Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Tips

The holidays can be overwhelmingly emotional and nutritionally challenging when it comes to eating. Around this time every year, we start to think about giving up. The Thanksgiving feast is filled with all of the things we love and the fat we don’t. It seems impossible to eat and stay healthy during the holidays. By rearranging your thinking and creating a plan, you can enjoy Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is filled with an array of colored foods that are loaded with different vitamins and minerals, which is also called Eating by the Rainbow. These Thanksgiving foods are also super foods ( and are nutritionally packed, which can make a huge difference in your daily life.

Canned foods, such as canned yams, boxed mashed potatoes, and canned cranberry sauce, are not the whole foods that I have discussed. Start out with the freshest ingredients possible. If you can’t find fresh, buy frozen. Frozen vegetables retain more of their nutrients than canned. When you’re eating for Thanksgiving, or any other holiday, remember you’re eating to satisfy and to supply your body with its daily dose of vitamins and minerals.

Look at these amazing Thanksgiving super foods that also allow you to eat by the rainbow. Make a few simple changes and voila … perfect meal!

Rainbow Typical Food Makeover

Red/pr Canned Cranberry Fresh cooked cranberry (super food)

Stuffing Wheat stuffing or Rice bread stuffing

Wt/br Turkey No skin turkey breast meat (super food)

Green Green bean casserole Green beans with shallots

Yellow Baked acorn squash Baked acorn squash salt and chicken broth

White Mashed potatoes Mashed potatoes with ¾ less fat w/ chk stck

Orange Sweet potato marshmallow Wh sweet pots baked in skin (superfood)

Orange Pumpkin pie Eat w/out crust and whip cream (super food)

Let’s move on to other dilemmas that come with Thanksgiving. When cooking for Thanksgiving there are many ways to cut the fat. If you’re in charge, be in charge. Butter, though delicious, is by no means important and it adds a lot of fat. Flavor can also come from healthy fats such as olive oil and other sources of liquids such as stocks. If you must add butter, pick a selected few and add butter to those dishes.

If you are a guest at someone else’s Thanksgiving and you don’t have control over the food, offer to bring something that you feel comfortable eating. This way, if you can’t eat anything else, you can eat what you brought. If they suggest you bring something special, bring that in addition to your healthy dish. With a house full of people, surely no one will complain about extra food.

Avoid the tempting foods when you go to someone else’s house for Thanksgiving by eating something before you go like a piece of fruit or another healthy favorite. If you don’t eat before you go, you will be extremely hungry increasing the likely-hood of over indulging.

Remember, our stomachs are about the size of our fists and the trouble with Thanksgiving is that we eat three times the size of our stomachs. It is too much food and we end up feeling tired and full. Try to only have one helping of food and, if that is not sufficient when you get seconds, opt for having green beans, salad or cranberries.

If all else fails and you choose to indulge then go for it. However, jump back into a regular healthy eating routine and an exercise schedule the next day. A 60-minute walk can burn at least 152 calories. You can also make it a tradition to walk after the Thanksgiving feast and include the whole family. Do not let over indulging at Thanksgiving define you from now until The New Year.

Thanksgiving happens every year. Let this year be the year that you take a look at what you’re eating and pause for a moment to consider what you should or should not eat.

This year…

· Focus on eating super foods that are also included in eating by the rainbow.

· Focus on buying whole foods such as fresh green beans rather than canned green beans

· Be aware of portion sizes

· Take a walk after the meal.

Mentally and physically prepare for the big day by eating healthy the day before and the day after. These are great way to be in control of your life no matter what holiday it is.