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Gobble! Gobble! Tips for a Healthy Thanksgiving!

At the Center for Natural and Integrative Medicine, we want you to have a joyous Thanksgiving, just as we hope you will enjoy the other wonderful coming Winter Holidays. However, we hope you will pack on the memories with family and friends instead of packing on the pounds.

Although experts warn us of an almost inevitable weight gain over the holiday, we hope you will prove them wrong. To celebrate the true meaning of a Happy, Healthy Thanksgiving, The Center for Natural and Integrative Medicine decided to close November with a few healthy holiday eating tips.

1. Feel A Little Burn!

We suggest you take a short early walk before the dinner preparation, while you are fresh. Get a little exercise before you indulge in those special foods. “Create a calorie deficit by exercising to burn off extra calories before you ever indulge in your favorite foods, suggests Connie Diekman, MEd, RD, former president of the American Dietetic Association (ADA).”

Then, take a nice long walk in the afternoon, after your holiday meal.

“Eat less and exercise more’ is the winning formula to prevent weight gain during the holidays,” Diekman says. “Increase your steps or lengthen your fitness routine the weeks ahead and especially the day of the feast.”

We advise you to view this new active style holiday as a family fitness adventure, and let the time you have together enrich your relationships.

2. Thanksgiving’s Most Important Meal

Have a small, but meaningful breakfast, so you won’t be tempted to overeat when it’s finally time for the Thanksgiving meal.

According to many Canadian experts, this is what a healthy dinner buffet plate should contain:

50 per cent vegetables,

25 per cent of the plate can be white meat turkey “about the size of a deck of cards.”

25 per cent of the plate can be split between potatoes and stuffing–about 1/2 cup each. “To make your plate healthier, reach for the colorful vegetables — broccoli, red peppers and beets for example.”

No once said this would be easy.

3. Recipe Skimming!


No one will ever know if you choose to adapt your tastiest recipes with just a tiny bit smaller amounts of calories, sugar or fat. For example, use fat-free chicken broth to make the gravy.

Use healthy, natural sugar substitutes. Did you know many baked recipes respond well if you replace the oil with a fruit puree? In fact, oil and butter can be replaced with fat-free sour cream or plain yogurt in many dips and casseroles.

4. No Second Helping, Please?

Many of the internet sources we reviewed suggested a mindful savoring. This begins with the way you look at the table or buffet. In this case, “eating with your eyes” first means looking everything over, and filling your plate with smaller portions of the most special foods you only see in your family’s Thanksgiving traditions.

The savoring continues when you have your carefully chosen plate before you. Eat slowly, putting your fork down between each bite. Drink water liberally, and feast on whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and salads

5. Good and Good for You

Actually, there are foods on that traditional table that are not so bad for you: meat White turkey meat, plain vegetables, roasted sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes without butter and cream, defatted gravy, and pumpkin pie.

Wishing You A Happy, Healthy Thanksgiving! 

There can be no better time for us to wish you, our clients, friends and blog readers,  all the good things life has to offer. The Doctors and Staff of The Center for Natural and Integrative Medicine hopes your hearts are blessed with the warmth and joy of family, friends and fun on this special Thanksgiving Holiday.

 “Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow.”

– quote from Edward Sandford Martin


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