Healthy Thanksgiving Advice

Hello Readers!  Okay, so I’m sure we are all most likely concerned with overeating during the holiday months, especially on Thanksgiving Day.  And it isn’t odd to feel that way!  If you think about all the options that typically grace your table.  Most likely, everything is loaded with fat, salt, and sugar.  And even though you may try to eat healthy, it doesn’t always happen.  But there are a few things you can do to help with this.  So, let’s jump into them.

Don’t skip breakfast.  As much as you think skipping breakfast in order to balance out the caloric intake during the Thanksgiving feast, it’s the wrong thing to do.  Instead of “saving” for later, we tend to over eat because we’re hungry.  We think that one hors d’ouvre won’t hurt, but then it becomes two and then four and then before you notice you’ve eaten way more calories than expected.  Now, that overindulgence can be avoided by eating breakfast to keep up your energy.

Now, you don’t need a large breakfast.  A bowl of oatmeal with some fresh fruit, such as a grapefruit or an orange, is a great option for breakfast.  Try to keep to about 500 calories or less.  The purpose is to provide nutritious options instead of gorging all day on fat and sugar.  If your family tends to do a day-long Thanksgiving fare that starts with a huge breakfast, stick to simple and small options.  A small amount of scrambled eggs, fresh fruit, a slice of whole grain toast, and a cup of coffee or tea is sufficient enough.  If you just can’t avoid tasting that beautiful homemade blueberry muffin in the basket, just remember the next bit of advice.

Tit for Tat.  This may sound strange, but it is an effective means to avoid excessive eating or overindulgence.  Any time you start reaching for a fattening or sugary option, such as that blueberry muffin at breakfast or those bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers before the feast, then tell yourself if you eat that you must give up something else you want later that’s similar to that option.  So, imagine passing on the pie for that muffin, or giving up the green bean casserole for those poppers.  Sometimes doing this will stop you from grabbing that tasty option on the plate.  And sometimes you actually can avoid eating all of the excess by putting it off.

So, every time you start to reach for something to munch on during the day, think about what you will give up as a result.  Seriously.  Stop reaching, pick your option to give up, and decide if the munchies are worth that item.  Chances are that those impulse munchies won’t be worth it when you start really thinking about what favorite food you have to give up for it.  And, sometimes you wind up doing the following tip by accident.

Balance it out.  When you start loading up your plate, remember to balance it out like you would for any meal.  Half of your plate or consumption should be comprised of vegetables, and you should try to stick to fresh options instead of fat-ladled ones.  So, instead of that fattening and cream sauce loaded green bean casserole, reach for the roasted Brussels Sprouts tossed in olive oil and sea salt.  Instead of sweet potato casserole, try a serving of roasted root vegetables. Instead of canned cranberry sauce, try a fresh cranberry compote.  And instead of pie and ice cream, stick to one option or try out frozen yogurt instead.

The point here is to stick to your usual eating habits, balanced with half a plate of vegetables and then half protein half starch.  And, try not to load down your plate in the beginning.  Start by filling your plate like you would for any night of the week, eat sensibly and slowly, and then fill your plate with other options if you’re still hungry afterward.  Most likely, other guests will be eating seconds, even thirds, of the feast.  And, most likely, you will fill up with healthy choices first and avoid the excess calories attached to the holidays.  But, if nothing else, try working the next option into your day.

Do a Trot.  A Turkey Trot, that is.  For those of you unfamiliar with a Turkey Trot, this is typically a run or walk event held on Thanksgiving Day in some communities.  Even if you don’t want to participate in a formal event, or if there isn’t one in your area, you can still do something similar to this. Why not coordinate your own Turkey Trot in your neighborhood among your guests?  Gather coats and warm clothes and get moving on a walk through your neighborhood as a group.

The point behind this is to get active and burn some calories.  This doesn’t have to be a 5K or a marathon.  It could be a few blocks or a mile.  And if walking isn’t your thing, you can always do the age-old classic of a family pick up game of football in the backyard.  I, personally, prefer to walk because kids can get involved in this.  And football isn’t everyone’s thing.  Either way, be sure to allot some time during the day for some activities like football or a walk.

So I hope you’ll take some of this advice to heart and think of having a healthier Thanksgiving this year.  Happy Fall, y’all!

Until next time,



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