High-Calorie Holiday Fuel

With the big day coming up, we're already dreaming of tasty turkey, gravy goodness, and all the essential extras that come with the Thanksgiving tradition. 

It's the perfect chance to eat crazy amounts of food, and all those extra calories mean extra fuel for pushing the pedals. But what if you really want to save time at the table and maximize your time in the saddle? We're not thinking healthy, we're thinking about taking fewer bites and feeling more full.

In today's post we'll cover the most calorie-dense turkey-day options, so you can make the most of your face-stuffing time and hit the road with more fuel to burn. Here's how much of each Thanksgiving staple you need to eat to hit 500 calories!

Turkey - 8oz - 504 calories

You're not going to make it through Thursday without chowing on some turkey - luckily, it's moist, delicious, and calorie dense! Opt for the dark meat (because it's got more Kcals and it just tastes better) and be sure to leave the skin on to really tip the scales. If you do all that, every half pound of bird you knosh will add another 500 calories to your fuel tank!

Sausage Gravy - 1.3 cup (10.6 fl oz) - 500 calories

And, like the turkey, pretty much everything on your plate will taste better slathered in gravy. If you've got sausage gravy on your table, give it a pour. It'll take about 1 1/3 cups to get to 500 calories, but if you've got bird, biscuits, potatoes, and other stuff to smother - you'll hit that mark with sauce to spare!

Candied Yams - 1.2 cups - 504 calories

The sweeter, marshmallow-ier cousin of the mashed potato, candied yams are a thanksgiving dessert served right alongside the main course. In the time it takes you to have the annual, "Are these yams or sweet potatoes?" conversation (and once again learn that you've had it backwards all these years), you can wolf down 1.2 cups of candied yams and stack another 500 calories in the bike bank!

Cranberry Sauce - 1.2 cups - 500 calories

Cranberry sauce is the weakest entrant on this list, not because it's particularly low-cal, but just because most people only need a few spoonfulls on their turkey before they're cranned out. Surprisingly, it's pretty much just as bad (good!) for you as the yams above, so if you can manage 1.2 cups you'll be sitting on another 500 kcals!  

Cornbread/Bacon/Sausage Stuffing - .6 cups - 500 calories

This one's a household tradition - if it's a holiday, you can bet our kitchen smells like stuffing. Unfortunately, all the online recipes and nutrition facts seem to be based on weak packaged options, so I went ahead and did the math for all the ingredients that make true stuffing so special.

1 lb Bacon - 2418 cals

1 lb Sausage - 1140 cals

2 sheets/pans of Cornbread - 6480 cals

2 Onions - 230 cals

1 lb Mushrooms - 100 cals

1 can Chicken Broth - 1130 cals

1 stick Butter (to help caramelizing the onions and mushrooms with the bacon and sausage fat) - 810 calories

So once that's all in there and everything's cooked up, you're looking at a pot holding a whopping 12,308 calories! In test cases (when I just make it for me), that pot'll last about 4 days - though I admit I eat pretty hefty servings of the stuff. To break it down into 500 calorie chunks for this post, you'll be looking at somehwere between one-half and two-thirds of a cup to hit the magic number!

That makes stuffing our clear winner for calorie density - it's nearly twice as cal-packed as gravy, candied yams, or cranberry sauce!

So if you're trying to dine and dash, but still want to pack your paunch - hit the stuffing first, smother it with gravy, and then go from there! You'll be storing an extra couple thousand cals in no time, and that'll be enough fuel for miles and miles of post-meal riding!

Happy riding. Happy holidays. And we'll see you out there.