10 tips for a Healthy Thanksgiving
Body Wisdom by Dr. Donna Goldstein
1. EAT BREAKFAST AND LUNCH AND YOUR HEALTHY SNACK AS YOU WOULD DO EVERYDAY.
Start the day with a hearty breakfast and have lunch with in between healthy snacks as you normally do. This tip is fundamental for a healthy holiday experience and will prevent you from showing up at dinner starving. It will help you make good choices.
2. WHEN COOKING, CHOOSE HEALTHY PRODUCTS AND RECIPES.
If you are cooking, there are many ways to create healthier Thanksgiving dishes. Cauliflower is a good substitute for mashed potatoes. Sweet potatoes don’t require marshmallows or tons of butter. You can easily cook any veggie with veggie broth, adding some herbs and garlic. For cranberries sauce you can transform it to a cranberry salad. One great tip is to avoid eating the turkey skin, or avoid the turkey completely! If you are offering a vegan Thanksgiving menu, you can be creative and replace meat with many vegan meat substitutes and fruits and vegetables.
3. EAT YOUR RAINBOW OF VEGGIES FIRST.
This is a great tip for an everyday occasion but specially the holidays. Before reaching for the tempting stuff, fill two-thirds of your plate with a rainbow of vegetables, will it will keep you from indulging in unhealthy food.
4. STICK TO HEALTHY PORTIONS AND HEALTHY ‘TASTES’.
If you have the option, choose a salad plate for the night and fill two-thirds with vegetables. Complete the plate with protein and leave a small corner to indulge yourself, and have a bite or taste of that pie if you choose.
5. DRINK WATER.
The body often mistakes thirst with hunger, be hydrated and start drinking plenty of water starting the day before. During your meal choose water or sparkling water over sodas and alcohol. If you want to have a glass of wine, think in advance when you will enjoy it most, with the appetizers or at dinner time and choose water or tea the rest of the day. You can also use this opportunity to drink one of your teas.
6. TAKE CARE OF THAT SWEET TOOTH – EAT MORE FRUITS AND LESS PIE.
Here comes the moment of truth for everyone with a sweet tooth out there! The good news is that you don’t have to avoid dessert altogether. If you’ve eaten a healthy meal, eat the fruit first so you don’t crave so much and then have a small piece or taste of pie!
7. BE ACTIVE AND CHOOSE OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES OVER TV AS QUALITY FAMILY TIME.
The holiday’s are about spending quality time together as family and friends. Minimize TV time, this is not a quality time together. Be creative and find another family activities. Weather permitting, go for a walk in the neighborhood, dance, keep the kids active by playing soccer or a dance family contest. There are also some table games that can keep you active and away from the buffet table and leftovers!
8. LEAVE THE TABLE OR REMOVE YOUR PLATE ONCE YOU FINISH EATING.
Simple tip: Once you’re done eating, leave the table or put your plate away. If possible, move to another room and chat and play with family and friends.
9. BE MINDFUL, THANKFUL AND AWARE OF YOUR FOOD CHOICES
Be aware of and grateful for each component of your healthy meal. Share about the healthy choices that you are making and give thanks for them and the opportunity to spend time with friends and family.
10. COMMIT TO YOUR HEALTHY PATH MOVING FORWARD.
Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to connect with family and within ourselves. We gather around food giving thanks for all we have and sometimes we tend to over indulge ourselves. Don’t let a Turkey Day binge turn into an “I blew it” binge that lasts till January 1st. Go back on your healthy path the next day! Drink water, have a good night sleep and give thanks! You’ve made it!