We just got past Halloween, but the holiday temptations of sugar, second helpings, and sitting too much are only growing as we approach Thanksgiving. The good news is that this year, FNP can help you make smarter choices to stay on track with your healthy lifestyle goals.
What does your traditional Thanksgiving meal include? If you’re like our family, it centers around ham or turkey, with multiple side dishes (think macaroni and cheese or broccoli casserole) cooked with lots of love and butter, and more sweet treats than one day should offer.
Which dishes are the better choices for your plate? Simple foods, like lean turkey, roasted veggies, or deviled eggs, will be your healthiest options. Once you start adding sauces, breading, or cream of whatever soup, the fat, salt, and calories start piling on.
Which dishes are less healthy choices for your plate? Refined grains (like white flour rolls, dressing or stuffing), gravy, mashed potatoes with butter/cream, cheesy casseroles, and sugary pies and cookies are best savored in small portions. Here are some great tips to give your holiday favorites a MyPlate makeover.
FNP Holiday Tips
Right-size Portions – My #1 tip here. You can eat your favorite foods, so long as you keep your portions under control. Along with this, don’t go for the second helping.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind – Enjoy your holiday meal, and then clean up the leftovers immediately. This will keep the sight of all that tasty food from convincing you to find a bit more room for a second helping. Bonus benefit: Good food safety practices call for refrigerating leftovers within 2 hours to prevent illness.
Move More – Avoid the lure of lounging on the couch most of the day. A 15 minute walk before or after eating helps your body digest and burn off your holiday meal and gets you that much closer to hitting the recommended 30 minutes of daily physical activity. In my family, we all walk together and this time spent walking, talking, and breathing in the crisp fall air means just as much to us as the wonderful meal we share.
Enjoy Your Food – The holidays only come once a year and are best spent in the company of family and friends. Don’t stress about enjoying your Thanksgiving meal. It’s only one day of the year and what happens the other 364 matter more for your health than having another bite of your grandmother’s famous pumpkin pie or cuddling on the couch with your kids all afternoon to watch the parade on TV.
What are some ways you already or plan to start making your family’s holiday traditions a bit healthier?