Sculpt’s Ten Tips to Thanksgiving 

Holidays like Thanksgiving can be stressful for those how have been working diligently at shedding some of their extra weight. There is often a feeling of dread when it comes to large family get togethers focused on massive meals. With a few simple changes, this (and other) holiday feasts become a lot less stressful. Here at Sculpt, we encourage our community to enjoy their gatherings with their family, because those memories have more value than any numbers ever could. Let these tips ease your conscience, knowing that you are still making healthy choices while choosing family time over weighing food.

  1. Start with a smaller plate
    1. You are visually satisfied looking at a full plate (even though the plate is smaller)
    2. You may find you are satisfied with only the one smaller serving
    3. Going for seconds won’t feel as cumbersome with a smaller dish  
  2. Veggies first
    1. Not only are veggies typically less Calorie dense, but offer more nutrients and fibre
    2. Leaves less room for the heavy stuff
    3. Aim for at least half plate to be salads and veggies
    4. Starchy Vegetables don’t count
  3. Starches Next
    1. These are simple carbs, provides satisfaction to the meal
    2. Aim for a quarter of the plate
    3. Sweet potato, corn, mashed potatoes, stuffing, etc.
  4. Meats and alternatives last
    1. These are usually the most Calorie dense (with the gravy, and other dressings)
    2. Leaves you feeling the most heavy/tired after the meal
    3. Aim for the final quarter of the plate
  5. Dessert Decisions
    1. Use a small plate
    2. Pick one all-time favourite, or
    3. Pick a seasonal exclusive
  6. Beverages
    1. Remember your water
    2. Limit all alcohol
    3. Try sparkling water with a lime wedge
  7. Mashed Potatoes
    1. Add in/exchange for turnip. It’s slightly less starchy and adds a unique flavour!
    2. Exclude the cream/cream cheese when making.
    3. Try Salsa as a topping. 
  8. Sweet Potato
    1. Exclude the brown sugar/maple syrup while making
    2. Try with cinnamon and almond butter (makes a great dessert alternative)
    3. Try as a savoury dessert with Blueberry compote 
  9. Beware of Salad Dressings
    1. Dressings often have a lot of oil
    2. Salads with fruits and nuts often need less dressing, if at all
    3. Expand your salad palate. Try a new salad recipe!
  10. Enjoy yourself!
    1. One day doesn’t make or break your diet (or your progress)
    2. It’s what you’re doing consistently that counts
    3. Guilt of indulging can lead to guilt-eating ( and that is one vicious cycle)

Happy thanksgiving from your Sculpt coaches! Don’t forget to share your food and family on our Members’ Page. We look forward to seeing you on there!

Keeping you food conscience, 

Coach Jessica

My thanksgiving plan of attack.

Most people who are trying to lose or maintain weight often have a feeling of dread when it comes to Thanksgiving, and other food-centered holidays. The invading thoughts of ruining all the hard work that has been put in, the calorie heavy foods, the sleepy and sometimes uncomfortable feeling of eating too much at those larger than life meals with all your family and friends, I get it. It can be scary, but there is good news and bad news when it comes to events like Thanksgiving.  

The good news:  Our evolution has equipped us for events like this, believe it or not. The historic human was very accustomed to ‘feast and famine’ eating. It helped us survive hardships and gave us the ability to be nomadic in the search for our next meal.  Eating larger amounts of food in a short amount of time is our thing! In fact, it’s most of the animal kingdom’s thing. 

The bad news:     With our advancing technology and expanse of agricultural abilities, the famine never comes in high-income countries anymore. That means we’ve gone from ‘feast-and-famine’ to ‘feast-and-more-feast’. This is where our biology works against us. Our body’s a designed to only burn what is absolutely necessary as we look for the highest Calories foods we can find. We got REALLY good at that; Calorie jammed food with next to no effort! Our everyday lives challenge us in the opposite way now, and our genetics haven’t quite caught got the memo yet. 

