Did you know that at the Thanksgiving meal, the average adult eats approximately 2000-3000 calories! Try the following strategies to make your holiday meal more healthful:
Do not come to the Thanksgiving table starving! Make sure to have a healthful breakfast and lunch before arriving at dinner. When you are extremely hungry, you eat very fast and tend to overeat.
Make time for exercise, especially on Thanksgiving Day. Try starting a family routine like going for a bike ride, hike or for a long walk.
Fill your plate with salad and veggies first and then leave a small amount of space for higher calorie options like stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and etcetera. Do not deprive yourself of your favorite dishes, think in terms of moderation!
Distance yourself from the hors d’oeuvre table… munch on fresh fruits and vegetables (preferably organic) instead of high fat appetizers.
Drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated, many of the foods served on Thanksgiving are high in sodium.
Go skinless… most of the fat is in the turkey skin. Have your turkey breast, leg or thigh without the skin to trim major calories and fat.
Eat slowly… put your fork down every few bites and drink water. Your brain will have time to catch up with your stomach and you will find that you are satisfied with less food. This is a great time to begin mindful eating… enjoy the experience!
If you are the host, try making healthful alternatives such as steamed green beans with a drizzle of olive oil and almond slivers (instead of green bean casserole) and baked sweet potatoes (instead of baked yams with butter and marshmallows) to decrease calories and fat and increase nutrient density.
Most importantly… enjoy yourself. Be thankful and gracious to those around you…enjoy the spirit of the holiday and what it means to you.
It is a holiday about being thankful, not a holiday solely about food!!!
Curried Butternut Squash Soup:
-1 tbsp olive oil
-1 medium onion, chopped
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-2 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into cubes
-6 cups vegetable stock
1 tbsp plus 2 tsp curry powder
-2 tbsp honey
Directions: Heat oil over medium heat in a stockpot. Add onions and garlic and cook until soft but not browned. Add butternut squash, stock, curry and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until squash is tender. Remove from heat and stir in honey and puree with a hand help immersion blender until smooth. Season with salt to taste.
*This is a delicious addition to the Thanksgiving table. Try serving in hallowed out mini pumpkins and garnished with roasted pumpkin seeds.
– Nicole Meadow -Registered Dietitian