Be Thankful

8 11 2012

Liz Gilchrist

How did it happen? Halloween has passed and now we are about to embark on the real meat of the season.

Don’t worry!

Although these tools are some oldies but goodies, the WMP is here to provide you with healthy tips and ideas for staying on track over the Thanksgiving holiday. In addition to the ideas promoted below, there is also a link at the end of this blog to some healthy substitutions and recipes for the big day.

Above all else, make Thanksgiving Day about giving thanks! Get involved with family and friends, starting conversations or catching up on recent family events. Don’t let food take priority in your mind; it will cause you to lose sight of the experience and miss out on valuable quality time with others. Both you and family members deserve undivided attention, especially if get-togethers and interactions are few and far between.

Making the big meal in your home? Consider chewing gum while cooking, making a few small modifications to your recipes, drinking water while preparing the meal and keeping healthy snacks on hand, such as raw vegetables. These small changes can lead to big success. Also consider cooking LESS or packing to-go boxes for guests as people get ready to leave. This will not only get food out of your home, but serve as a small thank you for attending.

Going elsewhere for turkey? Take a side dish that works for you. Play on your favorite and create a slightly healthier version to share with other guests. As they gush about your delicious side, you can be proud to have created such a fantastic dish and actively role model healthier lifestyle choices.

Gaze before you graze. Don’t grab a plate and head through the line. Set yourself up for success. Scan the options and pick the best. If you are hitting two meals, eat your aunt’s mashed potatoes if they are the best and your mom’s sweet potatoes later. Saving and switching ho-hum items with specific items to the day can save a great deal of calories.

A recommendation from a participant that we have been passing along here at the WMP is the 1 Tablespoon serving. By taking a 1TB serving, you can get 2-3 really good bites, which is ultimately more satisfying than the alternative of feeling as though you have overindulged and the avoidable turkey coma.

Remember that deprivation will lead to poor choices later. Give in and a have a sliver of pie. It will keep you from eating more than you really need to satisfy the craving.

Regardless of the weather, think about getting in some additional exercise in the backyard with a pick-up game of football or basketball. Initiate a family walk or hook up the Wii and get everyone involved.

After the food has been put away, leave it away. If family conversation is going stale, avoid heading for the fridge. Consider card or board games in the background to football to keep idle hands busy.

Finally, don’t forget to make Thanksgiving FUN! Use the day to stress less, enjoy those you care about and feel good about heading into the month of December.

The more preparation you put into staying on track now, the less you will be working to maintain or lose later.

Here is the link to valuable calorie saving substitutions and recipes: Thanksgiving Holiday Handout

Check out additional recipe ideas and sites through the “For Participants” link.

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