The MORE good news: If you eat a healthy balanced diet about 80% of the time, with a balance of energy intake versus energy expenditure (a.k.a. Calories-in vs. Calories-out), occasions like Thanksgiving dinner won’t really have a great effect in the long run. As long as these feasts are, as mentioned previously, occasions

Sculpt members have been coming to me, asking for help with the upcoming Thanksgiving, no doubt having nervous feelings about un-doing their progress. I’m going to let you in on my plan of attack for the weekend. Keep an eye out for ‘Sculpt’s Ten Tips to Thanksgiving’ that will be coming out before this weekend.


Strawberry Protein Shake:

  • 2 cups frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup Soy milk
  • 1 scoop Soy Isolate Protein Powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup water

I don’t eat eggs, but my boyfriend will be having an egg-white frittata:

  • 3 egg whites
  • 50g red peppers
  • 50g green peppers
  • 50g white onion
  • 50g spinach 
  • 50g black forest ham

with a slice of lightly buttered toast, and knowing him, some orange juice.


Open faced chickpea salad sandwich:

    (Serves 6)

  • 1 can chickpeas (mash with a fork until most chickpeas and broken up into pieces)
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • ¼ red pepper
  • 1 tbs veganaise (or mayonnaise)
  • 1 tbs yellow mustard (plus more, to taste)
  • 1 tsp dry dill
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

One serving on a slice of bread with lettuce, alpha sprouts, and extra mustard.


Dinner (thanksgiving meal):

- Hardy serving of salads and vegetables, adding these to my plate first to take up at least ½ of the plate.

-Starchy vegetables (corn, sweet potato, mash potato), ¼ of the plate.

- Tofurkey (you do you when it comes to the meat or alternative serving), ¼ of the plate.

- 1 bun on the side

- 1 glass of wine, rest of the night I will be having sparkling water with fresh lime

- 1 serving of dessert, my most favourite that is available (to be determined).


I’m also making sure that I am bringing some of the veggie dishes, and one of the desserts. It’s a good way to track at least some of your meal without feeling like you’re inconveniencing the host. 

In the end, we encourage all of you to enjoy your meal with your loved ones, because that is more value than any number ever could.


Keeping you food conscience,

Coach Jessica

Muffins; cupcake’s boring cousin!

Yesterday, I made a stop at Tim Horton’s. To be honest, it’s not something I do on a frequent basis. I’m not much of a coffee drinker, but I do enjoy the occasional tea or hot chocolate.  I also made the decision to pick up a muffin. When I got home and entered my spontaneous visit to the beloved Canadian coffee shop. Let me tell you. I was shocked. More shocked than a Dietetic student who is a macro coach should be. It got me thinking though, if I am shocked how many other people are being fooled by the ‘Healthy Halo’ effect on muffins and other foods?

 So, let’s talk about muffins; cupcake’s boring cousin. Does this sound like you? “I have a fairly healthy breakfast: a coffee two cream, and sugar and a muffin. “ 

Muffins tend to get a good reputation by being oven baked, whole grain, no icing (like the fun-lovin’ cupcake), and many varieties have fruit or vegetables in them. That’s GOT to be good for you, right? - Maybe not as much as you’d like to think. 

The average Tim Horton’s muffin contains 376 Calories, approximately 32% of which coming from fat. My personal favourite, Lemon poppy seed, is 370 calories, with 14g of fat per muffin. That’s 34% of calories from fat! Devastating, I know.  

Hold on a second Jess, I make my own muffins. That’s way better than any store bought muffin. Well, it can be but only because you have more control over the ingredients, and there would be no preservatives in the ones made at home. I would suggest doing a nutrient breakdown on your favourite homemade muffin recipe. You’ll have a much better idea on how much energy you are consuming. Some people forget that food you make at home still have calories associated with them.

I’m not saying that none of us should ever eat muffins again. I’m just suggesting that we be more aware of what is in our food. Question your ingredients, especially if they’re believed to be healthy.


Keeping you food conscious,

Coach Jessica

Need help with nutrition? Interested in a different approach to macro counting? Contact a coach at Sculpt Nutrition for more information.

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