Tips For a Happy, Healthy Thanksgiving

1.    Eat Breakfast.

Start a healthy Thanksgiving with a big bountiful breakfast like hot whole-grain cereal and an egg-white omelet brimming with veggies. That’s because saving up calories for the big meal rarely works. You end up “spending” a lot more by overindulging on belly busters like a full ladle of gravy (about 800 calories!) instead of a tablespoon-size taste (70 calories).

2.    Pitch In.

Call your host and say, “I’d love to bring something. What are you planning on serving?” If you discover that one of the dishes is particularly unhealthy, offer to bring your own version. Sweet potatoes, for example, can be real killers – full of butter, syrup, and marshmallows. But they can also be perfectly healthy – and absolutely delicious. Just bake the yams in foil at 400 degrees F until their syrupy juice starts to seep out, usually about one hour. Then, peel and layer them with pineapple slices and a little cinnamon.

3.    Know Yourself.

For most of us, there’s a certain part of the meal that gives us the most trouble. For some, it’s alcohol. For others, it may be dessert. Devise a strategy. For alcohol, tell yourself, “I’ll enjoy a half glass of wine with appetizers, and a half glass with dinner,” or decide to stick with mineral water at first, saving your alcohol for the main meal.

If you have a sweet tooth, plan for it. If a taste of chocolate satisfies you, take it. Enjoy it. But if one taste sends you lusting for a lot more, offer to bring your own healthy dessert, such as fresh raspberries and sorbet. Or have dessert waiting for you when you return home. A nice reward for a job well done!

4.    Divide Your Plate Well.

Fill your plate half with vegetables, one quarter with white turkey meat, and the rest with a healthy starch, like corn on the cob, a baked potato, or sweet potatoes.

5.    Do What You Want; No One’s Watching.

People often think that if they say “no” to certain dishes, everyone notices, or the host is insulted, when in fact there’s a very good chance no one notices. Just play it down. Simply say, “No thanks, I’m full,” or “Try me later.” Then, sit back and enjoy the rest of your healthy Thanksgiving Day.

6.    Start Thanksgiving With Physical Activity – And Stay Active.

Take a walk early in the day. And after dinner, suggest everyone go out (if the weather permits) for a neighborhood stroll. What a wonderful way for families to enjoy the holiday together. Another tip: Plan some outdoor fun before dinner, like a game of soccer or volleyball with the kids. (It’s a great strategy for keeping the appetizer buffet at bay, too.)

 

THANKSGIVING “RECOVERY” PLAN FOR THE NEXT DAY:

1) Make a healthy breakfast w/leftovers:

  • Cranberry sauce on oatmeal w/ walnuts
  • Sweet potato & kale omelete
  • Pumpkin yogurt parfait: 4 oz plain Greek yogurt with 2 tbsp canned pumpkin, 1 tbsp chopped pecans, 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice/cinnamon, 1 tsp sugar/honey

2) Break a sweat. Track 10,000 steps while Black Friday shopping, hit the gym or go for a run.

3) Have a Thanksgiving salad. For lunch/dinner, put leftovers on a bed of spinach. Smart!

4) Hydrate. All the extra salt, sugar & alcohol are begging to be flushed from your body. Drink 72-100 ounces of water.

Have a happy & healthy Thanksgiving week!

 

 

Sources:

Pritikin.com

DawnJacksonBlatner.com

Staying On Track This BBQ Season

We all love a good BBQ. But this time of year can be difficult for those of us who are trying to watch our weight. Here are my top 4 tips for staying healthy while not depriving yourself this summer:

  1. Ruin Your Appetite– Eating a small, protein-filled snack before heading to your BBQ may seem silly but is actually your best defense against overeating. Choose a yogurt with fruit, a handful of almonds, a hard boiled egg, or an apple with nut butter. You will head into your BBQ feeling more in control.
  2. Scout out the whole buffet before filling your plate– Check out all the options available instead of just choosing the first foods you see. Fill your plate with mostly healthy choices, then add a small portion of your favorite treat food.
  3. Go bun-less– Have a burger on top of a salad for a delicious, nutritious meal. Or use 2 grilled portabella mushrooms on the outside of your burger for a healthier “bun.” As your starch, choose corn on the cob for a more fiber-filled option.
  4. End on a sweet note– Enjoy a fruit salad for dessert. Or try grilling fruit. Grilled pineapple, peaches and pears are great on the grill and the fruits’ natural sugars will make the dessert so sweet, that you won’t need to add a thing.

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Food Spotlight: Hummus

Looking for a healthy alternative to your current sour cream or ranch dressing?

This month, why not give hummus a try? Typically a blend of chickpeas, lemon juice, garlic, tahini and olive oil, hummus is both inexpensive and delicious! This creamy, Middle Eastern chickpea spread is one of my personal favorites and also provides a powerhouse of health-boosting nutrients. Chickpeas are full of fiber and protein, helping you stay full longer, and are also a great source of iron, folate and magnesium. The olive oil provides heart healthy fats, and tahini is packed with vitamin E.

There are so many different hummus flavors out there- from sun dried tomato to roasted garlic to basil pesto, or you can choose to easily make it at home. Just mix all ingredients listed below together in a food processor until it becomes a smooth puree. Enjoy on carrot/celery sticks, a piece of whole wheat toast, or mix with a little water and lemon juice for a healthy salad dressing.

INGREDIENTS

Yield: 8 servings

  • 2 cups drained cooked or canned chickpeas (keep the liquid & add as needed)
  • 1/2 cup tahini (sesame paste), optional
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin or paprika, to taste
  • Juice of 1 lemon, plus more as needed

High-Protein Chicken Salad

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound (454 grams) cooked chicken breast or rotisserie chicken, shredded (about 4 cups shredded)
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion (about 1/2 medium red onion or 60 grams)
  • 1/2 cup diced apple (about 1/2 small apple or 75 grams)
  • 2/3 cup (100 grams) quartered or halved grapes
  • 2/3 cup (165 grams) plain 2% fat Greek yogurt (certified gluten-free if necessary)
  • 2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, or more, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 12 slices of 100% whole grain bread (about 100 calories each)
  • 6 medium lettuce leaves

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large bowl, combine shredded chicken, red onion, apple, grapes, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix until well combined.
  2. Using a 3/4 cup measuring scoop, portion out the chicken salad. Serve with a lettuce leaf and 2 slices of 100% whole grain bread.

Recipe by MyFitnessPal: http://blog.myfitnesspal.com/high-protein-chicken-salad/

Buffalo Tuna Salad Stuffed Celery

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 (5 oz.) can tuna packed in water, well drained
  • 1 tbsp. mayonnaise (or Greek yogurt)
  • 1 tbsp. buffalo wing sauce
  • 3 celery sticks

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a small bowl, add the drained tuna, mayo, and buffalo wing sauce. Mix well.
  2. Cut the celery into 2 to 3 inch long pieces. Spoon the tuna mixture into the celery.

Recipe by Amanda Finks: http://www.thewholesomedish.com/buffalo-tuna-salad-stuffed-celery/