Survive Thanksgiving Dinner

Image via Wired

Thanksgiving is almost here and it’s socially known as the over-eating holiday. When you think about going home to your family and sitting down to a nice Thanksgiving meal, what do you envision? A table full of food. How much of that food do you dig into? Almost all of it. That’s what I thought. Fortunately, it’s not as difficult as you would think to survive the meal in a healthy manner. Here are a few tips to help you get through the holiday guilt-free, while still enjoying the deliciousness around you.

Be sweet. Instead of gorging on the stuffing, opt for a serving of sweet potatoes. They’re a great source for fiber, vitamin A and potassium, and they’re a filling side dish to that coveted turkey.

Go crazy for cranberries. They’re filled with antioxidants to help keep you healthy during the beginning of cold and flu season. Just make sure you don’t snag the canned variety — they’re often packed with unhealthy amounts of sugar. Try making your own instead: the Alliance for a Healthier Generation suggests mashing fresh cranberries with orange juice and a splash of apple juice concentrate.

Skin the turkey. You’ll shave off about 33 calories and four grams of fat just by passing on the skin, says fit sugar. Instead, head straight for the white meat to get a great source of protein. Opting for white meat instead of dark will also save you four calories and one fat gram per ounce. But if you’re a lover of dark meat, don’t nix it completely. It actually has more iron, zinc and riboflavin than white meat.

Veg out. Fall veggies such as squash, green beans and pumpkin are excellent side dishes that provide color to your plate. Pumpkin, a Thanksgiving staple, is filled with Beta-carotene, an important antioxidant vitamin that gives pumpkin its orange tint. Remember an important healthy-eating rule: always have lots of color on your plate! Generally speaking, the more color you have on your plate, the better off you likely are. If there’s a lot of brown on your plate, try mixing in some fruits and veggies for instant improvement.

Image via I Just Love Food

Hydrate with H2O. Alcohol, soda and coffee all dehydrate you, so try to avoid them. Staying hydrated helps your body stay aware of when it’s full, so make sure you drink plenty of water. Plus, new research in The New York Times says that drinking water before a meal can reduce caloric intake and help with your weight loss goals.

Get fruity. Apples, pears and blueberries are all great fillers for pies that are not only delicious, they’ll provide you with more nutrient boosters than a cheesecake or chocolate pie would. Looking for a simple switch to make the pie healthier? Swap out white flour for whole wheat flour when baking.

Practice portions. To make sure you have room for all the food varieties, pile small portions on your plate. The more control you put forth, the more you’ll be able to taste. After all, having a little bit of everything is more pleasant for your palate than a sensory overload of one item. Keep mixing things up and you’ll be able to know for sure who really brought the best dish.

What’s your favorite thing about Thanksgiving dinner? Have you learned any healthy eating tips over the years?

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Posted on November 22, 2010, in Food, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Definitely need these tips to survive this upcoming dinner! Our guests cancelled on us and we’ve already ordered a $55 fried turkey! Wonder who is going to eat it all…

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