Friday, November 23, 2012

Tips for a Healthier Thanksgiving

healthy thanksgiving tips dinnerHere are a few of easy tips to follow in order to get the most out of Thanksgiving while staying healthy:

Portion size is key. You can enjoy turkey (white meat is healthier), stuffing and all the foods that come with Thanksgiving, but know how to ration them on your plate. Ideally, you should have three fist size servings on your plate, one for protein (turkey), one for carbohydrates (stuffing) and one of veggies (sweet potato or green beans).

So while you may want to pile on the food until you can’t see the bottom of your plate, ease back a bit and let her know that your healthy choices will keep you around for a lot longer to enjoy many more Thanksgivings with your family.

Serve breakfast. Skipping a meal to build your appetite so you can eat more at dinner is a bad idea. Not only will you be starving your body of calories needed for energy, you’ll actually eat more erratically at the big meal to soothe your hunger.

Don’t go overboard by filling your belly with a huge breakfast, but definitely eat a bowl of cereal or enjoy some fruit so your eyes don’t fill your belly before your mouth can.

Save leftovers for the next day. Remember that it takes 20 minutes for your stomach to let your brain know that you’ve had enough, so if you’re thinking about eating more, wait a bit and then re-evaluate the situation.

Eating seconds comes with the holiday territory. But instead of eating those seconds on Thanksgiving, make yourself a plate, wrap it tightly and have a re-run holiday the next day.

Make time for exercise. Although you might find yourself extra busy this time of year, you’re also probably more stressed. Exercise shouldn’t be neglected this time of year. Even 20 minutes a day of walking or some physical activity is good for you both physically and mentally.  Playing games, dancing, or just taking a walk after dinner is a great idea as well.

Switch out the products. If you’re involved in preparing the food,

use products lower in calories, fat and sugar. Use healthier substitutes for ingredients like oil and butter; use evaporated skim milk instead of heavy cream and plain fat-free yogurt instead of sour cream. Start with extra virgin olive oil and you’re on your way!

Drink plenty of water. It will keep you feeling full and boost your metabolism. Add a decorative pitcher of water to your beverage table alongside the coquito. The beauty of it will attract the eye first, which will then get your guests to serve themselves a glass.

Stay out of the kitchen and dining room. Make the center of your Thanksgiving holiday the living room or outside in the fresh air, and only enter the kitchen to cook and the dining room when it’s time to eat.

If you have an entrance to your home that doesn’t allow guests to walk through the kitchen use it. Decorate the entryway with warm holiday designs and present guests with a beverage upon arrival. The smell of the food cooking can serve as an appetizer, which will build the excitement for when the food is finally ready to eat!  If you decide to serve an appetizer make it something light, like celery stick stuffed with cream cheese or just carrot and celery sticks alone or with a light dip.

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