What are you going to eat on Thanksgiving?
Many of us don’t give this a second thought as we dream of turkey, stuffing, potatoes, and pie. When you’re used to eating healthier options than Thanksgiving fare, however, it can make this time of year a bit tricky. Thankfully, there are a few tips you can take to the table to make this holiday a healthier one.
Don’t become the Stuffing
We tend to overeat when faced with a holiday harvest of foods. Tasty treats like potatoes, rolls, and sugary pies are full of simple carbohydrates waiting to trigger the cravings you thought you’d left behind on your journey toward health. Counter the cravings with a strategy that allows you to eat some of the good stuff without stuffing your face. This includes filling your plate with greens such as salad and non-starchy vegetables such as green beans, cauliflower, or broccoli to help you feel fuller so you won’t overdo it with the simple carbs.
Welcome to "Carb World"
Simple carbohydrates such as mashed potatoes, stuffing, and white rolls can send insulin soaring and blood glucose levels crashing. Healthier options can take the place of beloved holiday foods, without your having to give up good taste. Choose whole wheat rolls, baked sweet potatoes or yams (stay away from the candied variety), and cauliflower mash. These substitutes serve as great replacements for the usual spread and won’t hijack your health goals.
Sugar & Spice that’s actually nice
Sugar is everywhere at Thanksgiving, sprinkled throughout pies, candied yams, cranberry sauce, and whipped cream. You can have your sweets without the sugar and still have good taste. Natural sugar alternatives can substitute for sucrose cup for cup, with less calories and no effect on blood sugar. This includes monk fruit (luo han guo), stevia, erythritol, and xylitol. Many of these sugar substitutes are now commercially available in stores and online for use in your Thanksgiving goodies.
Drink and be Merry (in moderation)
Alcoholic beverages typically flow at Thanksgiving and throughout the holiday season, with many of them full of sugar and empty calories that can pack on a few pounds and burden the liver with detoxification duties. A good rule of thumb with drinking is to follow guidelines of two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. You can also choose a beverage such as flavored sparkling water or carbonated apple juice that give you a glass to raise without raising your blood alcohol level.
Do the Detox
If you know you’re going big at Thanksgiving, you may consider a detoxification regimen to get your body back on track. Our bodies can become burdened by poor diet and environmental toxins found in the air, water, and soil, causing us to experience sluggishness, brain fog, aches and pains, and more. A detoxification cleanse can help your body through three phases of detoxification to eliminate the buildup and get you back to feeling better.
These are just some of the ways to be mindful about your Thanksgiving meal. Ask your healthcare practitioner for more information on how to have a happy and healthy holiday.