#282 Happy Thanksgiving!
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Thanksgiving, man. Not a good day to be my pants.

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No Time to Work Out? 7 Ways to Find the Time

By Monica Ciociola

TimeThe perceived lack of time is one of the main reasons people on the Message Boards give for not exercising regularly. Even those of you who have discovered the wonders of in-home fitness still find it difficult to juggle work, family, and fitness—especially during the holiday season. We hear you asking for help, and here are 7 smart ways to find more time for your workouts.

  • Shop OnlineShop online. Now that you can basically order anything and everything over the Internet and have it delivered, consider doing your holiday shopping this way. Most major retailers have online stores, and provide gift-wrapping services along with shipping options. So there's no need to go to the mall or the post office.

  • Farm out some chores. Try dropping off your laundry—especially if you're already going to the laundromat. You'll find that it doesn't cost that much more.

  • LaundryWake up 30 minutes earlier. Work out before heading to the office. A little trick for waking up faster is to touch your toes as soon as you open your eyes, bringing blood to you head so you feel alert more quickly. After your workout, you'll be more energized for the day ahead and hardly notice the lost sleep. Working out in the morning as opposed to midday or at night also saves you the double cost of showering, getting dressed, and making yourself beautiful.

  • FamilyMake it a family affair. Mike Y. and his wife Christine and daughter Samantha made shedding pounds with the Power 90® program a family activity. By working out together at 5:30 AM each day, before getting ready for work and school, they managed to get in both some family time and exercise. They became Beachbody Success Stories and were invited to Hawaii to star in the Power 90 TV show. It may be a little more difficult for you right now, with everyone's schedule crammed with holiday events, but working out together as a family ensures a built-in support system, and that support is crucial when you're trying to keep your fitness goals on track.

  • MealsPrepare meals in advance. Try to get most of your meal preparation for the week done over the weekend. That means washing all your lettuce, veggies, herbs, fish, and poultry up front, and stocking complete salads-in-a-bag to take to work. You can also prepare individual slices of poultry and fish and a variety of veggies for dinner. Also make vats of soup, pasta, and brown rice that you'll be able to microwave throughout the week. Filling up on healthy meals and having low-fat, good-for-you snacks readily available at work will reduce the temptation to sample the goodies at the office—the gingerbread cookies, chocolates, and inevitable fruitcakes.

  • Take your DVDs with you. If you're traveling over the holidays, make sure you pack your favorite fitness DVDs along with your laptop so you can work out wherever you are, whether it's at your in-laws', your friend's house, or in a hotel room.

  • 20 Minute WorkoutPop in a 20-minute workout. Beachbody makes some superfast and effective workouts for when you're seriously short on time. Try the Turbo Jam® 20-Minute Workout for an excellent calorie-blasting session and the Great Body Guaranteed!™ collection to focus on specific trouble areas in even less than 10 minutes. Look out for Tony Horton's all-new 10-Minute Trainer program launching in January—just give Tony 10 minutes and he'll give you incredible results! No more excuses—now you can always find the time to squeeze in a 10-minute workout . . . And the rewards stretch far beyond that to stronger bones and muscles, a sharper mind, and a lower risk of cancer and diabetes. And remember, working out reduces stress. You'll enjoy the holidays much more if you're healthy and energized.

Monica Ciociola If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, just email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

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Thanksgiving Potluck Nightmare

By Sam Watkins

Family Thanksgiving DinnerThanksgiving dinner with my family is always an interesting event, mostly because my family is weird. Don't get me wrong, I love my family—I really do. But they're weird. And I mean weird. Capital "W" weird.

Like any weird family, we have our traditions. Our holiday gatherings are always potluck-style and each household has a designated dish they are expected to bring. These various side dishes are not coordinated to complement one another or intended to complete the overall meal; they're just whatever each person feels they are best at making.

