Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Healthier Thanksgiving

It’s just about time for Thanksgiving! For most people, this holiday means football, family, and, of course, food. Unfortunately, it seems Thanksgiving is also tied to a bulging waisteline. Before you pack on pounds gorging on turkey and stuffing (not to mention days of leftovers) consider these tips for a healthier, happier, holiday.

Choose the Best Turkey

When it’s your turn to pick your piece of the bird, go for a cut of skinless white meat (like from the inside of the breast). It is way lower in fat and calories than your other choices.

Gorge on Veggies

Fill up your plate with a great vegetable side dish. Keep in mind, though, that candied sweet potatoes and creamy green bean casserole don’t really count as healthy. If no one in your family brings a less guilty side, cook one up yourself! This year, I am making a lemon-garlic broccoli dish.

Take Your Time

The longer you take to eat your food, the more you will savor the flavors. Plus, you are likely to eat less when you take it slow. Not only does speed eating make it hard to tell when you are full, but it keeps you grabbing seconds and thirds while you wait for everyone else to finish. So, put down your fork between bites, enjoy a leisurely conversation, and drink lots of water (it’s another way to fill up safely).

Avoid Dessert Traps

Dessert is pretty much the best part of Thanksgiving. However, an array of pies can lead to excessive calories. Try to limit yourself to just one piece, and pick pumpkin or apple over pecan (pecan is the highest calorie holiday pie!). If possible, skip the pie entirely and opt for some fresh fruit or low fat ice cream (Edy’s makes great, healthy pumpkin and apple pie varieties).

Do it Yourself

Finally, the best way to have a healthy Thanksgiving feast is to get hands-on with the preparation. Find some tasty, healthy recipes and get cooking. Some of the ones I plan to help my family make this year can be found on HungryGirl’s blog.

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