Enjoying Thanksgiving the healthy way.
Fall, the start of an ongoing holiday season. With Thanksgiving, Halloween, and dare I say, Christmas, around the corner, it is a time when we are constantly surrounded and overwhelmed with unhealthy food temptations. If you’re trying to make healthy choices, this season can almost seem impossible to you!
I am here to let you know you CAN survive the holidays without sabotaging yourself! You can still satisfy your belly with traditional favorites guilt-free! Here are some tips:
- Eat before the gathering.
Enjoy a hearty healthy breakfast in the morning, as well as a small balanced meal before the family gathering. It will keep you satisfied, and keep nibbling to a minimal.
- Workout before mealtime.
Workout before your celebration. If you’re going to be putting in the extra calories, may as well get a head start at burning them off! Exercising will make you feel better overall and will help prime your metabolism throughout the day. Taking a family walk after dinner is also a great time to get everyone out together.
- Drinks lots of water.
Water flavored with lemon, lime, or cucumber will keep you satisfied, and remind our brain that we are not actually hungry.
- Avoid alcohol.
Not only do the unnecessary calories add up quickly, alcohol can bring on so many other unnecessary family issues (most of us all have “that one person” in the family that goes too far right?).
- Cook with healthier alternatives.
If cooking, use healthier options such as fat-free chicken broth to baste the turkey and make gravy, sugar substitutes in place of sugar, fruit purees (like applesauce) instead of oil in baked goods, reduce oil and butter wherever you can, and try plain yogurt or fat-free sour cream in creamy dips, mashed potatoes, and casseroles
- Skip the second servings.
Need I say more? One plate is way more than enough.
- Portion control.
When serving your food, fill your plate with small portions and start with the healthier options first such as turkey breast, vegetables, salad, roasted sweet potatoes, and leave less space for all the other higher calorie foods. Limit or avoid creamy sauces, gravy, bread, mashed potatoes, desserts, stuffing.
- Mindful eating.
Be mindful of your bites. Eat slowly and taste each mouthful. Put the fork down between bites to slow your pace down. It can take up to 15-20 minutes for your body to signal that it is full.
- Sharing a healthy meal option.
If you are like our family, someone always brings something with them to a family gathering. Bringing a healthy meal option for everyone is a great way to relieve you of guilt. My favorite shareable dessert is my Walnut Pumpkin Pie Bars.
- Social Circle.
Gather around somewhere else other than the kitchen. If you have to chat around where the food is, keep your hands busy with your flavored water, or reach for the veggie tray instead of the treat tray.
Always remember, Thanksgiving is about being grateful for the people in our lives, not about the food. Take time to be thankful and reflect on the inspirational people that bring joy and fill your mind and hearts with happiness and love.
Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving friends!