After the Feast: Healthifying Tips (and Muffins)

29 Nov

Ok, so Thanksgiving is over and the holiday season is officially in full effect.

It can be a wise idea to optimize your food intake and activity levels in the days that follow a massive feast. I’m not suggesting getting all crazy-pants with a detox diet, no.

Severe detoxing can leave you feeling (and looking) a bit..umm...out of sorts.


Rather, I suggest some simple and savvy strategies to help mitigate any damage done as a result of a few too many return trips to the dessert table.

  1. Twist. In yoga, twisting postures are credited with wringing out the toxins that accumulate in our internal organs and can relieve abdominal bloating and digestive discomfort. Incorporate twists into your post holiday get-back-on-track routine by practicing utkatasana prayer twist, shown below.

Don't get it twisted - this should feel somewhat less-than-enjoyable. Moving toxins out of your bod can cause a wee bit of discomfort.

  1. Suck down a smoothie. In feasting to your heart’s delight on Turkey Day (or any other indulgence-heavy holiday event), you tax your already-delicate digestive system. A tremendous amount of work goes into the intricate process of digestion, so by letting your tummy take it easy in the days that follow, you can speed up your body’s ability to return to its status quo. Smoothies are optimal vehicles for nutrients and the digestive tract doesn’t have to get all hot and bothered in order to digest and absorb them. Make it a seasonally-appropriate smoothie by using pumpkin, as the Pioneer Woman did here.

And if you’ve assimilated back to your normal firing-on-all-cylinders self, ready to navigate the dangerous acts of sale shopping happening all over the country or head back to work, I suggest trying my newest muffin creation.

Oatastic Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
Adapted from


1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
1 ½ cups old fashioned oats
¾ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups canned pumpkin
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 eggs
¼ cup milk
½ – 1 cup chocolate chips


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  • Line muffin tin with cups or spray with nonstick canola oil spray
  • Mix pumpkin, oil, milk, sugar and eggs in a large bowl
  • Whisk dry ingredients and spices together in a separate bowl
  • Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix well. Fold in chocolate chips
  • Using an ice cream scoop (or large spoon), fill muffin cups and bake for 18 to 25 minutes
  • You can sprinkle a few oat kernels on top of each muffin as I did below, or leave them unadorned

The carbohydrates in the oats and whole wheat flour are high quality, providing lasting energy. Pumpkin is nutrient rich as well, offering some serious vitamin A. There’s just enough fat between the oil and eggs to make these treats satiating, but not so much that they become overly-dense calorie bombs. Rounding out this winning ingredient list, the chocolate chips contribute a hit of sweetness that takes these muffins from good to great.

Toss a couple in a plastic baggie and take with you on your way to the mall; or, if you’re noshing at home, warm a muffin in the microwave for 20 seconds and crumble on top of Greek yogurt for added protein and staying power.

These muffins are like little presents for your taste buds and stomach, but they also make nice presents for others as well. Spread holiday cheer and muffinry to friends, family, co-workers and anyone who deserves a lil’ recognition during this holiday season.

And if no one warrants any muffin love, keep 'em all for yourself. WIN!


Do you have any post holiday feast rituals? Pie for breakfast? Twist-heavy yoga class? Doing calisthenics outside Target to stay warm as you wait for it to open at an ungodly hour in the morning?

2 Responses to “After the Feast: Healthifying Tips (and Muffins)”

  1. Laur February 11, 2012 at 3:03 PM #

    Is that you in the picture of the yoga twist?

    • Meghan February 15, 2012 at 10:49 PM #

      Yes indeed!

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