Healthier Holidays

Buck the Trend – Trot Before Turkey

By Amy Morgan


Tempting holiday foods can cause us to pack on the pounds at the end of the year. Unfortunately, the extra baggage places higher demand on the heart and other organs and decreases overall health. Combat the calories with some additional exercise.


Lonnie Schwirtlich, M.D., an emergency physician with 41 years of experience, and founding partner of Physicians Premier, recommends daily exercise to help regulate weight. Additionally, simple aerobic exercise for as little as 20 minutes five days a week will increase metabolic rate, rid the body of toxins, lower risk of heart disease and keep blood sugar levels in check.


Instead of resigning yourself to an inevitable gain, why not earn that slice of pie! Before the big dinner of tasty treats, head out for one of several Turkey Trots scheduled Thanksgiving morning. The 2nd Annual Bulverde Turkey Trot is located conveniently just up the road at Bulverde Park. Physicians Premier was thrilled to be a return sponsor this year. The freestanding emergency room, located near the HEB Plus, just west of Highway 281 on Highway 46, opened in 2017.


Let the little ones work out their wiggles at the kids’ fun run starting at 7:30 a.m., while adults walk or run a 5K starting at 8 a.m. Find more details about the race at


Besides benefitting your waistline, funds from the Bulverde Turkey Trot will support the Health, Innovation and Sciences (HIS) Centre, the non-profit arm of the Bulverde/Spring Branch Emergency Services Division. HIS Centre provides enhanced community health programs, Wellness on Wheels and training for first responders.

Physicians Premier Regional Marketing Director Jennifer Meachum highly recommends the race. “I did it with my family, and it was awesome,” she said. “My boys and I, and even another family member visiting for Thanksgiving, participated in the First Annual Bulverde Turkey Trot. We had never done anything like that on Thanksgiving Day. It was such a fun experience walking and running through downtown Bulverde, and the slice of pie at the finish line topped it off. We are now making it a family tradition.”


If the thought of an early morning run does not appeal, you can at least gather the family and a neighbor or two for a friendly football game while the turkey roasts. Even a casual competition of corn hole or washers will get you out of your chair and the blood moving.


Another tip, practice portion control. Rather than trying to eat every slice of turkey, pack up the leftovers for another meal. Here’s Jennifer’s recipe for Turkey Wild Rice soup.


Turkey Makeover Wild Rice Soup 

From the Kitchen of Jennifer Meachum, RDN, LD

1 Tbsp. olive oil 

1 tsp minced garlic 

½ cup celery, diced 

½ cup onions, diced 

½ cup carrots, diced 

½ cup mushrooms, diced 

4 cups low sodium fat free chicken broth 

2 cups water 

¾ cup wild rice, uncooked 

1 cup leftover turkey, deboned, skinned removed, chopped 

½ tsp. black pepper 

½ tsp. poultry seasoning 

½ tsp. salt 

1 bay leaf 


  1. Heat olive oil in large stockpot with minced garlic over medium high heat.  Stir frequently for 1 minute.  Add celery, onions, carrots, and mushrooms to the pot. Sauté until softened and onions translucent, approximately 5 minutes. 

  2. Add broth, wild rice, leftover turkey, and spices.   

  3. Cover, reduce heat to Medium, and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until rice is tender.  Remove bay leaf before serving. 

Physicians Premier offers all the capabilities of a hospital emergency room without the wait or the crowd. Find them at

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