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thanksgiving food myths
Wellness
Published Thursday Nov 14, 2019 by Mooch and Mel

4 Habits You’ll Be Thankful to Forget This Thanksgiving  

Food
Nutrition
Expert Advice

Turkey-Day-Trepidation. It’s real. Worrying the feast will derail your fitness goals, giving side dishes the side-eye, and wondering how it’ll all affect your stomach. Then, alleviating fear from these worries by vowing never to eat cookies, carbs, or canned onion strings, ever again.

Thanksgiving just so happens to be our favorite holiday of the year. Not only because it synchronizes food, family, and football, but because the energy of the day aligns with what we love. Gratitude. So let’s cut the panic that keeps us from truly enjoying this holiday. 

Carry these reminders with you to ease your worries and relish in your turkey (or tofurkey) on the big day.

Earning your food isn’t a thing.

We’re all for a Turkey Day trot, but when people hit the streets to sweat so they can “earn” their food, we cringe. Food brings a different value. Sometimes it’s to fuel, sometimes to recover; sometimes it’s to nourish, and other times it’s just to enjoy. Focus on the value of your food at any given moment and forget the idea that you have to do tricks for treats.

1
Earning your food isn’t a thing.

We’re all for a Turkey Day trot, but when people hit the streets to sweat so they can “earn” their food, we cringe. Food brings a different value. Sometimes it’s to fuel, sometimes to recover; sometimes it’s to nourish, and other times it’s just to enjoy. Focus on the value of your food at any given moment and forget the idea that you have to do tricks for treats.

Turkey doesn’t make you sleepy.

When teaching about food combinations and energy related to digestion, we use Thanksgiving as the prime example. Turkey isn’t what makes you want to curl up into a ball on the couch for three days (with a slice of pie within reach, of course). The fatigue stems from the energy your body is employing to digest and break down intricate food combinations and large quantities of food. Digestion is an energy source. When we have to use massive amounts of energy to break down our food, that’s when we become sleepy.

2
Turkey doesn’t make you sleepy.

When teaching about food combinations and energy related to digestion, we use Thanksgiving as the prime example. Turkey isn’t what makes you want to curl up into a ball on the couch for three days (with a slice of pie within reach, of course). The fatigue stems from the energy your body is employing to digest and break down intricate food combinations and large quantities of food. Digestion is an energy source. When we have to use massive amounts of energy to break down our food, that’s when we become sleepy.

You don’t have to start on Monday.

You don’t have to earn your food, nor do you have to “make up” for eating it. That kind of thinking can cause you to consume almost twice as much food on the holidays, which hurts your digestive system more significantly. Please do not turn to deprivation, juice cleanses, or extreme dieting to undo the holiday. Not only is that worse for your body, but it’s even worse for your mind. There is nothing wrong with choosing to enjoy your favorite foods and flavors.

3
You don’t have to start on Monday.

You don’t have to earn your food, nor do you have to “make up” for eating it. That kind of thinking can cause you to consume almost twice as much food on the holidays, which hurts your digestive system more significantly. Please do not turn to deprivation, juice cleanses, or extreme dieting to undo the holiday. Not only is that worse for your body, but it’s even worse for your mind. There is nothing wrong with choosing to enjoy your favorite foods and flavors.

Your value is not on your plate. 

If your favorite foods happen to be greener, healthier versions of traditional dishes, or simple meals lacking in decadence, that’s fine, too. When someone takes it personally that you won’t eat the same things as them, remember that you aren’t responsible for anyone’s health and happiness but your own. The bottom line: your value is not on your plate. And you don’t need to prove your value by filling, or not filling, your plate with certain foods.

Remember, the best part of the holiday season is the connections you make. Make eye contact, listen to others, and tell people you love them. Be present, be grateful, and know that food is a way to connect and celebrate no matter its form.

Change your thinking to toss the trepidations, and truly enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday.

4
Your value is not on your plate. 

If your favorite foods happen to be greener, healthier versions of traditional dishes, or simple meals lacking in decadence, that’s fine, too. When someone takes it personally that you won’t eat the same things as them, remember that you aren’t responsible for anyone’s health and happiness but your own. The bottom line: your value is not on your plate. And you don’t need to prove your value by filling, or not filling, your plate with certain foods.

