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Tackle the notion of a healthy Thanksgiving dinner

not healthy Thanksgiving dinnerThanksgiving is upon us – the time to give thanks for all our blessings and to eat gluttonously until we can only think of how thankful we will be once the day has passed. Maybe this year is the year for us to commit to truly eating in moderation – or even having a healthy Thanksgiving dinner. Wait. Is either possible?

Eat in moderation, master your mind

It took way too many hangovers that ruined days of my life for me to finally drink alcohol in moderation. I realized I needed to adopt”moderation” for liquor years ago, but for some reason, occasion after occasion, significant or completely meaningless, I too often drank more than my body could handle. Maybe because I was too engrossed in having fun to pay attention, because it was the norm for certain occasions or because I didn’t want to admit weakness in any aspect.

Now as a parent, I have to pay close attention, nothing is the “norm”, I’m confident my kids know and play upon all my weaknesses and hangovers suck even more. So how is a food hangover any different?

It’s not! When you wake up Thanksgiving morning, make a list of things you’re thankful for and end it with “the will power to eat in moderation so I can enjoy all the other people, things or activities on my list today.”

Also, consider a few more tips:

  • Eat other meals as usual. Don’t skip breakfast or lunch to “save up” so you can binge later. Smaller and more frequent meals are better for your health and energy.
  • If you’re having a typical carb-heavy Thanksgiving dinner, forego carbs in your other meals and eat more veggies and protein instead.
  • Drink plenty of water instead of snacking and in between any adult beverages.
  • If you feel the need to try everything, take tiny portions of each.
  • Stop eating long before you feel full because those carbs will take some time to set in – like a brick!
  • Challenge yourself to master your mind, or the Devil. True, it is sinful to eat gluttonously. But it’s also sad that we do when so many people around the world simply wish they could eat.

Make a healthy Thanksgiving dinner your new tradition

Typical Thanksgiving fare has never been my downfall. Though I’m a serious meat eater, I could never eat turkey again and be happy about it. In fact, I don’t like most Thanksgiving dishes. But the snacking and sweets stack up and bring me down.

No matter what your weakness, you can transform a traditional meal into a healthy Thanksgiving dinner by adjusting some or all of your dishes. Here are some ideas.

traditional                                                healthy

turkey (with butter or gravy)                 roasted turkey (with oil and spices)

mashed potatoes                                    mashed cauliflower

yams                                                          grilled sweet potatoes (cinnamon or brown sugar)

green bean casserole                             sautéed green beans

canned cranberries                                 fresh cranberries

stuffing                                                      quinoa and kale or squash (or variation)

corn                                                            fresh salad greens

pies, cake                                                   fresh fruit, dark chocolate covered nuts

I’m probably leaving out some mainstays, but you get the idea. Even if you don’t achieve a healthy Thanksgiving dinner, you can certainly make a healthier one.

Please share your other ideas below. Enjoy this time to pause and be thankful for our many blessings, no matter what life is dishing out. Be grateful for the ability to eat in moderation and maybe even make a couple plates for some friends in need with the food you forego.

 

*This blog is intended for use as a source of information and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. 

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