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Get Fit This Thanksgiving

Don’t succumb to the post-turkey snoozes! Get outside and moving with local boot camps and runs, and try this healthy Thanksgiving dish swap.

The 2010 Turkey Trot

Tender turkey doused in creamy gravy. Sides of tart cranberry sauce. Fluffy stuffing. Thank goodness for stretchy pants this Thanksgiving! While we love gathering around the dinner table to give thanks during the holidays, it’s sometimes hard to keep healthy living in mind with all the mouth-watering (and calorie-laden) food. Without putting a damper on your date with mashed potatoes, we’ve drafted a Turkey Day game plan to ensure you stay energetic and fit for the rest of the day—and the year’s remaining holidays.


Although you’re bound to sweat battling the crowds on Black Friday, you're more likely to burn cash than calories. Instead, spend the days surrounding Thanksgiving working off that second slice of pumpkin pie with these workouts and tips from East Bay trainers.


Anna Dornier of Transform FX FitnessConcord-based Transform FX Fitness will hold “turkey-busting workouts” on the day of and after Thanksgiving. Anna Dornier of Transform FX Fitness says the event will focus on the “attitude of gratitude,” and giving thanks to being healthy. 

Rather than catching up with family gathered in the living room, Dornier suggests involving the whole family in a group activity outside. Try riding bikes on the Iron Horse Trail, participating in a family run around the Lafayette Reservoir, or hiking any of the scenic mountains nearby.

“I remember our family used to play outdoor games during the holidays when we would get together,” Dornier says. “It was the highlight of our gathering, and I have a lot of fond memories.” She also has a killer recipe for cranberry-turkey enchiladas. Check it out below!


Kian Ameli of Ameli TrainingBefore you feel like a stuffed turkey (five to 10 pounds are gained between Halloween and New Years Day), Kian Ameli of Ameli Training in Concord suggests eating slowly and stopping when you’re 80-percent full.

“A lot of people tend to follow a pleasure-punishment cycle. They will gorge on turkey on Thanksgiving, and the next week they will starve themselves,” Ameli says. 

Instead, Ameli recommends appreciating Thanksgiving happily full, and then clearing your plate and starting fresh the next day. Ameli Training’s post-Thanksgiving event will give participants a chance to ease into an exercise routine.

Both Kian and Anna advise starting slow with a new workout schedule in order to avoid soreness, injury, and overall frustration. We recommend getting back into the swing of things with Walnut Creek’s 20th Annual Forma Gym Walnut Creek Turkey Trot, an ideal occasion to commit to a consistent exercise regimen. The Thanksgiving Day event will include a 5K, 10K, and three kids' fun runs.


Walnut Creek's Turkey Trot


Anna Dornier’s Healthy Thanksgiving Dish Swap: Cranberry-Turkey Enchiladas

Yields: 9 x 13" tray


  • Canola oil spray
  • 1 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 1/2 lbs. prepared turkey/ chicken breast tenderloin, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 16 oz. pk. frozen yellow/green/red bell peppers and onion stir fry
  • 10 oz. can green enchilada sauce
  • 1 cup canned whole berry cranberry sauce
  • Pinch Kosher salt
  • Pinch black pepper
  • 6 small white corn tortillas, quartered
  • 2 cups (8 oz.) Mexican cheese blend
  • Lime wedges/cilantro sprigs (both optional for garnish)


  • Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly spray 9x13“ tray with canola oil spray.
  • Heat a very large skillet over med-high heat with the canola oil. When hot, add the diced cooked turkey, the vegetable stir fry, enchilada sauce, and cranberry sauce. Bring to a boil. Remove skillet from heat. Season according to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Begin to layer 1/3 of the cut corn tortillas on the baking tray, then 1/3 of the cheese. Next layer 1/2 of the turkey-vegetable mixture. Repeat. For the last layer, top with the remaining tortilla wedges and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  • Bake, uncovered, about 5 to10 minutes or until cheese melts and the casserole is cooked through. Serve immediately, or cool completely and store covered in the refrigerator.

Anna's Notes:

  • You can shred the turkey or chicken versus dicing it.
  • Portioning is easiest when dish is completely cooled.
  • Enchiladas freeze well for up to a month.
  • You can use rotisserie chicken to cut down on time.
  • You can use Pepper Jack Cheese for a little punch.