November: Giving Thanks and Celebrating Good Health

Posted on November 3, 2009. Filed under: Healthy Living |

Cooking a Thanksgiving meal for just you and a loved one or for a full house can be a fun time yet stressful in its own way.  Days can easily be devoted to just the preparation of Thanksgiving and the temptation of warming up frozen meals can sometimes be overwhelming.  You may feel if Martha Stewart can whip up a meal for fifty people in just a few hours then how horribly difficult would it be to feed just a few people?

The most critical part of a Thanksgiving meal is to plan the menu early.  It’s very important to plan a meal you will enjoy because Thanksgiving only happens once a year.  Try to incorporate some healthy dishes into your feast:  fresh vegetables, relish tray, and even a fresh fruit salad with Greek Yogurt and a hint of honey will turn your most unhealthy eaters into health loving foodies.  And if you are inviting friends and family, don’t feel ashamed to ask them to bring a couple of their specialty dishes.  This helps keep the stress down and is an easy way to incorporate a variety of different dishes.

Here are a few things to keep in mind during this holiday season:

  1. Go light when filling up your plate. The temptation to overload is quite easy when you have a whole variety of food waiting for you to sample.  Remember, you can always go for seconds.
  2. Offer more fresh vegetables. Yes, it’s very tempting to load up on turkey, gravy, mash potatoes, and so forth but try to incorporate more vegetables into your holiday diet.  Items like fresh steamed broccoli with a hint of sautéed garlic and olive oil, a vegetable relish tray filled with tomatoes, onions, cucumber, and other fresh vegetables is a great way to complement your meal.  As well, try to sauté yams with brown sugar and light butter as another healthy and delicious side.
  3. Wait approximately 15 minutes before round 2. It takes 20 minutes for your stomach to let your brain know that it is satisfied.  You may realize that you really didn’t need that extra turkey leg or slice of pie.
  4. Leftovers. If you are thinking about saving the leftovers perhaps keep a plate or two for the week and send the rest of the food home with Friends and Family.  The more food you keep the more of a chance to add on additional weight.
  5. Eat More White Meat. It is proven that dark meat has much more fat than white meat.  If possible, try to stay away from the dark turkey meat and opt for selecting lean white turkey meat.

Most importantly, the main focus on Thanksgiving is the time spent with Friends and Family.  It’s not how much food you have or the style of your decorations, but the whole meaning of being together.  Thanksgiving means exactly how it sounds, Giving Thanks.  You will almost always remember the time spent with Friends and Family and the joyful conversations spent around the dinner table.  So, focus on having a healthy meal and spending time with your loved ones and you should have a fabulous Thanksgiving Holiday.


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