All of us at Boomers N Motion wish you a happy, healthy Thanksgiving Day! Can you believe it’s already next week? While none of us will eat perfect on the big day, that’s okay. We encourage you to enjoy the day with friends and family. How you eat on Thanksgiving Day will not determine your health. How you eat the other 364 days of the year does! Having said that, there are a few tips you can try to keep things in check this year. After all, you’ve been working so hard to stay healthy and keep fit. Let’s keep these goals in mind while celebrating the season.
1. Eat Breakfast!
While you might think it makes sense to save up your calories for the big meal, make sure you eat a healthy breakfast on Thanksgiving morning. This will give you more control over your hunger and keep your blood sugar and hormones in check. If you skip breakfast, you’re likely to eat double the number of calories later in the day.
Choose a nutritious breakfast that includes protein, fiber, and some healthy fats. This will take the edge off your hunger and allow you to make better food choices later in the day. My favorite breakfast includes an egg-white omelet stuffed with veggies and a hot bowl of steel cut oats topped with blueberries and chia seeds….yum!
2. Start the Day with Physical Activity.
Take a walk outside or get to the gym first thing, before the day gets crazy. Not only will you create a calorie-deficit right from the get go, you’ll end up feeling more energized throughout the entire day.
Suggest the family take a neighborhood walk after the big meal. It’s a wonderful way for your family to get some activity and enjoy the holiday together. Plus, this will also help you from nibbling on left-overs.
3. Lighten Up!
Whether you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner or just making a few dishes to share, make your recipes healthier with less fat, sugar, and calories. Recipes usually contain more sugar and fat than is really necessary, and your family won’t even notice the difference. Here are a few suggestions:
- Use fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth to baste the turkey and make gravy.
- Reduce or eliminate oil and butter wherever you can. Ask yourself if you could use applesauce or ricotta cheese as a replacement.
- Try plain yogurt or fat-free sour cream in creamy dips, mashed potatoes, and casseroles.
- Make your own stuffing using Ezekiel bread. (It’s actually really good.)
- Search for new recipes for making healthy sweet potatoes. One recipe I found calls for yams baked in foil at 400 degrees for about an hour. Then, peel and layer them with pineapple slices and a little cinnamon. You get sweetness from the pineapple without added fats and sugars.
4. Position Yourself Well.
How many times do you find yourself hanging out in kitchen? For some reason, this is often the place we congregate. Unfortunately, it also makes it super easy and tempting to nibble on food and pour extra drinks. Don’t put yourself through the agony. Get out of the kitchen or dining room, so you’re not constantly looking at food. Place yourself where you’re looking at a nice fire, warm smiles, good tunes, or maybe even a dance floor. You’ll have a much better time.
5. Be Smart with Alcohol.
If you like to drink on the holidays, be smart how you do it. Avoid drinking alcohol BEFORE you eat. It will make you hungrier and less inhibited. And, when you do start to drink, double-fist it. No, not like you think. What I mean is have your alcohol AND a glass of water. This will keep you hydrated and slow down your alcohol consumption. Remember, alcohol calories add up fast.
6. Divide Your Plate.
Divide your plate into sections for success. Fill half of your plate with vegetables. Leafy green salads and fresh steamed or roasted veggies are best. Then, fill one quarter with white turkey meat and the rest with healthy carbs like corn on the cob, a baked potato or sweet potato, and/or healthy stuffing.
7. Be Thankful.
With all of the busy-ness of the day, it easy to forget this one. Close your eyes, and take a few deep breaths. Think about everything you’re thankful for this year. Think about your family and friends, about your health, about all of the delicious food you have available to you. Be grateful and keep a calm, peaceful mind throughout the day.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving Day, and please know how GRATEFUL we are for all of you. We are extremely THANKFUL that we get to share our knowledge and passion for health and wellness with you each week!
Stay happy, healthy, and N motion, AND REMEMBER…age is just a number!