I can’t believe that next week is already Thanksgiving! Now is the time to plan ahead to make our menus and start our shopping or decide where we are going to eat. Thinking ahead about what you are going to eat and how big a portion you will eat can be a great strategy to prevent over eating. A typical Thanksgiving dinner is around 2500 calories and that is just one serving of each item. This is more calories than most of us need to maintain our weight for a day. Although, Thanksgiving dinner is only one meal, it often becomes the “kick off” to overeating for the entire weekend which leads to overeating the next five weeks. Thanksgiving plans may cause us to eat leftovers all weekend or begin a holiday overeating mindset that lasts until the New Year. Eating healthy is a challenge for most of us this time of year but here are a few pre-Thanksgiving Health Tips that you may find helpful:
1. Plan ahead: Project your meal ahead of time whether you prepare the meal or eat someone else’s cooking and select lighter foods between now and then. Thanksgiving is only one day, how can you get back on track to be a winner the rest of the weekend?
2. Don’t Get Side Lined: A few things have worked well for my husband and me over the years to eat less over Thanksgiving. We prepare less side-dishes so we have fewer options to put on our plate. We start out with a salad so we have less room to fill up on other things. We also fix smaller amounts of each dish so we don’t have as many leftovers.
3. Get Up and Move: A great holiday tradition that our family has started is a walk around the neighborhood or a hike after our meal. This keeps us from getting too stuffed and also burns off some extra calories and takes the focus off the meal.
4. Be Selective: Focus on the foods that are only available this time of year and leave the high calorie foods that are available all year long alone! Choose low calorie beverages. Eat a small serving one your very favorite dessert or tablespoons of several. Focus on the reason for the celebration which includes our gratitude for life, family and friends. Enjoy the holidays with a fresh, new perspective on healthy! Enjoy!
Here is my Festive Holiday Salad for Thanksgiving!
Festive Holiday Salad (Using as Many Local Ingredients as I can Find)
Spinach (from my garden)one cup per person
Red onion (choose from the Farmer’s Market) slice a few rings per person
Dried Cranberries (or if you prefer local, try dried figs)
Sliced local apples or cubed to toss in with the greens, one half cup
Local Goat Cheese, one tablespoon per person
Roasted Walnuts, one tablespoon per person
Low Fat Balsamic dressing (you can make your own, I also like Ken’s)
To prepare, determine how many people you are making salad for and make sure each serving has one cup of greens, a few slices of red onion, half cup of apples, one tablespoon cranberries, one tablespoon of nuts and a sprinkle of goat cheese. Add one tablespoon of dressing and toss.
Increase it by the amount of guests that you have!