Derby City Mom Clean Eating Thanksgiving Part 4: 5 Tips for Turkey Day

Below are my 5 tips for not going crazy with Thanksgiving food! 5 minutes, 5 tips, and lots of stress avoided!

   1. Eat clean the rest of the day and Friday.  Give yourself the big meal to have indulgences, but don’t use it as an excuse to eat junk for days.
2.  Drink lots of water–avoid the soda and the alcohol as much as possible and drink water all day Thursday and Fridayto flush the extra salt out of your system.

3. Be active. Plan a walk, a run, a DVD workout–anything to get your blood pumping and a swear going. Have a cheat day doesn’t mean you have to skip out on your workout.

4. Load your plate with veggies. No matter what else you eat, make sure you have at least 3 servings of veggies throughout your day. Get good nutrition even if it is alongside some not so great foods.

5. Relax and enjoy the holiday! It’s about gratitude and family, not stressing over food all day. Have a great time!
Happy Thanksgiving!


Meal Plan and Workout Schedule Nov 22-28

Thanksgiving week is here!  I have only planned a few meals for the days leading up to it, and will eat leftovers all weekend!

Sunday: Chicken and Broccoli Mac and Cheese

Monday: Grilled Porkchops with Apple and Onion

Tuesday: BBQ Salmon

Wednesday: Leftovers

Thursday: Thanksgiving!



For my workouts, I’m exited to mix it up a little. Today is my last day of this round of 21 Day Fix, and I’m going to start running again!  I’m planning on doing another round of 21 Day Fix once December hits–I am disappointed I didn’t get to follow it 100% this time around because of my stomach virus.  So I’m going to enjoy running for a week or so and then get back to it!

Sunday: Yoga

Monday: 5k run (or as far as I can make it after 3 weeks off!)

Tuesday: Upper Body

Wednesday: Lower Body

Thursday: 5k run (my own Turkey Trot!)

Friday: Pilates

Saturday: Dirty 30 or run or both!

It’s important to stay active this week so that I don’t derail all my progress!  I’ve been working hard for months to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and one holiday is not going to change that!

Derby City Mom Clean Eating Thanksgiving Part 3–Pumpkin Cream Pie

One of the best parts of any holiday celebration, Thanksgiving included, is the dessert.  One of the most traditional Thanksgiving desserts is, or course, pumpkin pie.  I have never really been a pumpkin pie fan.  I guess that’s holiday blasphemy, but it’s true.  One reason for this is that I have never really found a pie crust that I really like–it’s always too dry for me.  Just give me the filling!  Another reason is that I used to not really like pumpkin.  I guess that I knew, somewhere deep in my soul, that it’s a vegetable, and my Little-Debbie-loving self just rebelled.

Fortunately, I have since seen the error of my anti-pumpkin ways and really enjoy it!  But I still didn’t like pumpkin pie–until I found this recipe from The Pioneer Woman.

OMG. It’s so good.  Graham cracker crust, homemade whipped cream, vanilla pudding cooked with pumpkin and half and half–it’s amazing.  So rich and creamy and delightful.  YUM.  I’m kind of drooling on my keyboard just thinking about it.

I knew that I wanted to make this pie for Thanksgiving, despite the fact that it’s nowhere near clean eating.  I’m all for healthy living, but moderation, people.  I’m not eating fruit for Thanksgiving dessert.

I did decide to tweak the recipe, though.  I wanted to use only real ingredients and make everything myself, including a crust, so that I knew exactly what I was eating.  Call me a hippy, but I’m not too trusting of the food industry to buy a whole lot of pre-made foods.

I’ve decided to make a real pumpkin custard instead of using the vanilla pudding packets.  I will be making this recipe for a low-carb pumpkin custard from Grass Fed Girl, a paleo blog.  I don’t eat Paleo, but I know that Paleo recipes will use real ingredients, so it’s a go-to for me when I’m looking for real food versions of recipes I love.

