Tuesday, November 16, 2010

How to be Health Conscious during Thanksgiving

Yes, the holiday of Thanksgiving is about getting together with friends and family and being thankful for what you are given and what you have.  But, it has also become a time to gorge on rich food and sit around to watch the big games.  It doesn't have to be that way, but it also doesn't have to change that much to make sure that you are being health conscious at Thanksgiving.  Here's some quick, helpful tips that you can use to make your Thanksgiving a little bit healthier this year.

1)  It's all about portion size.  You can still eat the same foods that you do every year, just be mindful of how much you eat at each sitting.  Just because there are 15 different samplings to try, you don't need to have a mound of food on your plate.  Instead of opting to have enough mashed potatoes to make a replica of Devil's Tower, have a couple tablespoons.  Same goes for all the other fixings.  Plus, if you don't get enough of one thing, you can have more later.

2)  Skip some ingredients.  You can still have a tasty Thanksgiving meal without some of the ingredients that are not the best for your health.  Try cutting the amount of salt by half.  You'll still get the salt you crave, but you'll be better able to actually taste the food too.  Also, try leaving the whipped cream or Cool Whip off your pumpkin pie (if it's a good pie, you won't even think twice about the added calories).  I'm sure you'll be able to think of other ways to cut a few calories here and there.

3)  Get up and move around.  During halftime of the football game, trying getting up and doing some dishes.  Or, even better, you could go outside and toss around the pigskin yourself.  You've got to burn off those extra calories somehow.

4)  Try swapping some ingredients.  Instead of the marshmallow topping for sweet potatoes, try a dash of brown sugar (or you could go a whole different route and dust them with a little black pepper, cumin, chili powder, and garlic powder).  Instead of regular mashed potatoes, you could opt for pureed cauliflower.  Just steam the cauliflower until soft, puree, add a little something to make them a little more creamy (try Greek yogurt), and season to taste.

5)  Finally, be thankful.  By thinking about or even going around the table and saying what you are thankful for, you'll be having positive thoughts.  And, if you read my previous blogs, you'll remember that positive thinking goes a long way to how your body feels and the overall effectiveness and efficiency of your immune system.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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