Bouncing Back After Your Thanksgiving Binge-Fest

I don’t know about you guys, but I over-indulged just a little bit a lot on Thanksgiving. I did not keep track of calories (who would do that?), but I know I ate much more than I normally would on a typical day.  I have finally finished my leftovers and the weekend is almost over, so I am ready to get my diet and workout routine back on track! I wanted to share with you guys a few tips on how to recover from a day of binging/unhealthy eating and also some exercises to get you feeling back to your pre-binge self in no time at all.

Here are my tips:

Drink lots and lots of water! Staying hydrated is always important, but especially after consuming a big meal that probably contained a lot of sodium and sugar (yummy pecan pie). Drink your water and flush it all out.

Front image_drinking-water

Consume foods that are natural detoxifiers. These are mostly fruits and vegetables like blueberries, spinach, parsley, cilantro, tomatoes, broccoli, lemons, garlic, etc. Try to consume as many of these foods as you can. An easy way to consume a lot of fruits and vegetables all at once is to make a smoothie. Try a green smoothie like this one.  I know vegetables in a smoothie may sound weird, but really, it’s good and you cannot even taste it.


Do NOT starve yourself. Just because you had one (or two) days of unhealthy/binge eating does not mean you need to punish yourself.  There is no point in starving yourself to try to make up for the extra calories you ate. What’s done is done. You will be doing yourself more harm than good because you will just be confusing your metabolism.  You’re also more likely to binge eat again if you wait until you turn into a ravenous beast. Just eat sensibly and pay attention to portion sizes and you’ll be just fine.

Meal plan and grocery shop. This may not be essential for everyone, but for me meal planning is a must if I want to eat healthy and bounce back from a period of unhealthy eating/overeating.  Make a list of some yummy healthy recipes to prepare in the coming week and then go buy what you need and stick to it. Make sure you choose meals that include lots of vegetables. You’ll feel good about yourself for eating so well, and that Thanksgiving binge will be a faint memory soon to be forgotten.

Don’t Sweat it. It’s the Holidays, you should enjoy yourself.  Even if you are dieting, one day of overeating probably didn’t do as much damage as you think. Don’t fall into the mentality that you’ve already screwed up, so you might as well give up on healthy eating because Christmas is coming soon and that just means more food! Thank goodness for baggy sweaters, right! Haha No!

Exercise tips

For immediately after over-eating:

Go for a walk. A low-impact workout like walking is ideal for right after a heavy meal. It will help with digestion and help you feel a little less like a stuffed turkey.

Channel your inner yogi. Many yoga poses involve twisting and rotating motions which help aid digestion.


For the next day:

Cardiovascular exercises.  Doing a cardio exercise like running or biking is a good option for the morning after eating a big meal, especially if the meal was carbohydrate heavy. Carbohydrates are the fuel your body needs during cardiovascular exercises, so make the most of all those rolls and stuffing you ate and get moving. Cardio, or any exercise that gets you sweating, is also beneficial because it will help you to lose water weight you may have gained from the binge fest the day before.

Don't listen to grumpy cat!

Don’t listen to grumpy cat!

Avoid exercises that only target your abdominals. Ab workouts are great, but if you’re already visibly bloated, engaging your ab muscles may make your bulge stick out even further.  Maybe not for a long time, but still, why risk looking even pudgier? You cannot target fat loss from your belly anyway, so just focus on burning some calories and breaking a sweat and you’ll feel great!

Well, that’s all I have for you guys. I hope that you can use some of these tips and feel a little less guilty this holiday season. Actually, please don’t feel guilty at all. Enjoy your food and have a good time. Obviously, don’t make overeating a habit, but if you happen to eat a little too much over the holidays, just remember it’s not the end of the world, or your diet.

Bows and Arrows,


Thanksgiving-Inspired Side Dish

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, so I’ll be headed to my grandparent’s house to enjoy some quality family time and some delicious home-cooked food.  This year I decided I would contribute by preparing a side dish.  I decided to make a classic Thanksgiving side that also happens to be one of my all time favorites- green bean casserole.  As most of you know, green bean casserole usually consists of canned green beans, cream of mushroom soup, and French’s fried onions.  Although this method is simple and tasty I decided I would try to make a fresher, somewhat healthier version of this classic. I did some searching online and came across a recipe that was intriguing firstly because of its name, “Best Ever Green Bean Casserole” and secondly because it had a ton of reviews, most of them positive.  I like that this recipe uses fresh ingredients, but while reading through the comments on the recipe I realized that most people had difficulty getting the onion topping just right. So, in order to prevent a cooking melt-down that would inevitably lead to a ruined green bean casserole in the trash and a disappointed Ashley, I decided to forgo the onion topping and just use the French’s fried onions instead! I know, I’m bad. If you’re more brave than I am and want the full recipe, please visit the site. Here’s the part of the recipe I used:


2 Tbs; 1 tsp salt

1 lb. fresh green beans


Ingredients minus a few I forgot to include

2 Tbs unsalted butter

12 oz. mushrooms, trimmed and cut (I only used 8 oz. and it was plenty)

1/2 tsp black pepper

2 cloves minced garlic

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

2 Tbs all-purpose flour

1 cup chicken broth

1 cup half-and-half


Bring to a boil enough water for the beans with 2 tablespoons of salt added. Add the beans and blanch for 5 minutes. Drain in a colander and immediately plunge the beans into a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside. 



Melt the butter in a 12-inch cast iron skillet (I do not have one, so I just used a regular frying pan) set over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms begin to give up some of their liquid, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and nutmeg and continue to cook for another 1 to 2 minutes.


Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute. Add the broth and simmer for 1 minute. Decrease the heat to medium-low and add the half-and-half. Cook until the mixture thickens, stirring occasionally, approximately 6 to 8 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in 1/4 of the onions and all of the green beans. I removed the mixture from the pan into a baking dish since I did not have a cast iron pan to cook it in.Top with the remaining onions.

Place into the oven and bake until bubbly, approximately 15 minutes. Remove and serve immediately.


Finished product minus a corner I devoured. NOM

This turned out better than I expected! The taste is rich and creamy and much better than the canned cream of mushroom version. It has just as much flavor, but without the added long list of “ingredients” found in cream of mushroom soup. Although, the French’s fried onions are not the healthiest option, overall this recipe is a better alternative to the typical one if you are wanting to eat more whole foods and use fewer processed food items. Anything made from scratch is always tastier anyway! I definitely think the few extra minutes it takes to prepare this is absolutely worth it. I hope you’ll give it a try!

Bows and Arrows,