Lastly, I will be making this graham cracker-free Honey Graham Cracker Crust from Against All Grain.  This lowers the carb level a bit, and uses real ingredients that I have on hand.

Now, don’t be delusional–this is not a healthy pie.  It isn’t “good for you.”  It’s just a better option for me at this point in my health journey because these recipes are made from real foods instead of processed.  I am under no delusion that this will be low calorie or anything, so portion control is still in effect.

I’m very excited to make this version of a beloved dessert!  I can’t wait to report back–and even if it’s not as yummy as I hope, we’ll at least have my father-in-law’s famous banana pudding!

Meal Plan and Workout Schedule Nov 15-20

With me getting sick last week, our meal plan didn’t get followed as closely as I intended. A couple of meals from last week are moved into this week. I am trying to empty out some space in our freezer to prepare for all the Thanksgiving leftovers, so the rest of the plan was based on what I have in the freezer right now. I didn’t include links to recipes because I’m not using any specific recipes this week–I’m basically just throwing ingredients together and calling it a day. If you aren’t that comfortable with your culinary skills to do that, you can Google any number of recipe options for these meals.

Sunday–out at a friend’s

Monday–Chicken Fajitas

Tuesday–Burgers with green beans and roasted sweet potato

Wednesday–Pasta/spaghetti squash with tomato sauce

Thursday–Sloppy Joes


With Thanksgiving being less than 2 weeks away, it’s important to stick to a healthy eating plan and not throw it all away for the holiday. I try to remember that Thanksgiving is one meal, not a whole series of unhealthy choices.

This week is my final week for this round of 21 Day Fix! I am missing running, especially with as nice as the weather has been recently, so I’m excited to get back to that after this week. Until then, it’s my regularly scheduled workouts!

Monday–Total Body Cardio

Tuesday–Upper Fix

Wednesday–Lower Fix



Saturday–Dirty 30
What does your week look like?

Derby City Mom Clean Eating Thanksgiving Part 2–Healthier Homemade Stuffing

With just a couple more weeks until my home is full of family for our Thanksgiving feast, my menu plans are finalized!  The turkey is ordered, my family is bringing different dishes, and the floor plan for seating 22 people is done!

One dish I knew I wanted to make myself was the stuffing.  When we hosted our first Thanksgiving dinner, I made a from-scratch stuffing that tasted so good!  It was just as good as the boxed stuff, but I liked knowing exactly what was going into the dish–real food that I prepared myself!  That recipe was the starting point for my stuffing plans this year.

In 2011, I made this Sausage and Bread Stuffing from Food and Wine magazine.  I’m making this recipe again this year, but with a few changes.  First, I’m using whole wheat bread instead of white, and I will reduce the amount of bread by 1/3 or 1/2 to lower the carb content and get some whole grains in there.  I’ll also be using coconut oil instead of butter, and I’ll reduce that amount by at least half.  I know it tastes good, but a whole stick of butter?  Who am I, Paula Deen?  Yikes.  Coconut oil isn’t lower in calories, but it has more health benefits than butter.  Finally, I will use chicken sausage instead of pork sausage to lower the fat content (and because I couldn’t find turkey sausage at my grocery!).

In addition to this traditional stuffing, I’m going to make a Paleo stuffing to have a bread free option.  I found a good Paleo Thanksgiving Stuffing recipe from the popular Paleo blog PaleOMG, which gets great reviews, making me more comfortable using this recipe before making a test batch first.  What makes it Paleo?  The only difference I see between the two recipes is the Paleo recipe has sweet potato instead of bread, has egg as a binder, has some fruit in cranberries and apple, and adds bacon and pecans.  The flavor profiles will be very similar between the two recipes.  I’ll use chicken sausage for this recipe too, to lower the fat content a bit.

