discourage you. You have to keep going and if you really believe in something and love it, then stick with it.” We couldn’t agree more.

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Get Fit and Give Thanks with St. Jude – You Could Win Tickets to LIVE! with Kelly and Michael!

Written on November 13, 2013 at 9:42 am , by

Pre-walk off that turkey and pumpkin pie for a good cause. (Photo courtesy of St. Jude)

Written by Alena Hall, editorial intern

As Thanksgiving swiftly approaches, it’s difficult for us to contain our enthusiasm. From the gathering of family and friends to football face-offs, we’ve all got quite a bit to be thankful for. So why not celebrate a few days early this year by giving back to those who could use the support?

On Saturday, Nov. 23, 75 cities across the country will host the St. Jude Give thanks. Walk, a noncompetitive 5K that helps raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The event has raised more than $11 million to date and hopes to increase that number with the help of you and your loved ones.

If you’re ready to take your Thanksgiving spirit to the next level, join the walk as a team to help with the fundraising process. All money raised helps St. Jude families forego the cost of treatment for their children, and supports the hospital’s research efforts. As if that isn’t enough of an incentive, all participants who receive 10 online donations before November 22 will be entered into a drawing for a trip for two to New York City! While in the Big Apple, the lucky couple will attend a live taping of LIVE! with Kelly and Michael and take a photo with affable co-host Michael Strahan.

Visit the St. Jude website to find a walk near you. (Most are free to register!) Can you think of a better way to celebrate the Saturday before Thanksgiving? We definitely can’t.

More from FITNESS:

Thanksgiving Myths – Busted

Fall Snacks to Munch On

America’s Best Turkey Trots

Shop Till You Drop (The Weight!) on Black Friday

Written on November 23, 2012 at 7:00 am , by

Bust out some bicep curls or rows with all of those bags!

Written by Deanna Cioppa, editorial intern

Ah, Black Friday – the magical day when shoppers all over the country flood the stores for 24 hours, desperate for the perfect gift for a loved one. Carb-loaded on turkey and pie, they hit the stores, ready to brace themselves for retail madness and nab deep discounts. Why not make the most of the craziness and start working off some of that stuffing?

Celebrity trainer Ilyse Baker works with FitOrbit, an online lifestyle, nutrition and fitness program, to help clients get into shape from the comfort of their own home. She’s given us some of her top tips to help you shop till you drop – the weight, that is! Try these simple moves while you’re waiting in line to check out, in the dressing room, or waiting for your family in the parking lot. Sales and fitness? Sounds like heaven!

Shopping Squats

Stuck outside the dressing room? Take a moment to strengthen your lower body.

  • Start with legs hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, toes facing forward.
  • Push butt back and slowly bend knees to lower toward floor, like sitting in a chair. Keep weight on heels and make sure knees don’t go over toes.
  • Slowly return to starting position, squeezing glutes as you rise. Repeat.
  • Perform 3 sets of 12.

Bag Buff Arms

Chisel those biceps with all of your new goodies!

  • Start with arms by sides with 1 bag in each hand, palms facing up.
  • Bend elbows to curl bag toward shoulders, counting to two while lifting and two while lowering.
  • Repeat 2 times, then lift for one count and lower for one count.
  • Repeat 2 times.

Carve Sexy Calves

The turkey isn’t the only thing you can carve this holiday! Work on sculpting awesome calves while waiting in the check-out line.

  • Stand straight with feet hip-width apart.
  • Rise on the balls of feet, lifting heels off the floor.
  • Lower heels back to floor.  Repeat.
  • Perform 3 sets of 10. On the 10th rep, hold heels off floor for 8 counts for a balance challenge, then slowly lower back to floor.

Now you tell us: How do you stay fit during the holidays?

Thanksgiving Myths–Busted!

Written on November 19, 2012 at 9:28 am , by

Opt for oven roasted turkey without the skin for a slimmer holiday dinner this year. (Photo courtesy Blaine Moats)

Think Thanksgiving is the ultimate lazy holiday, filled with fatty fried turkeys and sweet treats galore? Think again! Wayfair.com, the largest online home goods retailer, recently conducted a survey of 1,200 people nationwide on their Turkey Day habits and we found a few that may surprise you:

Myth: Couch is king on Thanksgiving Day.

