- Load up your plate with veggies
While the bird is usually center stage, take advantage of a variety of vegetable sides you can add to your meal. Look for nutrient-dense veggies like Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, kale, asparagus, carrots, cabbage, green beans, mushrooms, onions and winter squash. Just be aware of how they’re cooked: if it’s smothered in cheese or soggy with butter, take a small amount of those and load up on steamed or roasted veggies instead.
- Think outside the box
While we come to expect the usual turkey, cranberry sauce and stuffing this time of year, consider mixing it up this year! Maybe try making a Moroccan-spiced turkey, or a stuffing made with quinoa. Seek out recipes from all kinds of cuisines, or experiment with vegetarian or vegan options. Get creative in the kitchen and make your own Thanksgiving classics!
- Slow your roll
When confronted with so much deliciousness, it can be tempting to shovel it in as fast as possible. If you have a big family and you’re worried about not getting your share, I understand, but if you’re stuffing your face out of habit, consider a more conscious approach. Slowing down and savoring each bite will not only help you enjoy what you’re eating, but it will also send the message to your brain that you’re satisfied before you reach your limit, not after. This way, you’ll be able to keep your pants buttoned, at least while you’re still at the table! Taking your time at the dinner table will also give you more time to share and chat with those around you, allowing you to appreciate the company you’re with and create memories that will last long after you’ve eaten that pumpkin pie.
- Take care of you
When your Aunt Tessie tries pushing that third helping of her famous mashed potatoes, don’t be afraid to (kindly) refuse. If you’ve had enough, if you’re sensitive to that particular food, or if it’s simply something you don’t want, don’t bend to peer pressure and stand your ground. You have total control over what you put into your body, and with all the tasty choices you’ll have at the meal, save up your calories for those you’ll enjoy the most.
- Take it easy on the booze
While a little wine can be a helpful for keeping your cool around stressful family situations, beware of overdoing it. While it’s great for relaxing and can pair beautifully with certain foods at the table, too much can leave you dehydrated, sluggish and cranky at the end of the night. What’s more, if you fill up on wine, you won’t be able to savor those decadent desserts you’ve been eyeing the whole meal. Sip slowly and keep track of how much you have, or skip it altogether and enjoy a light mocktail to help you finish the holiday feeling satisfied and happy.
See more article by Ashleigh Gurtler over at AG Core Health!