Add a Side of Healthy to Your Thanksgiving Dinner
When it comes to Thanksgiving dinner we often (rightly) think of feasting, stuffing ourselves to the hilt with turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy… the list goes on.
There’s actually nothing wrong with the occasional feast of indulgences – part of living a balanced life is actually taking the time to enjoy tasty treats every now and again. Coming together with friends and family for a holiday intended to celebrate the harvest seems like a perfect time to pull on the stretchy pants and really have at ‘er.
All of that being said, there are some choices you can make for your Thanksgiving meal this weekend that will lessen the after-effects of the indulgence.
#1 – Get Up and At ‘Em
Yes, it’s a weekend to relax, read, and be cozy indoors with the whole family. But it’s also a great time to get up and head out for a walk in the crisp Fall air. Try not to add the injury of being sedentary to the insult of an over-stuffed belly, and get your body moving BEFORE you sit down to dinner.
#2 – Eat Breakfast
I’m wild about breakfast, be even more so on Thanksgiving morning. Lots of people think that saving up their appetite for the big meal is the way to go, but what you’re likely to experience is a huge drop in energy during the day, the kind of hunger that leads to massive over-eating by dinner, and poor digestion for the rest of the week! Eating breakfast won’t decrease your pleasure come dinner time – and the following week will be much happier, as well.
#3 – Moderate Your Plate
It’s very, very tempting to take big portions of everything that comes by during Thanksgiving dinner, but try to limit yourself. If you take a moderate portion size of each dish, and focus on eating at a normal speed, you may find yourself full before you head back for seconds.
#4 – Practice Mindful Eating
Chew your food thoroughly. Breathe between bites. Enjoy the conversation with family members you might not see until Christmas. Let the meal be more than just the food – let it be a time to truly give thanks for the people in your life, your well-being, and all the other blessings in your life (including delicious meals).