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Enjoy Holiday Foods and Lose Weight? Your 3-Step Strategy to Avoid Extra Calories at Holiday Parties!
Indianapolis Colts cheerleader Crystal can personally relate to Colts head coach Chuck Pagano’s battle with leukemia; as a child she fought and eventually beat the disease. So, when a fellow cheerleader, Megan, said she was going to shave her head to show support for Coach Pagano and raise money to help find a cure for cancer, Crystal decided to join her.
It was a gesture that caught the hearts and attention of the entire nation. Video clips of Crystal and Megan donning their shaved heads while cheering-on the Indianapolis Colts has been highlighted numerous times on multiple news and sports shows.
“We were both surprised how big this got. We weren’t expecting so much media attention,” said Crystal. “Megan and I helped raise over $22,000 for cancer research in honor of Coach Pagano by shaving our heads. Her (Megan’s) support, my squad and the community has made the meaning of this experience so unforgettable.”
Crystal has also received an overwhelming response via Twitter, Facebook, email and in person.
“I’ve heard stories that have touched my heart and I appreciate knowing that this has meant so much to so many people,” said Crystal. “From my personal experience (with leukemia), this has all meant so much to me.”
You might think that to a cheerleader the idea of shaving their head would be terrifying, but Crystal’s life has given her a different outlook.
“I have been bald before so I wasn’t scared of not having hair,” said Crystal. “It’s actually faster for me to get ready now and my head (feels like it) has more senses. For example, I can feel the cold more, especially in this weather, and my head appreciates my pillow more (laughs)!”
In addition to being a Colt’s cheerleader, Crystal is a personal trainer at LA Fitness. When she went to work after shaving her head on national television the reaction from her clients moved her in a way that she never expected.
“The biggest impact on me was from a couple that I train at LA Fitness,” said Crystal. “They gave me a small jewelry box and inside of it was a breast cancer pin. The pin was from his mother who battled breast cancer for 25 years and passed away. He said that she would have appreciated what we’ve done and that she would have wanted to give it to me.”
Crystal and Megan both donated their hair to Locks of Love, an organization that makes natural hair wigs for those who are battling cancer and as a result have lost their hair.
For more information about Crystal’s efforts to help find a cure for cancer you can follow her via Twitter at @Crystal_Anne_B.
We will be featuring Crystal and the amazing work she is doing with one of her clients, so be sure to follow us by adding us to your RSS feed or join our community to have the latest articles sent right to your email.
Last year Americans consumed around 736 million pounds of turkey on Thanksgiving[i], which was likely served with several favorite holiday side dishes and courses. This belt busting MEAL can have up to 3,450 calories, which is astounding when you consider that the average amount of calories consumed PER DAY for males is 2,475 and for females is 1,833[ii].
Though your traditions and recipes may make some of your Thanksgiving foods non-negotiable—such as a family recipe for gravy, or maybe this year it is your turn to get one of the savory dark meat legs— perhaps you just didn’t realize how many calories are in some foods, or you never thought to consider other options. You never know, you just might end up loving sweet potato pie, but never considered having anything else but pumpkin pie.
Below is a table with the most popular Thanksgiving Day foods and some healthy options for you to consider. Who knows, maybe this year will be the beginning of some new Thanksgiving dinner traditions that have you feeling energized and invigorated instead of sleepy and uncomfortable.
|Food||Portion Size||Calories||Healthy Option (same portion size)||Healthy Option CALORIES||Healthy Option Calorie Difference|
|Turkey, dark meat w/skin||4 oz.||249||Turkey, light meat no skin||189||60|
|Mashed Potatoes w/ sour cream and butter||1 cup||313||Mashed Potatoes w/ milk and butter||212||101|
|Stuffing (Bread)||1 cup||404||Stuffing (Cornbread)||358||46|
|Gravy, made w/meat drippings||1 cup||271||Gravy, made w/out fat||71||200|
|Green Bean Casserole||1 cup||276||Cooked green beans||44||232|
|Bread Rolls (white)||Medium size (about 2.5” across)||147||Bread Rolls (100% whole wheat)||96||51|
|Cranberry Sauce||1 cup||418||Fresh Cranberries||51||367|
|Candied Yams||1 cup||293||Baked Yams||165||128|
|Apple Pie||1/8 of 9” pie||356||Sweet Potato Pie||265||91|
|Pumpkin Pie||1/8 of 9” pie||374||Sweet Potato Pie||265||109|
|Pecan Pie||1/8 of 9” pie||464||Pumpkin pie||374||90|
|Soda, cola||12 oz.||136||Diet Soda, cola or Water||0||136|
|Beer||12 oz.||155||Skip it||0||155|
|Wine||5 oz.||125||Again, skipping the alcohol is the healthiest option||0||125|
|Squash w/butter and brown Sugar||1 cup||154||Squash w/salt and sugar, no butter||121||33|
If none of these options work for you, you could just make sure to keep your portions reasonable, but keep in mind that you are having more courses during this particular meal than you may be used to.
Some of you may have noticed that today’s article was not our normal Monday post of REAL STORIES, and was instead a TOP TIP. We wanted to make sure you had this information before the holiday since TOP TIPS posts every Thursday. So look for another great TOP TIP on Thanksgiving day, and REAL STORIES about real people accomplishing their health and fitness goals will resume on its regularly scheduled day again next Monday.
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[i] Information was obtained from http://www.eatturkey.com/consumer/history/history.html
[ii] Information was obtained from http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhanes/databriefs/calories.pdf
Like many people, small business owner Roy Amor, 59, watched his blood pressure rise as his sales decreased during the recent recession. Though he could not control the state of the economy, Roy read an article that gave him confidence that he could control his blood pressure and his health. He decided he needed a more dedicated approach to his health and fitness to get his health back on track. So, Roy made 3 simple changes to his lifestyle; changes that he attributes to lowering his high blood pressure to a now healthy level. To find out the 3 healthy lifestyle changes that Roy made, simply click the play button on the player above.
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This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your primary care physician.