Overcoming Turkey DayDon't Let the Stuffing Stuff You
-- By Liz Noelcke, Staff Writer
Thanksgiving is everyone’s chance to pig out. Before the festivities begin though, stop and think. Thanksgiving inherently brings with it loads of scrumptious food. However, with that comes extra fat and calories, as many across the country pack on the pounds during the holiday season. In fact, a typical meal includes as much or more calories recommended for an entire day. Here are some tips on how to stay healthy at this time of the year.
The first word of advice almost seems too simple. Simply control your portion sizes. Just think: smaller servings lead to less added pounds. So, in this case, moderation is the key.
Load up on the healthier things, like vegetables, and avoiding eating 3 rolls smeared with greasy butter. Secondly, don’t skip a meal beforehand to save room. This is an easy way to avoid binging when you actually do sit down to eat. Instead of overeating, your stomach will want to consume reasonable portions, just like any other meal.
Also, it is a great idea to do some exercise after the meal. Take a walk. It’s simple and will ease your stomach.
As far as actually preparing foods, there are many ways you can cut back on fat and calories. For starters, don’t eat the skin of the turkey. This is loaded in saturated fat. Also, eat the white meat; the dark meat is much worse for you. It is also a good idea not to stuff the turkey. When you do this, it absorbs a lot of the fat that drips around inside. Prepare these dishes separately.
With the stuffing, instead of using a lot of butter, substitute chicken broth. It will be just as flavorful. The same goes for mashed potatoes. Further, all too often, people load cheese sauce or butter onto other vegetables, like green beans and broccoli. Skip this and eat more healthily. Loading on the gravy is just piling on the calories. Shake a little salt and pepper over your potatoes and you’ll be good to go. Or stir in some chicken broth, as mentioned above, to make them creamier. You can also easily cut the calories by topping that pie with lite whipped cream.
When everyone is sitting around the table at the Thanksgiving meal, there is a tendency to consume a lot of alcohol, whether wine or otherwise. A glass or two won’t hurt you, but more isn’t such a good plan. Drink water, possibly even in between glasses of wine. It will make you feel more full and will help to flush out any toxins in your body.
There are things severed at this meal that are great for you. First off, sweet potatoes are packed with fiber and beta-carotene. Just be careful about what it is topped with. Avoid sugary items like marshmallows. Try some apples instead. Another classic, cranberries, are a great addition to the meal. They are high in vitamins and add a beautiful color to the meal.
At this special time of year, it is OK to indulge a little bit. Just don’t go overboard. You don’t have to eat as much as possible at a single sitting. Remember, you can enjoy some of those leftovers for a day or two. So enjoy and be smart!