Every holiday is all about specific family traditions and the cultural heritage we perpetuate with great care. Thanksgiving has evolved over the decades, much like any other festivity, so we’ve embraced more splurging on different foods. We have entire feasts organized to host family dinners and to express our gratitude for the abundance that we share.
While all that may come from a good place in our hearts, it’s time for some new, better, healthier traditions in our holidays. There are ways you can enjoy your delicious meals, the time you spend with your loved ones, and still protect your health. Here’s what you can do for the upcoming Thanksgiving to health-up your meals!
Stick to your three meals of the day
When you think of that special, rich Thanksgiving dinner, you most likely feel the urge to stay away from food at least starting in the morning. Most people skip breakfast and lunch in favor of that dinner, to be able to eat more and indulge more.
A better, more balanced way to eat and still enjoy every bite is to stick to your daily three. That way, you’ll preserve your energy levels without those annoying slumps. You’ll also be more likely not to overburden your stomach with too much fatty food during dinner, and you’ll prevent acid reflux or any sense of overeating.
Choose a light and nutritious starter
Fried bite-sized canapes might be a favorite in many households, but there are healthier, lighter ways you can prepare your belly for the big dinner. For example, you can start with a light, but nutrient-dense pumpkin soup with fresh herbs.
Natural dips such as home-made hummus with fresh veggies such as carrots or celery also work in your favor. They aren’t too filling to ruin your meal, but they prepare your stomach perfectly and prevent you from overeating.
Go for fresh and seasonal
Although mashed potatoes and other starchy carbs are delightful, you can do the following: in addition to, or even instead of those side dishes, use roasted and fresh vegetables to fill up your plate. Bell peppers, roasted brussels sprouts, or even regular leafy greens as a salad can help you stay on the healthy side of your meals.
Choose seasonal and local ingredients to boost the quality and nutrient density of your meals. You’ll also feel full for longer and make your Thanksgiving dinners much more diverse! You’d be surprised how a variety of salads and sides can make turn your ordinary dinner into an extraordinary meal.
Swap with healthier options
Yes, there are some staples that you don’t want to mess with on Thanksgiving, but some changes to your menu will be virtually undetectable, and yet superbly helpful for your wellbeing. If you’re not sure how to go about changing your Thanksgiving nutrition, we have a dedicated healthy eating workshop on December 13th you can use to improve your holiday feasts. In the meantime, use some of the following:
- Instead of salt, use herbal spices that add flavor without overburdening the dish with sodium. It can do wonders for your blood pressure health!
- Go with veggie stuffing instead of ordinary bread. Mushrooms, carrots, and peppers are wonderful options!
- Mashed cauliflowers instead of potatoes.
- Sugar-free sweet alternatives for dessert.
- Whole wheat bread instead of ordinary white bread.
- Greek yogurt instead of heavy cream.
Slow down with alcohol
Holiday dinners can also be stressful, so we reach for an extra glass from time to time to try and cope. A better way to manage your mental wellbeing during the holidays and to still enjoy your favorite sips is to pace yourself and rely on alternatives. First of all, make sure you have various, low-alcohol options that will slow you down.
Also, use other techniques to reduce that feeling of tension and anxiety such as meditation, a light workout such as walking, and talk to someone you love. Then, you can safely enjoy a glass of wine with your dinner – it won’t hamper your efforts to stay healthy or to treat yourself, but it will help you moderate your intake.
As you’re immersing yourself in the spirit of Thanksgiving, you might discover that your body deserves more care and attention. Through smarter nutrition and lifestyle choices, you can do so much for your health and wellbeing. But if you need any help, book a consultation with us and we’ll help you express even more gratitude for your body and mind with our healthy and tailor-made advice.