Truth: Whether families are mingling with the in-laws or gearing up for Black Friday, Wayfair.com found that the majority of people surveyed spend less than two hours on the couch. About 30 percent of people will not spend any time lounging at all, and will be in the kitchen instead. And for those couch potatoes, 15 percent admitted to spending more than four hours there.

Myth: When it comes to food, fry, baby, fry.

Truth: One third of this year’s Thanksgiving dinners will include more than 10 people around the table with more than 80 percent of dinners having oven roasted turkey as the main entree. For side dishes, stuffing and mashed potatoes are the perennial favorites with both dishes running out first on most tables. And thankfully, only 5 percent of people plan to deep-fry their turkeys this year.

So there you have it, most of us aren’t so lazy during Thanksgiving. Not cooking? Then hop off the couch and get a workout in before dinner!

More from FITNESS: Burn Off That Stuffing! America’s Best Thanksgiving Day Runs

 

Fit Links: Thanksgiving Treats and Fit Ways to Still Help Sandy Victims

Written on November 16, 2012 at 4:18 pm , by

Run off those Thanksgiving calories, help Sandy victims and possibly win fitness gear? Triple win. (Photo by Alexa Miller)

This week’s fit links from around the web:

A NYSC Fundraiser Fit For Giving

Written on November 16, 2012 at 10:53 am , by

Celebrate Thanksgiving by sweating it out at NYSC and supporting a good cause! (Photo courtesy of New York Cares)

The ultimate feast-off is one week away so what better way to start the season of giving than giving back? Work off that slice (or two!) of pie and help raise money for the New York Cares Hurricane Sandy relief effort at the New York Sports Clubs’ “Work Out to Help Out” fundraiser. Every NYSC location will be selling three-day guest passes for $20 from Friday, Nov. 23 through Sunday, Nov. 25. 100 percent of the fundraiser proceeds will be donated to New York Cares, as well as a portion of every new member’s initiation fees. Special program classes, like NYSC’s new UXF Burn and UXF Ripped, will also be offered at each location.

Interested in lending a hand post-sweat? Gym goers can find out more information on local New York Cares volunteer opportunities and coat-drive drop off locations. Learn more about the “Work Out to Help Out” initiative on NYSC’s website.

Top Chef All-Star Winner Richard Blais Trims Down Thanksgiving Dinner

Written on November 12, 2012 at 9:40 am , by

If only we could get Blais to cook dinner for us every night. Sigh. (Photo courtesy of Dannon Oikos Greek Yogurt)

While Thanksgiving is one of the most delicious meals of the year, it’s also usually the heaviest. Instead of chowing down on foods filled with oil, butter and mayonnaise, we searched for lighter fare that was still super tasty. What (or who) did we find? Bravo’s Top Chef All-Star winner, Richard Blais. We met the cooking extraordinaire at a recent Dannon Oikos Greek yogurt event, where he wined and dined us with dishes that left us feeling full and satisfied, without the “oh my gosh I need to go run 10 miles” feeling.

So what’s Blais’ big secret? Aside from the fact that he’s a top-notch chef who blows our aprons out of the water, he subbed the aforementioned ingredients with Dannon’s Oikos Greek nonfat yogurt. We didn’t miss any of the heavy-calorie items, and got to keep all the flavor. Win-win for us!

It wouldn’t be right to brag about the decadent meal this marathoner whipped up without nabbing some recipes, though. Check out the appetizer and dessert dishes below, then use them to start and end a perfect Thanksgiving meal in your own home.

Malted Panna Cotta

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 5 fl. oz. heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup Dannon Oikos vanilla Greek nonfat yogurt (or use a 5.3 oz. single-serve container)
  • 1 oz. sugar
  • 1 oz. malted barley
  • 1 gelatin sheet
  • Clementine slices for garnish
  • Candied ginger for garnish
  • Chocolate dusted almonds for garnish

Directions

  • Heat the heavy cream and sugar together until the sugar dissolves. Remove liquid from the heat and add malted barley. Let steep for 1 hour.
  • Strain mixture into a clean pot and stir in Greek yogurt.
  • Bloom gelatin in an ice bath. Meanwhile, bring strained mixture to a simmer.
  • Remove strained mixture from heat and add gelatin.
  • Pour liquid into four small containers. Let chill for 2 hour or until panna cottas have set.
  • Garnish each with a few slices of clementine, a scattering of candied ginger and chocolate dusted almonds.

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