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Eating Healthy On Thanksgiving
Eating Healthy on Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving and Christmas can make people throw caution to the wind and forgo eating healthy. I know I like to cheat during the holiday season just for one day before resuming my normal eating healthy diet.
Eating a Thanksgiving meal is a way to socialize with family and friends. And especially when you’re at home for an extended period of time the tendency is to keep your plate continually full.
Here are my tips for eating healthy on Thanksgiving or at least eating healthier so you don’t get too much off track from your healthy diet.
Avoid Eating in Waves
Most people typically eat in waves. Growing up in my house we ate in three different waves. My mom was a great cook and would put “her foot in it” (as southerners say if you’re a good cook). Eating healthy on Thanksgiving was not a priority.
The first wave of eating would happen with our main guests. After chilling in the living room and recuperating for a couple of hours then the second wave would occur when other people came by to visit. The third wave happened after everyone had gone at the end of the night.
And if it was the year where we visited two or three homes then we would have three waves plus one or two additional waves!
Nowadays I shun from doing this and have a plan to help you overcome the waves and other Thanksgiving eating issues.
Plan Not Stuff Your Face Like Jabba the Hutt
First off, Jabba the Hutt ate small creatures, so I don’t think you will be eating like him. He’s definitely not into eating healthy for Thanksgiving! LOL. And I most certainly don’t want you to eat so much that you look like him.
One way to eating healthy for the holidays, is to plan your Thanksgiving meal ahead of time. It’s quite easy to be carried away by the mood of the celebrations and reunions, but remember you have your weight and general health to worry about when Thanksgiving is done and guests have dispersed.
- Drink two glasses of water before eating. Water fills you up and you eat less.
- Eat a large salad before eating the rest of the main meal. You will eat less of the other fattening foods.
- If eating at another home, eat a light salad at home before going.
- Most important: DON’T go to more than two locations to stuff your face. This is the hardest because some people hop from house to house visiting relatives and friends, eating a plateful of food at each location. That equates to minimally a half pound of food or more at each location and having your spouse or kids wheelbarrow you out of each location because you’re so stuffed and can barely walk. If you go to two homes, eat a small dinner meal at one location and dessert ONLY at the other home.
- Plan on serving homeless people at a local shelter so that you’re occupied with helping others and not stuffing your face.
- Train for a holiday charity 5k so you have to eat properly to participate. Tell your friends and family weeks ahead of time so they know you have to eat a certain way. Encourage them to join you for the 5k so they also can control their eating and be healthy too!
How to Make Excuses to Mo’ Dear and Aunt Sue
And last but certainly not least, I know you want to avoid hurting feelings of your loved ones. After all Mo’ dear spent two days baking turkey and pies with all lots of love. Tell them you have to eat certain foods due to a health issue. Which is true since overeating can cause you to be sick ad eating healthy for Thanksgiving is a priority. Or, tell them you went to several other homes to eat and if you eat one more bite you will burst. If they insist on you eating fix a small plate and take it with you. Give it to a homeless shelter on your way home.
Thanksgiving Meal Food Substitutions
There are healthier food options to choose from when it comes to eating a Thanksgiving meal. Try these substitutions for eating healthy:
- Don’t buy a conventional turkey. Instead, buy a kosher or organic turkey to avoid eating meat that is filled with unnecessary unhealthy hormones. Your local farmers market or health food store will have them in stock.
- Instead of sweet potato soufflé loaded with butter and sugar, bake sweet potatoes. Pour coconut oil on top and sprinkle cinnamon on them. I bake them for about 40 minutes and eat the skin too. Yummy! BTW, cinnamon is great for diabetics since it helps control blood sugar.
- Skip cooking mashed potatoes with cream or butter. Use coconut oil instead. Or use Earth Balance non-butter spread. It’s soy free, non-GMO, and gluten free. Buy at Whole Foods. I like to add fresh chives and 2-3 garlic cloves.
- Instead of dressing or stuffing, sauté mushrooms, onions, and peppers and put on a bed of couscous or quinoa. I use sweet onions and hot peppers for mixture of sweet and hot.
- Drink water, fresh fruit juice, herbal tea, or red wine instead of sweet tea or soft drinks.
- Steam vegetables for five minutes. Or boil them using turkey necks for seasoning instead of fatback.
- Do an 80/20 veggie dominated plate, 80% veggies (not fried) and 20% meat.
The “If You Lose Control” Plan
Don’t fret if you lose control and overeat! I know that sometimes people slip up and me telling you to be strict with how you eat during Thanksgiving isn’t realistic for most people that aren’t used to eating healthy on a regular basis. Personally, I lose control every now and then even though I have a clean diet through the year. I like conventional Thanksgiving food.
- If you can’t resist eating dressing or stuffing, then don’t eat bread, cornbread, and dinner rolls.
- Take two digestive enzyme pills at the beginning of meal to help with digestion.
- If you gorge on a heavy meal, don’t eat dessert. Or, if you plan on eating tons of sweets don’t gorge on a heavy meal.
The Thanksgiving Overeating Correction Diet
This is to be used for the occasional spurt of overeating and NOT to replace eating properly on a regular basis!
- The next three days drink lots of water.
- Eat three prunes a day (Don’t eat more or you won’t be able to leave the house!)
- Drink cleansing herbal tea made with turmeric or ginger. Add fresh lemon juice.
- Do a deeper cleanse with fresh cayenne powder. Put into empty veggie caps. Take 1-2 per day with a glass of lemon water. Get at a local health food store. Cayenne is a great blood cleanser and laxative. Don’t be alarmed when you take it that your chest feels warm.
- Or you can take Nature’s Secret Super Cleanse (this is a great product I take it a couple of times a month).
From all my suggestions there is no excuse for not being able to stick to a healthy eating regimen and eat healthy for Thanksgiving. So enjoy!