You might be wondering–why do you need a Paleo stuffing option?  The quick answer is, you don’t.  I just want one.  Thanksgiving will be a cheat day, but I’m not planning on gaining 5 lbs of bloat in one meal.  One way to combat that is to reduce the carbs I eat.  I know for sure that I’ll be having dessert (more on that next week!), and I would rather have dessert than bread in my stuffing, you know?  A Paleo recipe ensures whole foods, no bread, and some extra veggies.  There are no weird ingredients that wouldn’t be in a non-Paleo recipe, so I feel comfortable offering it as an option for my family, whether they are concerned about their eating that day or not.

One final word–why not just use boxed stuffing?  It’s faster and it tastes pretty similar to what I’m making, so what’s the deal with that?  There are two main reasons for me–one is that I genuinely enjoy cooking, and I would rather make my own stuffing than mix it from a box.  I just enjoy it!  The second reason is that I’m really focusing on making my dishes whole, real foods.  They may not be “healthy” per se, but I want to know exactly what’s in them and control elements like salt content.  I don’t want to eat preservatives or weird, synthetic ingredients, and I’m not serving it to my family, either!  I don’t really have anything against boxed stuffing (we’ve had it every year!), but I want this year to be different as I focus on my health.

What is one dish you can focus on making healthier this year?

Missed part one of my Thanksgiving series?  Check it out here.

Meal Plan and Workout Schedule Nov 7-13

This past week has been great for me for health and fitness!  I didn’t any tea/caffeine all week, I stuck to my meal plan 100%, and I didn’t miss a single workout, even though my boys have had some sickness between them and I’ve played nurse and solo parent a little bit.  I have lost 2 lbs so far this round of 21 Day Fix!  I’m excited to continue to stick to it for the next two weeks and see what my results will be.

We also did a great job not eating out this past week.  We are trying to buckle down with our spending, and eating out is a category we spend waaaaay too much on.  The only night we ate out was Friday, when Bread Man was feeling bad and I wasn’t cooking a whole meal for just me and the little guy.  Go us!

Saturday: Chili with family

Sunday: Garlic Butter Chicken with caramelized onions and roasted Brussels sprouts

Monday: Salmon with Strawberry Salsa with roasted asparagus

Tuesday: Chicken Fajitas from a cookbook

Wednesday: Lean beef burgers with roasted sweet potato and green beans

Thursday: Healthy Baked Cavatelli (from Better Homes and Gardens)

Friday: Leftovers

I’m still following 21 Day Fix for my workouts this week.  It’s been nice to take a break from running, but I know I’ll be ready to get back into it when I finish this round.  I am feeling so sore from my workouts and my 12 lb weights–I’m excited to see how my body has changed at the end of this!

Saturday: Dirty 30

Sunday: Yoga

Monday: Total Body Cardio

Tuesday: Upper Fix

Wednesday: Lower Fix

Thursday: Pilates

Friday: Cardio

I’m planning out the next installment of my Clean Eating Thanksgiving series, and I’m excited to share my plans with you!

What does your week look like?

Derby City Mom’s Clean Eating Thanksgiving Part 1–Chipotle Maple Roasted Sweet Potato

I love hosting Thanksgiving.  It can be overwhelming and stressful, but I love planning a meal, finding recipes, cooking good food, and hosting our families in our home.  I’ve hosted Thanksgiving for 4 years now, ever since we moved from an apartment to a house.  This year, we will have 22 people in our home, including 3 toddlers.  I can’t wait!

This year, as healthy eating is really a lifestyle and a priority for me, I have found myself trying to figure out how to make healthier options for our meal.  Now, I’m not planning on making only healthy dishes–first of all, I can’t cook all the food for 22 people by myself, and second of all, not everyone in my family is committed to healthy eating all the time, especially on a holiday.  I’m not about forcing my family to eat what I think should be eaten.

While I’ve asked my family to bring some of the traditional dishes like mac and cheese and banana pudding (my father-in-law’s speciality!), I am planning on several clean eating versions of traditional recipes.  I wanted to share my plans with all of you because I know I’m not the only one struggling to find a balance between indulgence and nourishment!

