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5 Thanksgiving Disasters And Solutions

5 Thanksgiving Disasters And Solutions

Well, it’s getting to be that time of year again. That time when majestic shades of reds, browns, and golds grace countrysides across the nation, and the novelty of school starting back up is wearing off. You’re beginning to think about covering your rose bushes, and weekends are filled with cheers and cries from football fanatics everywhere. And of course there’s Thanksgiving: the feast to end all American feasts.

Whether you’re a long-time host or long-standing guest of this epic meal, you’ve likely experienced or heard about your share of Turkey Day disasters. Of course, when you’re preparing a meal of this magnitude, there are things that are bound to go wrong. Here are a few potential day-ruiners and some handy solutions.

1. Vegetarians on the guest list.

These days, more and more people are cutting meat out of their diets. If you have a vegetarian on your guest list, it will be a nice gesture to prepare a dish with them in mind. It can be hard to change the entire menu—the main dish is a turkey for crying out loud! But you can have an alternate main menu item, like vegetarian lasagna, and plan to make at least one batch of stuffing without any meat-based broth, along with other vegetarian-friendly side dishes.

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With a little forethought, you can adjust your Thanksgiving recipes to your guests’ dietary needs and coordinate accordingly. You could even do a quasi-potluck where guests bring some of their own favorite dishes as well. That way, you can be sure that everyone there will have a dish they enjoy, and they can share their favorites with each other, embodying the spirit of the holiday: sharing and thanks.

2. The turkey didn’t thaw all the way. (Or at all!)

Did you rely on someone else to pull the turkey out of the deep freeze for you? Perhaps you did it yourself, but didn’t allow enough time for the bird to thaw completely and the inside is still frozen solid. Never fear, for you have options here.

If you have enough time, you can thaw it using cold water. Just submerge it breast-side down in cold water, changing the water every 30 minutes. Soak it this way for 30 minutes for each pound of the turkey that’s frozen still (you’ll probably have to make your best guess here). Now, if you’re on a time crunch, you can cut the turkey into quarters before you roast or fry it to cut down on the cooking time.

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Further, if you aren’t in a position to thaw it, contrary to popular belief, you can cook it frozen. For future reference, the bird will need to thaw for 24 hours for every four to five lbs. of girth.

3. It’s dinnertime and the turkey isn’t done.

You’ve spent all day preparing the meal of a lifetime, but come dinnertime, you pull the turkey out to carve it and it’s still completely raw in the middle. Now what? First things first: breathe. Take a deep breath and roll with it. Carve up the parts that are cooked—usually the white meat—and serve that. The key is to not panic, and not let your guests know there’s anything wrong. Put the rest of the turkey back in the oven for 20-minute increments until it’s done, and add it to the spread.

4. It won’t all fit in the refrigerator.

If you find that your goodies won’t all fit in the refrigerator, it’s time to get creative. Pull out everything that isn’t essential to the meal. Make some hard decisions about what you need to keep and what can be thrown out. Chances are there are some expired items lurking in there.

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Then channel your inner Tetris champion and stack those items in there as best you can. Remember to leave a little space between food items to encourage airflow. If it still won’t all fit, enlist the help of a neighbor, or if you live in a cool climate you may be able to temporarily store some dishes outdoors while you guests help make more space in the fridge.

5. You’re fresh out of oven space.

It’s no wonder with that many dishes people often run out of oven space. The trick is to time your masterpieces based upon the temperature they need to cook, and coordinate them accordingly. Surely there will be some items with flavors that you won’t want to cook together, but generally speaking, timing is everything. But even the most perfectly timed dinners can be more than a single oven can handle.

Counteract this potential disaster by making as many dishes ahead of time as you can. That way you’ll just have to warm them up in the oven rather than cook them from the beginning the day of your dinner party, minimizing the time spent in the oven. There are also several recipes that can be done on an outdoor grill or on the stove top. Think outside the oven!

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If you encounter any of these Thanksgiving disasters, don’t panic. There’s always something that can be done to save the day. Just stay calm and summon all the ingenuity you have at your disposal.

What Thanksgiving disasters have you experienced? How did you overcome them?

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

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    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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