Baked BeansMy mom brings the barbeque baked beans. I love my mom dearly, but the woman cannot cook. She uses some generic sauce called catsup in lieu of actual ketchup in the beans, and she uses no barbeque sauce to speak of. Then she tries to get fancy and tops the dish off with slices of pineapple. Nobody in my family eats pineapple, ever.

I have an aunt who brings a vat of macaroni and cheese made with those blocks of processed Velveeta that are so prevalent in the Midwest. I have no idea what sort of witch's caldron this woman must have in order to cook so much pasta 'cause, let me tell you, it's a lot of mac and cheese. And we never get even halfway through all of it, even though most plates around the table have a mound of this stuff on them.

Deviled EggsThen there's my crazy great aunt who talks a lot about things you couldn't be less interested in, and still never really finishes one story before she's on to the next. Deviled eggs are her specialty. I think my great aunt is more interested in the audience we provide during Thanksgiving for her stories rather than in bringing deviled eggs because they're always missing an ingredient. It's as though she couldn't have been bothered to finish the eggs because something more important caught her attention halfway through making them.

Now, right or wrong, the responsibility of bringing a dish to the gatherings falls upon the women of each household. My uncle John is the exception to this—he brings the dish for his household. Fresh baked rolls are his contribution. Not in 31 years has Uncle John missed bringing, and subsequently burning, the rolls. One year the dough didn't rise in time for dinner and we had to go without burnt rolls. You think the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock had it bad? Some family members still talk about the year with no rolls (burnt or otherwise).

And then there's Grandma, bless her soul. Grandma can't remember anything these days. Most of the family blames her memory loss on her age, but I've observed that she remembers everything she wants to tell you just fine (like my great aunt, Grandma loves having an audience to tell her stories to). What she can't seem to keep straight are people's names. And who can blame her? Everyone in my family has a first name that starts with the letter "J." Don't believe me? We've got John, Joanne, Jody, Jeff, Jason, Jennifer, Janna, Jada, Jaycee, Jake, Jamie, and Jarrod . . . plus one newborn whose name I can't remember. Can you blame the old woman if she needs to pause for a second when telling a story about one of those kids?

Burnt TurkeyGrandma usually handles the main dish. The one normal thing at my family's Thanksgiving feast is the turkey. A nice, lean white meat that is difficult to screw up. No, it's not a turducken, not a turkey loaf, not cheap processed turkey lunchmeat. We just have a regular ol' overcooked, dry Thanksgiving turkey whose carcass has been badly carved and butchered and strung out across a plastic platter.

Now I'm not immune here. I too am weird, in my own way, and I freely admit to contributing to the collective "weirdness" of my family. Here I am, walking into the small farmhouse in Indiana fresh off a plane from L.A. looking polished and overly groomed, with styling product in my spiky hair, wearing designer shoes and jeans that I bought with the holes in the legs. I haven't figured out what my traditional contribution is going to be yet. One year I tried a vegetable platter. My uncles all laughed and pointed at it. Then one year, feeling a bit exotic, I brought homemade guacamole and chips. Grandma thought the guacamole looked like baby poo.

So let's review this buffet, this smorgasbord, this army chow line. Starch, starch, some starches, and more starch, followed up by dry turkey and untouched "baby poo."

The only trace of a fruit within a mile radius of the feast is that stupid pineapple on Mom's barbeque baked beans. And nobody even comes close to eating it!

Traditions are tough to break. And your family, I'm sure, is just as weird and entrenched in their traditions as mine. And like mine, your holiday feast will probably include the entire clan stuffing itself with more than its fair share of starches and fats.

SaladIt's not going to be easy, and you may be ridiculed for it like I was, but why not trash your traditional dish this year and, instead, contribute something different. Serve a spinach dip, a raw veggie platter, whole-wheat dinner rolls, butternut squash soup, fresh green beans, or (if you think you can get away with it) Brussels sprouts. Just find something containing natural fiber that will help you pass all those other starches your family is going to bring to the table.