Remember, the best part of the holiday season is the connections you make. Make eye contact, listen to others, and tell people you love them. Be present, be grateful, and know that food is a way to connect and celebrate no matter its form.

Change your thinking to toss the trepidations, and truly enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday.

Mooch & Mel - MINDBODY
Written by
Mooch and Mel
Co-owners | Move With MM
About the author
A finalist in America's Most Inspiring Trainer, Mooch is a nutrition nut and personal trainer in bootcamp and cycling classes. Mel, a yoga instructor, life coach, and gut health educator, loves guiding others to overcome anxiety and feel more energized. Together, they bring a balance of compassion and tough love to help busy women who feel stuck, move!
I chose to 'swerk' inside
Fitness
Published Wednesday Nov 04, 2020 by Sara Lesher

So, I Tried an Online Twerk Fitness Class...

Fitness
Dance

Have you ever come across a fitness class on Instagram and thought, that looks so fun, only to scroll on by knowing you’d never in a million years actually sign up for it? Because, same.  
For me, it’s always been dance. Pole dancing, twerking, salsa, ballet, Zumba... I don’t even think twice about booking. There is no way in hell I’m heading into a studio with a bunch of strangers and attempting to follow along to some moves I’ve never tried before.  

...and then there was COVID.  

When studios everywhere started to shut down, virtual fitness started to blow up—and all of the sudden, I had the opportunity to try basically anything without leaving my house (or feeling at all embarrassed). It was a silver lining and a kick in the ass all wrapped into one.  


Finding a Virtual Dance Class 

I started small, doing the classes I was most comfortable with. Once I had perfected my online yoga routine, I needed a little more oomph, so, I stepped it up to HIIT. I was proud of myself for getting back into the swing of things after a long the-world-is-ending-so-I-don't-need-to-work-out break. But still, I hadn’t fully gotten out of my comfort zone. I had taken in-person yoga and HIIT classes before, so even though I had tried out some new studios online, I had a general idea of what to expect.  

Then, my coworkers told me about Rachel Vickhouse and MVP Dance Fit. Rachel and some other badass, beautiful ladies coined the phrase “Lift Your Booty, Love Your Body ™,” and that’s what MVP Dance Fit is all about. They told me this studio offered twerk fitness classes, and that right now, they’re not only offering virtual, but they’re giving one free class to all newbies, too. 
I was curious.  


Sweat + Work + Twerk = Swerk 

Without really looking into it much further, I trusted my coworkers and signed up for the signature “Swerk” class (Sweat, Work, Twerk) to take after work one day.  

Or so I thought...  

My first mistake was not checking the time zone before booking. I thought I was signing up for a class at 5:30 PM, but turns out, the studio is in Ohio. Seeing that I live in California, my timing was all off. Luckily, I realized my mistake when I received the link to join the class in my inbox, and I had time to get ready to twerk in the middle of my workday (whoops).  

I usually exercise out on my deck, but there was no way I was going to give my neighbors a free show (although I’m sure it would’ve spiced up their Monday). So, there I was—at 2:30 PM on a Monday afternoon, dragging my coffee table to the side, shutting my blinds and curtains, filling up my water bottle, and getting ready to dance like no one was watching. 


Here’s what it was like to Swerk 

When I logged on, I saw lots of faces on the screen. One woman was dancing while doing her laundry, another was rocking to the beat in her living room, and another had a prime weight room setup I was pretty jealous of. About half of the participants had their cameras turned on and were starting to warm up (AKA dance around) to the Drake song that was playing, while the other half kept their videos off. Because these women looked like seasoned pros, and I was a total newbie, I opted to keep mine off. (Yes, this is 100% an excuse. I know you see right through me.)  

Then, Rachel herself appeared onscreen with French braids and bright pink lipstick. I’ve never seen someone with more energy—I swear, I think she was drinking Diet Coke out of her tumbler, but I can’t be sure. She let everyone know there were a bunch of first-timers in class, and they’d all have to show us how it’s done (no pressure). She asked if anyone had any song requests, and the chat started popping off.  

After that, there was no messing around. The first song started playing, and she got right to it. Right about now, I was so glad I had my camera off because I must’ve looked ridiculous. She was moving so fast, and I was stumbling trying to keep up.  

