Friday, November 10, 2017

Healthy Thanksgiving Tips

     You know it's coming, I know it's coming, the entire United States knows it's coming, why not just deal with it, get organized and "get 'er dun"!, not folding the laundry, Thanksgiving silly!  And, with a few helpful hints, we can make it a happy healthy holiday for all...(especially me...,...for everyone...but especially me).
     Let's start where it all begins, the first course of course.  I always offer a beautiful green garden salad, then have some savory Salad Dressing options available.  NOT EVERY SINGLE DISH HAS TO BE A CASSEROLE FILLED WITH FAT AND SUGAR.  That being said, have a few, just not all.  That's why I like to offer some fiber filling options for "pre-gaming" to what we all know comes next in American tradition...(let's just see if any NFL Football players "take a knee" during Thanksgiving...didn't think so.  I think they will be happy and proud to be an American and just "take a seat" at the food filled table...I digress).  Continue reading for other options that might be fun to incorporate into the feast.  So let's get started:

     Salad:  many options are available to fill your bowls, but here are a few things that I love to include: Romaine, Spinach, Kale, Arugula, shredded Brussels Sprouts, Carrots, Bell Peppers, Green Onions, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cucumber, Cherry Tomatoes and Cilantro.  Pick a few of your favorites and give them a big mix, it makes a lovely presentation on any table.  Offer a Blue Cheese, Balsamic, Vinaigrette, French or Ranch and all your bases should be covered.  If you want to add cheese, nuts, beans,eggs, black olives, pasta, seeds, berries, avocado, bacon crumbles or croutons, then knock yourself out!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls: are you open for a new twist on a dinner roll!?  Swap a little butter for a healthy take on frosting and just see if it doesn't tickle your belly! (if you're scurrred of change, no worries, just eat these later...they are that good)  If you prefer these make an awesome breakfast option as well.

Sides:  again, not every single dish has to be a casserole filled with fat and sugar.  Offer your traditional tried and true grandmas recipes, but have a few healthy choices to enjoy as well.  Such as:

Turkey:  It's really all about the Turkey, am I right!?  Sorry to all you wonderful sides, this meals main course is the main focus.  Everybody has their opinion on what is the best way to prepare the most popular meat in town during the month of November, that being said, I think you will be intrigued by my secret recipe that has been handed down for generations!  Tried and true is what I do!

Pumpkin Pie and Dessert:  after the bigggggest meal of the year, do you really need to follow it with the biggggest dessert you can find!?  Since we are all usually miserable when there is nothing left but a naked Drum Stick, may I offer a couple of lighter ideas for the traditional Pumpkin Pie!?

Lastly, here are a few tips to navigate the Holidays:
1.      Fill up on fiber and protein rich foods: When you go to a party look for the veggies, beans, and lentils, and lean protein foods like eggs, chicken, turkey, grass fed beef, and pork. Vegetables have fiber that will fill you up and nutrients you need to thrive. Eat less fried foods, processed meats, foods with sugar, and cheeses.

2.      Keep moving: Eating well and exercising go hand in hand to maintain weight. Find time to work out at least four times a week. This includes cardio, strength and flexibility exercises. Any activity you like to do that will get your heart pumping and build lean muscle. Don’t know where to start? Take a long walk after dinner, check out Youtube videos, or join a class with a buddy to keep that motivation going.

3.      Bring Your Own Food: Going to a place that might not have any healthy options? Bring your own dish. Veggie platters, or a vegetable based entree will fill you up with fiber and protein.

4.       Drink Liquor In Moderation: I am not going to tell you not to drink (I don't, but you do you boo), but I would recommend to stick to 1 drink a day if you’re a woman and 2 drinks if you are a man. Too many drinks will increase your waistline along with your risk for type 2 diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. So if you are conscious of carbohydrates and calories you can try to stick with vodka, rum, gin, tequila, whiskey, scotch, and brandy. Use lime and seltzer instead of sugary mixers like juices or tonic. Want to avoid those holiday hangovers? Stay hydrated with water and stick to clear liquor.

5.      Watch Your Sugar: Sugar is abundant this holiday season in everything from cookies and cakes to candy canes, pies, and even entree and side dishes. Too much can increase your waistline and also put you at risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and dementia. One teaspoon of sugar is equal to 4 grams of sugar. This can add up pretty quickly, so be sure to check food labels and try to stay below 25 grams (6 teaspoons) a day.

6.      Plan Ahead: If you know you’re going to a party tonight plan your meals for earlier in the day so you are eating whole nutrient dense foods that will satisfy your hunger. Foods like almonds, walnuts, pumpkin/sunflower seeds, avocados, or plain yogurt are great snacks to eat before your event later in the day.

7.      Give In To Your Indulgence: The last thing you want to do is deny yourself a treat during this season. Make it something special that you may not be able to have any other time of the year.

8.      Watch Your Portions: Portion distortion is alive and well in our society. Fill up on nutrient rich foods like vegetables. Eat much smaller portions of sweets, treats, and other indulgent foods. One trick is to use a small plate and wait 20 minutes until your brain knows your stomach is full.

Happy Thanksgiving from me to you, all the best this Holiday Season~In good health, paige  :)

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