Hot Flash: Navigating the Holiday Buffet

By Barbara Bishop

Thanksgiving is next week. It’s my favorite holiday. I usually start the holiday feast at a specialty food store in Houston with my sister in law. Then we cook for two days straight. Homemade cranberry sauce (two kinds), home made rolls, at least three pies – pumpkin, pecan and chocolate. Brining the turkey. Boiling potatoes. Cutting green beans. Peeling the sweet potatoes.

And that’s just the first day. The day of Thanksgiving, we’re cooking everything. Pies, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, melting the marshmallows on the sweet potatoes. The turkey went in the oven first. Over the years, I was bestowed the title of “Master Baster.” Ha ha.


Here’s the issue. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the average American gains almost 2 pounds, and half that weight will still be around come summertime. Over a decade, that’s 12 pounds to start. Shit. And that’s just Thanksgiving!

“Beautiful Bodies” Author Kimberly Rae Miller offers tips to get through the holiday season.

Don’t Eat:

Pigs in a Blanket: high in fat salt and carbs.

Fried cheese balls: High fat and small (easy to overeat)

Baked Brie (Oh no! My favorite) Fatty and addictive.

In Moderate Amounts:

Cheese and crackers – Be careful though – they are calorie dense and too easy to eat.

Once a Year Favorites – Go ahead and have the homemade gravy with the mashed potatoes, but again in a small amount.

Dessert – Allow yourself one item from the dessert bar. One! And make it a small one. By the way, 3 small ones are not the same as one small ones.

Pig Out:

Crudites – A fancy word for veggies. Who has ever “pigged out” on veggies?

Pork, ham or turkey – My saving grace. Protein will suppress your appetite.

Shrimp Cocktail – This I can pig out on. Love shrimp cocktail; low in fat, high in protein. Yum.

Happy Thanksgiving! (Stay away from the brie…)