The Holidays are upon us, which brings a great opportunity to bond with family members and friends. While Thanksgiving allows us the time to reflect on what we are grateful for, we recognize that the holiday buzz is often centered around the big, indulgent meal. In this week’s post, we explore some tips on how to make healthier choices for your holidays, without losing out on any of the fun.
Fit in the Fitness
There are plenty of ways to fit in some fitness during your Thanksgiving day. Turkey trots, or 5Ks, have gained in immense popularity and can help start your morning off right. Many families make an annual turkey trot part of their Thanksgiving tradition.
If a 5K seems too ambitious or time consuming, think about taking a post-dinner stroll. Instead of vegging out in a food coma on the couch, encourage your family members to join you in a walk around the neighborhood. A relaxing and lengthy stroll can help with digestion, and aid in burning off some of those calories. Are you a shopaholic who enjoys the Black Friday Madness? Instead of grumbling about busy parking lots, plan on parking a little further from the shopping center to fit in some extra exercise. Walking around a mall or shopping center can help fit in some extra steps while making exercise a little more fun.
What to Eat?
The Thanksgiving Dinner itself is extremely tempting, but a few substitutions can go a long way in terms of making things healthier for you and your loved ones. Are you a fan of the traditional sweet potato casserole? Instead of making a super sweet version with tons of marshmallows and butter, try one of these savory recipes instead. http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/collections/healthy_sweet_potato_recipes. Sweet potatoes are a naturally healthy and delicious food, high in both Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Instead of polluting this wonderfood with additional sweet ingredients, consider just tossing them in the oven and savoring their natural flavor when baked.
Skip the heavy casseroles this year and make a hearty salad for one of your side dishes. This pear and Roquefort salad is one of my favorites. Topped with pecans and avocados, the omega 3s and zesty dressing make this recipe a sure winner. http://allrecipes.com/recipe/34613/roquefort-pear-salad/
This year, Dr. Kalidas is excited to make shishito peppers for his Thanksgiving feast. These savory peppers are accompanied with whipped lemon goat cheese. Who said that Thanksgiving couldn’t include some new foods? http://www.insockmonkeyslippers.com/blistered-shishito-peppers-with-whipped-lemon-goat-cheese
In terms of the turkey, stick to roasting a turkey breast. For healthier eating, make sure to skip out on eating the skin, which is a source of fat and extra calories.
What to Drink?
Don’t forget to keep a tab on your drinks, which can be a huge source of calories and excess sugar. In between enjoying a glass of wine or holiday cocktail, drink plenty of water. If plain water isn’t appealing to your festive spirit, consider making a jug of sparkling water with some fresh fruit for a healthier, non-alcohol option.
Take Care of Your Mental Health
The holidays can sometimes be overwhelming, and for some, lonely. Take care of your mental health and be mindful of how you are feeling. Sometimes, giving back to those less fortunate can brighten your mood and allow time to reflect on what there is to be grateful for. Consider volunteering at a food kitchen or shelter on Thanksgiving afternoon. You can sign up as a group or individual, and your time will be greatly appreciated.
Whatever your Thanksgiving plans are, we wish you a healthy and happy holiday! We are extremely grateful for the opportunity to help our patients in their journey to wellness.