The first recipe I am tweaking is for Chipotle-Maple Mashed Sweet Potatoes.  I’ve made this a couple of times, and the flavor is awesome.  The pureed texture, however, just doesn’t do it for me.  For whatever reason, pureed or mashed sweet potato is gross to me.  I like the flavor, and I like roasted sweet potato, but I just can’t do pureed.  The original recipe also calls for butter and milk, which can defeat the purpose of trying to eat healthier.  While dairy isn’t necessarily unhealthy, it is unnecessary in this case and brings in extra calories and extra bloat!  No thanks.

The recipe below is my interpretation of the original, but altered for health and for roasting the sweet potato instead of mashing them.  The recipe below is for 2 sweet potatoes, which should easily serve 4-5 people.  I’m planning on 1 chipotle per potato and 1 tablespoon maple syrup per potato.


Roasted Chipotle Maple Sweet Potatoes

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

2 chipotle peppers in adobo, minced

2 tablespoons 100% pure maple syrup

Pinch of salt

Heat oven to 400.  Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix until potato is evenly coated with maple syrup and pepper.  Spread potato mixture on a large cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil and/or sprayed with coconut oil cooking spray.  Roast potatoes for 20 minutes, or until tender, stirring halfway through to prevent sticking.

Meal Plan and Workout Schedule Nov 1-6

‘Tis the season!  Halloween is over, fall is officially here, and the holidays are upon us in full force!  I am so excited for this time of year.  I’ve always loved the fall and holiday season, but with a child who is just old enough to kind of “get” it all and participate is so much fun!

But with the change of seasons and focus on the holidays comes a lot of stress and could-be distractions from my goals.  I’ve been pretty honest about the fact that I’ve been struggling with my nutrition over the last several months–I’m not gaining weight, and apparently I look like I’m losing, but my weight has held pretty steady since the beginning of the summer.  I’m not happy about that!  I was doing a lot of reflecting about it this past week and realized that even though I’ve been doing 21 Day Fix pretty consistently since January, I’ve only done two rounds where I was completely committed to the program–no cheats, no missed workouts, no extra carb servings, no sneaks of candy.  Fully, 100% committed to the program. And wouldn’t you know it that those two rounds are the ones that gave me the best results?  Funny how it works that way.

I’ve determined that this holiday season is going to be different for me health-wise. I’m not going to gain the holiday weight this year, and I’m not going to start 2016 feeling badly about myself.  I am buckling down and committing to one full round of 21 Day Fix in November so I can move on to 21 Day Fix Extreme and then Hammer and Chisel, a new program coming out in December.  Anyhoo, my meal plan reflects this.

Breakfasts: Vegan Chocolate Shakeology with 4 oz almond milk, strawberry/bluberries OR banana and PB2, and water with one serving cottage cheese

Lunches: leftover dinners and black bean sweet potato flautas from the freezer


Sunday: Date night out–will report back!  Planning on a big salad

Monday: Pasta Primavera (whole wheat noodles with roasted zucchini, eggplant, cherry tomatoes, and onion with tomato sauce)

Tuesday: Clean Eating Thai Salmon with roasted Brussels sprouts

Wednesday: Chicken “Fried” Quinoa

Thursday: Garlic Butter Chicken with green beans

Friday: Taco Bowls with broccoli

My workout schedule is still 21 Day Fix!  I just love those workouts so much.  My husband has finally started working out with me!  Well, not exactly with me, but at least working out with the DVDs every day.  I’m proud of him and am looking forward to seeing how the program helps his health!

Sunday: Yoga

Monday: Total Body Cardio

Tuesday: Upper Fix

Wednesday: Lower Fix

Thursday: Pilates

Friday: Cardio Fix

I’m also texting a friend this week to be accountable for what I’m eating.  We will text each other every night with what we ate that day.  I know that will help give me a kick in the rear!

What does your week look like?