She went from sliding left to right, to dropping low, to lifting a leg and landing in a squat, to hands-on-the-floor-ass-in-the-air, all in the span of a song. 

But after just a few minutes, I started getting the hang of it. The choreography repeated, with different moves for different parts of the song, and once I figured them out, I was able to keep up.  
As soon as I got the hang of song #1, we were onto the next. And I love a challenge, so I was ready. Throughout class, we switched from more cardio-intensive songs to leg-focused dances involving squats and lunges. Halfway through, I was sweating. I couldn’t believe how much fun I was having, while also getting such a good workout at the same time.  


Here’s a peek at what it looked like.

At the end, I was so proud of myself for getting out of my comfort zone, and I definitely felt the high of a great workout on a day when I was feeling some serious Monday energy (or lack of energy) beforehand. I’m so thankful virtual was an option, because, without it, I don’t know if I ever would’ve tried a class like this. 

During class, I knew I’d end up being sore, and over the next few days, I proved myself right. The next morning, I stood up out of bed and I felt it in my quads and glutes. Thinking I’d be good by the weekend, I planned an eight-mile hike for Saturday morning with some friends. I was so sore I thought they were going to have to leave me on the mountain. Thanks, Rachel. 


Here’s what I wish I knew going in... 

1.    Check the time zone. 


Luckily, I figured it out just in time, but if I didn’t check my email, I easily could’ve missed my class. The beauty of online fitness classes is you can book them at studios all over the world. But, with that, comes time differences. Whenever you’re booking a virtual class, make sure you check the time zone and figure out where the studio is located, so you don’t have to ditch your afternoon meetings. (Unless that’s what you’re going for. Then, more power to you.) 

2.    Wear shoes. 


This might seem obvious, but to me, it wasn’t. When I was getting ready to start class, I wasn’t sure if I needed to wear shoes or if I should have a yoga mat, towel, or weights ready. I wasn’t really sure of anything, to be honest. So, after I made some space in my living room, I looked up MVP Dance Fit on Instagram to see if I could find some answers. From the looks of it, no equipment was necessary, and shoes were probably a good idea. So, if you’re reading this, I hope I saved you some trouble. All you need is some shoes and a little bit of space. 

3.    Know that no one’s watching you.  


Camera or not, no one can really see what you’re doing. And no one cares. I started off the class in gallery mode so I could see everyone, but to follow along with Rachel’s movements, I had to have her on full screen, and I couldn’t pay attention to anyone else in class. Having the camera on just gives everyone the sense that you’re in class together, just like you would be in person. So, maybe next time, I’ll toughen up and leave it on.  

4.    Maybe have some caffeine.  


Should I be encouraging that? I don’t know. But man, that girl had a lot of energy. And dancing takes a lot out of you. About halfway through, when I started getting tired, I wished I’d had something caffeinated before to get me through. But maybe that’s just me. The good music and Rachel’s encouragement definitely got me going, and I had a lot of fun with it. 

5.    Try it with friends. 


Distracting or helpful? I’m not sure. But I do know it would’ve been so fun to have seen all my friends dancing around in little boxes on the screen from their respective houses. And since the first class is free, it probably wouldn’t have been too hard to convince them. So, if you’re planning on trying it out, get some friends to join! I’m sure it’ll be fun to talk about after. 
 
I’d recommend this class to anyone who likes hip-hop and wants to spice up their routine. If you’ve thought about trying a twerk fitness class, just do it already. There are literally no more excuses (coming from someone who would literally never set foot in a dance studio for real).  

Maybe pole dancing is more up your alley, or maybe you’ve never tried a HIIT class before. Whatever it is, just know that it's the perfect time to get over your exercise embarrassment and try something new. 
 

Sara Lesher
Written by
Sara Lesher
Marketing Content Associate
About the author
Spoiled by the San Diego sunshine, Sara’s hobbies include beaching, hiking, concert-going, and brewery-hopping. As Mindbody’s marketing content associate, she naturally loves reading and writing… so if you have any book recommendations, let her know. And just between us: she’s committed to health and wellness but loves a good taco (shoutout TJ Tacos in Escondido).