It's A HoliDAY

Do you want to hear something ironic about my Thanksgiving Day tradition? I am in charge of the desserts. This tradition started almost 5 years ago now, a little after I was diagnosed with food allergies. I research (yes, you saw that right) delicious new desserts to make every year. This year I have settled on Blackberry Cheesecake and Pecan Pie Cookies.  I have never tasted any of them. I find it humorous that my love for baking and making new things is completely blind. Although, I’m not that brave, I do pick someone to be my taste tester, just to be safe. Most people don’t know this, but my first love was cooking and baking. I have watched the food network religiously since I was in the 5th grade (I know this is odd). Anyway, I love this week. I love that my very very picky Mamaw lets me join her in the kitchen to help (this is a big honor, she doesn’t just let everyone in), which means she respects me as a cook. My love for food is very big, which makes this holiday one of my favorites. I honestly can’t wait until I get to host my own Thanksgiving Dinner. 

 I have a lot to be thankful for. This week, more than others, we all seem to voice what those things are. I have spent many sleepless nights wondering why my life has been so full. My mother has always told us that since we have been given so much, much is expected from us (my siblings and I). Within the last 48 hours alone, I could write three pages worth of things I am thankful for. It’s beautiful to look back and reflect on the small things (and big) that make us happy. I want to share with you some of the things in like I am most thankful for. 

·      That I am able to praise God and worship him without fearing for my life, the way some people in the world have to. My preacher talked about this a few weeks ago, and I think sometimes we forgot how free we are here in America. 

·      I am thankful for my really big family. Each one of my siblings for different reasons and to my parents for every reason. They are my life’s biggest blessing and joy. 

·      Mia. Everything about this dog makes me purely happy. I got her when I had to come home from college, and I swear to you that she is my guardian angel. She never leaves my side. The man I marry will have to love her as much as I do. 

·      An able body. I honestly don’t know how well I would do if I couldn’t be active. It is much more than a hobby to me. Exercise is my therapy, and it helps me feel in control of my life when things start spinning. 

·      PB2. I’m not even joking. I don’t find much joy in the eating of any food. This is the one exception to the rule. PB2 makes me happy, and I eat entirely way too much of it. 

·      I am thankful for my true friends. The ones that are there for me when I am sick, or check on me for no reason at all. I have found some good ones, and they truly are wonderful. I have found people who are successful in their own right, and push me to find success in whichever way makes me happiest. 

·      Finally, I am thankful for my education. I have gotten to study in a field that makes me so complete. My passion for health runs deep in my veins, and I am glad I get to fuel that hunger within me. 

I honestly wasn’t planning on writing that much, but we are all so blessed (its good to talk about it). I didn’t want to leave anything out that I felt was important. Now, back to food and fitness or more importantly for this week, the food. I’m sure if you are trying to behave and eat healthy, then the holiday season can feel a little bit intimidating. Well let me put your mind at ease. Have you ever heard that the average person will gain between 5-10 pounds over the Thanksgiving holiday? Well this is a myth, studies show that the average weight gain is 1 pound. Let me say that again, 1 pound. I am not someone who would ever tell you to binge eat, because it shows an unhealthy relationship with food. I would also never tell you not to indulge on Thanksgiving. If you are consistent in your habits for the other 364 days a year, then this one (or three) meals will not affect your progress. You don’t have to stress out about enjoying yourself and your family. Eat until you are full, take a nap, and a few hours later go eat a slice of pecan, pumpkin, apple, or a tasting plate of all three! 

Life is good, people! Balance is what makes a person healthy! Go back to business as usual on Friday and skip the leftovers. This is how I stay on track. A holiDAY is just that, a day. Don’t drag out the extra calories for the whole week. Get back to your routine and back in the gym! All of those carbs will be a great addition to your workout, and you will have a load of extra energy! 

I’m not going to lie, Thanksgiving is not about the eating food for me (it’s about making it). I don’t eat much differently than I do on a day-to-day basis. Thanksgiving is all about the company I get to keep! Getting to see family is what makes me so happy. 

I am thankful for all of you, and that you read my blog!


You all might not know this about me, but I love to write workouts (I will be sharing some at-home circuits periodically). I recently started teaching an Ultimate Circuits class at the gym in my town. Anyway, I wanted to give you a workout to get you back on track! This could easily be done in any living room or at the gym! 

Warm-Up (repeat 3X)- 30sec each exercise

High Knees

Butt Kicks

Jumping Jacks

Air Squats

Circuit (repeat 3-5X)

Burpees- 10 reps

Push-ups- 10-15 reps

Jump Squats- 20 reps

Tricep dips (use edge of table)- 15 reps

Plank (1 minute)

Burpees- 10 reps

Bicycles- 50 reps

Walking Lunges- 20 reps

Calf raises- 50 reps

1 minute break



What’s That? Wednesday

Since it is getting cold, I have started one of my favorite rituals again. I don’t drink coffee (I have never even tried it). I also have never gotten a fancy drink from Starbucks, but that’s just because I am frugal. My favorite thing to drink when it gets cold is herbal tea. I have tried so many different kinds, but I have a go-to that I have been drinking for years. You can get it from Kroger and it’s only a couple dollars for 20 tea bags! If you love cinnamon, you will enjoy this tea! I add a teaspoon of local honey (it is supposed to help with environmental allergies)! It is a great way to start or end your day. The tea is caffeine-free, so it’s a perfect way to curb cravings at nighttime when you want to snack! It will make you feel all warm and cozy, and probably a little sophisticated too! 

Blaine MenkeComment