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Healthy Tips for the Upcoming Turkey Day

Posted: November 12, 2018
By: Dr. Drew Rubin and Dan Traxler

Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole, pumpkin pie! Have I gotten your attention yet? It’s no secret that Thanksgiving is quickly approaching. It is a wonderful time to spend with friends, family, and/or loved ones, enjoying a massive feast with plates piled high in a variety of flavors. It is also no secret that although some of these foods are healthy, others are not (but may be oh-so tasty). Do you have difficulty watching the plates of food being passed around, while trying not to get knocked off your typical eating habits? The aim of this post is to not overwhelm your “plate” any more, and to give you 6 simple tips you can use and remember when loading up your plate on Thanksgiving Day.

  1. Eat a good breakfast. As the thanksgiving feast gets prepared, it is common to snack on the tasty treats put out during the day. Many times these treats are cheeses, crackers, and other high calorie items. A sneaky trick to avoid over-snacking is to eat a healthy breakfast in the morning. As simple as eggs, onions, spinach, and avocado will be a quick meal high in healthy fats that will tide you over until the main event.
  2. Move your body. Building off of tip #1, getting some exercise before the feast will help off-set the mountain of calories you will be ingesting. It will also wake up your nervous system and metabolism to help digest your food better. This may, in fact, be the health reason for the popular Turkey Bowl Fun Runs in our culture.
  3. Enjoy the seasonal foods. Turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes, corn, pumpkin pie. Alright, there are many reasons behind this tip, but it is a simple one to remember. Firstly, seasonal foods are the most natural for our bodies. Our ancestors ate whatever berry, crop, or game was available, and these changed with the seasons. Our bodies are happier when we eat the foods that are in season. Secondly, many of the non-season foods are things like breads, cookies, mashed potatoes, and dinner rolls that are high in calories and spike our blood sugar. If you focus on the foods that are in season, overall they are the healthier choice.
  4. Proper food combining.  If you regularly get indigestion on Thanksgiving, it might be because you are mixing foods that need to be digested by 1 enzyme (like protein) with foods that need to be digested by a totally different and incompatible enzyme (like cheese or bread). Be more cautious about what you eat and space out or eliminate foods that you know or suspect may cause problems (read more about food combining here: ).
  5. Eat whole foods (not casserole).  There is one dish in particular to try and limit: Casseroles. Sweet potato casserole, broccoli casserole, green bean casserole, don’t let the names fool you. Casseroles are usually heavy in butters, sugars, cheeses, and occasionally marshmallows that surround the healthy ingredients. Although they are a holiday specialty, try not to load more than a small section of your plate with casserole. Stick to whole foods that you can see. These are the roasted potatoes, whole vegetables, turkey, and fruits.
  6. No guilt allowed. No matter what happens, there is no guilty feelings allowed! Feeling bad about your holiday won’t do you or anyone else any good, so it is best to enjoy the day and feel good moving forward. And remember that living a healthy lifestyle is 365 days a year.  Many people feel as though they “failed” or lost control at Thanksgiving, and they let it continue through the winter holiday season. Enjoy the day, and continue living your best life.

We love and appreciate all of our RFC family. If you have any questions or would like recipe suggestions, call our office or ask at your next visit!

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