And take a moment, like I will this Thanksgiving Day, to gaze around the room and bask in the joyous comfort that only family can bring. And know, with great comfort, that all families are weird—you're not alone. And your weird family loves you and cherishes you (even though they all secretly think you're the real weirdo in the bunch).

POTLUCK SURVIVAL GUIDE

Thanks for giving Give it back, thanks
Turkey, white meat (4 oz) - 176 cal, 4 g fat Turkey, dark meat w/skin (4 oz) - 248 cal, 12 g fat
Mashed yams, unsweetened (1 cup) - 158 cal, 0 g fat Mashed potatoes w/milk and butter (1 cup) - 237 cal, 9 g fat
Green beans (1 cup) - 44 cal, 0 g fat Green bean casserole (1 cup) - 190 cal, 11 g fat
Steamed carrots (1 cup) - 54 cal, 0 g fat Candied carrots (1 cup) - 133 cal, 6 g fat
Whole-wheat roll - 74 cal, 1 g fat Bread stuffing (1 cup) - 177 cal, 9 g fat
Jell-O fruit salad (1 cup) - 122 cal, 0 g fat Ambrosia (1 cup) - 250 cal, 11 g fat
Pumpkin pie - 229 cal, 10 g fat Pecan pie - 452 cal, 21 g fat

Related Articles
"Recipe Tips for the Lazy Chef"
"3-Course Meal Under 750 Calories!"
"4 Down and Dirty One-Pot Meals"
"4 Hearty and Healthy Dips"

Sam Watkins If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, just email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

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Test Your Turkey IQ!

By Joe Wilkes

True or False?

  1. Live TurkeyFALSE: Young tom turkeys have tenderer meat than older birds. Actually, the older tom turkeys are tenderer than the young toms, which tend to be more muscular and stringy. However, it is the opposite with hen turkeys. The older hens tend to be far tougher birds. So young hens and old toms are the way to go, something my more seasoned friend Tom has long averred.

  2. TRUE: Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird instead of the eagle. Franklin thought the eagle was an ignoble, cowardly bird and was more favorably inclined toward the turkey. In his own words in a letter to his daughter:

    • For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him. With all this Injustice, he is never in good Case but like those among Men who live by Sharping & Robbing he is generally poor and often very lousy. Besides he is a rank Coward: The little King Bird not bigger than a Sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the District. He is therefore by no means a proper Emblem for the brave and honest Cincinnati of America who have driven all the King birds from our Country . . . I am on this account not displeased that the Figure is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America . . . He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on.


  3. King Henry VIIIFALSE: The turkey was domesticated in Canada. The turkey was domesticated in Mexico and Central America by the Incans as early as 200 BC. It was brought to Europe in the 16th century. Henry VIII was the first king of England to eat turkey, and he is often portrayed in his portly years with a turkey leg clenched in his fist. Edward VII popularized the eating of turkey at Christmas, a tradition which 90 percent of modern-day Brits enjoy today, roughly the same percentage as Americans who eat turkey for Thanksgiving.

  4. TRUE: Forty-five million turkeys are eaten in the U.S. on Thanksgiving. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say "begun to be eaten." About a sixth of the American turkey population is ingested the second-to-last Thursday in November every year. Turkey has steadily risen in popularity as it is higher in protein than chicken or beef and lower in fat. The average American now eats around 17 pounds of turkey a year.

  5. Cooked TurkeyFALSE: The temperature of a cooked turkey thigh should be 140 degrees. Only if you're serving Turkey a la Salmonella! The temperature of the deepest part of the thigh should be 180 degrees for safe eating. However, I recommend cutting off the breast meat a little earlier. Because of the size of the bird and its low fat content, the breast is often overcooked and dry before the thighs are cooked through. It's not as glamorous a presentation as tableside carving, but you'll get juicier results if you cut the breast meat off first and let the rest of the bird cook through a bit longer on its own.

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, just email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

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