'Tis the season of temptation, with Thanksgiving AND Hannukah, (Aka Thanksgivukkah), falling on the same day tomorrow, to kick off the holiday season. Many of my clients have asked me how I manage to enjoy the most sumptuous meal of the year without packing on the pounds. In my opinion, there's always some wiggle room for enjoyment, but there are ways to beat the bulge, (and heart attack).
Here are my TOP 10 Tips for a Healthy Thanksgiving:
1) Gratitude Is The Attitude. On this special day of thanks, when we join family and friends to celebrate everything that we are thankful for, it is important that we put on our attitude of gratitude when we dress for Thanksgiving this year! Research shows that gratitude is associated with good mental and physical health, helping relieve stress, depression, addiction, among other conditions.
2) Drink Like The Europeans. Opt out of ice in your water. Cold water requires more effort to digest than warm water, because the body has to work overtime to heat it up in order to absorb it. While warm water only takes 30 minutes to digest, cold water takes one hour.
3) Follow The Rule Of 3s. Your plate should consist of: 50% veggies (salad, green beans, spinach, brussels sprouts, squash), 25% protein (turkey, ham, turduckin), and 25% starches (stuffing, potatoes, sweet potatoes). For your main protein, your rule of thumb is to size it up by your fist, which is equal to a portion size.
4) Go Organic. Do your body a favor and treat it to an organic turkey, (if you are in charge of dinner that is), that is not fed foods stuffed with harmful antibiotics and hormones. Not only are they healthier, offering superior nutritional value, but they are less likely to cause salmonella.
5) Just Chew It. Research shows that taking the time to chew your food not only breaks it down for proper digestion, but it can also help you eat less, and ultimately avoid weight gain. As Mahatma Gandhi once said, stressing the scientific importance of chewing, "Chew your drink and drink your food.”
6) Bottoms Up! Drink water, it’s easier for food to pass through the digestive system when you’re hydrated, not to mention, you feel fuller faster.
7) Swap Out Popular Dishes For Healthier Options. I betcha your guests won’t even notice the difference!
~ Can the Canned Cranberry. It’s overly processed and laden with loads of sugar. Make your own cranberry sauce!
~ Skinny Stuffing. Cut out all of the extra fat and salt by replacing butter with low-sodium chicken broth.
~ Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes.” Prevent cancer and reduce the risk of inflammatory diseases like arthritis, obesity, diabetes, IBS, and ulcerative colitus with this healthy alternative to mashed potatoes.
8) Less Than Sinful Desserts. When choosing your dessert, go for pumpkin pie instead of apple or pecan pie, as it usually has less calories and fat.
9) Keep Your Tummy Calm And Drink Ginger Tea. Banish post-meal bloating and the need to unbutton your pants by sipping on a weakly brewed ginger tea. Be prepared, pop a tea bag in your pants or purse if you’re on the road for the holiday.
10) Take A Post-Meal Nap. Give into the food coma from the tryptophan and carb overload with a nap. Aim for a 10-30 minute nap as you will feel groggy if you sleep any longer.
Watch your waistline and you won’t have to shop for the next size up on Black Friday or Cyber Monday! Hope these tips help you feel amply armed to tackle Turkey Day like a pro.