How These Thanksgiving Dishes Actually Fuel Your Workout

Peloton
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Every year, thousands of Peloton Members show up to give thanks for a great year of community, challenges, and change–and then, we feast. The Thanksgiving workout may be unique to the Peloton family, but the Thanksgiving meal is something we all look forward to all year round, enjoying it all the more because we’re feeling healthy and strong. We asked the three Peloton instructors who are leading this year’s Turkey Burn workouts what they’ll be putting on their plates to feed their Turkey Burn this year.

Matt Wilpers, who’s leading an Outdoor run available starting at 6am on Thanksgiving Day, unsurprisingly likes to get his burn in early before a big meal, so he can spend the day relaxing. “Ideally before a workout, you should have a little something in your stomach, like some simple carbs from a piece of fruit like a banana,” says Matt. “If you do find that you need to get your exercise in not long after you have eaten, tone it down and take it easy to avoid an upset stomach.” Rebecca Kennedy, who’s leading a Tread bootcamp at 12:30pm on Thanksgiving, also notes that post workout, it’s valuable to get your 20-30g of protein on: women within 30 minutes, men within 60 minutes.

Once you’ve powered through your workout for the day, it’s time to get cooking, fill your plate, and make some memories with your loved ones. All our instructors agree: a colorful plate is key. Robin Arzon, who’s leading her third Turkey Burn ride on the Bike at 10:30am on Thanksgiving, loves roasted sweet potatoes with cayenne pepper, and makes her own cashew dressing and massaged kale salad. Rebecca Kennedy also takes a DIY approach: “I assume every Thanksgiving is a potluck and bring at least one dish I want to eat. That’s a really easy way to strike a balance of healthy vs indulging because you know all the ingredients you put in. Normally, that dish I bring is gone first–my butternut squash casserole is a major hit!” She also loves putting healthy twists on classics by subbing heavy creams for almond milks, and boxed stuffing for homemade cornbread stuffing–corn is naturally gluten-free, and makes a great base.

Even if your family tends towards more traditional Thanksgiving staples, as long as it’s fresh, it’s full of goodness. “I find that it’s usually the processed foods and sauces that provide little nutritional value and don’t make me feel good afterwards. Having a colorful plate of non-processed foods is an easy way to ensure that you are getting a good variety of nutrients,” says Matt. There’s nothing you need to avoid on Thanksgiving Day, says Robin–it’s more about mindset. “Put a hard stop on that day and don’t let it bleed into the rest of the week and the season, but don’t overanalyze the celebration. The next day, you can jump right back in and work hard.”