Fit to Ride: Giving thanks… for cheat days

Cheating on your diet every now and again is fine–even encouraged!–so long as you follow a few simple rules, explains HN fitness guru Biz Stamm.

From Biz:

I bet you were all expecting an article on how eat in moderation on Thanksgiving. Well sorry to disappoint folks, but I am a strong believer that a healthy relationship with food involves a little bit of over-indulgence from time to time. While I try to maintain a healthy diet the majority of the time, I have regularly occurring cheat days where I eat everything but the kitchen sink.



But hold up. Before you rush out to stock up on Ben and Jerry’s, let me elaborate a little. I have a few simple rules that if followed, will help you over-indulge responsibly.

1. Plan your cheats: The key is to plan your cheat day ahead of time so you are making the conscious choice to indulge and not just deciding you’re going make it a cheat day after giving in to a rogue cheesecake craving. This gives you control over the situation instead of letting the food control you. My cheat days are Sundays and major holidays.

2. Earn your cheats: Nothing (to me at least) taste better than a blue cheese bacon burger… except for a blue cheese bacon burger after a grueling 10-20 mile run. I’m not saying you need run 10-20 miles, but including some intense physical activities on your cheat days can make you feel like you’ve earned the right to over-indulge, thus eliminating the feelings of guilt and self-loathing that frequently accompany it. Good food is a beautiful thing, so why muddy it up with those awful feelings?

3. Share your cheat days with friends: For me, Sunday long runs with the girls followed by breakfast at the donut shop has become a bit of an institution. It’s a great excuse to spend time with friends, get the blood pumping, and eat some really tasty food.


One of my favorite cheat day foods, the maple bacon bar! (Via

Well I hope with these rules in mind, you are all able to go out and enjoy the delicious treats the holiday season has to offer.

Lots of fun things have been happening on the Fit to Ride Facebook page including reader blog submissions, fitness tips, and spontaneous dance parties. Be sure to check it out!

Go riding!

Biz Stamm is the 29 year old trainer and instructor of Stamm Sport Horse, LLC, specializing in pure dressage, as well applied dressage for riders involved with other disciplines. Originally haling from Hudson, NH,  She is now living in Corvallis, OR. Biz started riding lessons at the age of 6 years old when the Dr. recommended that it may help with her bad balance and lack of coordination. While she is fairly coordinated and balanced on a horse these days, she is still somewhat of a mess on her own two feet.  

Biz currently owns two horses: her lesson horse, Kalvin, a 7 year old half-Arabian gelding…


… and her personal horse, Alpha Helix, a 2 year old Kiger mustang gelding.  Biz has had Helix since the day he was weaned, and considers him her “heart” horse.


Biz is also the proud owner (more like ownee!) of a 5 year old standard rex bunny named Pi Rex Rufuse (Get it!?  Pi r-squared!!!). Biz has always wanted to have some sort of mini horse to live in the house, and since the current landlords won’s allow any kind of equine on the property, Biz opted for a rabbit, which evolutionarily speaking, is very closely related to the horse.


After getting a Masters degree in Plant Pathology, and pursuing a career in the scientific world, it became clear to her that she was only truly happy when she was interacting with, or talking about horses (and sometimes rabbits). Now that she is riding full time, Biz still keeps her scientific training close at hand, focusing on correct biomechanics and physics involved in riding. 


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