Staying Healthy This Thanksgiving

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Celebrating Thanksgiving with family, friends, and loved ones is certainly something to look forward to, and perhaps this holiday, more than any other, is all about the food – so much so that we jokingly call it Turkey Day. If we only stopped with the low-fat, high-protein bird, the Thanksgiving feast wouldn’t be unhealthy at all. We don’t stop there, however. Usually there are sugar and fat-laden sides galore. This year, your Thanksgiving plate doesn’t have to completely derail your commitment to healthy eating and a healthful lifestyle.

If you are cooking, look for ways to make your meal healthy while still keeping everything delicious. There are many recipes that lighten up those old family traditional sides like green bean casserole and candied yams by simply decreasing the fats (butter, bacon grease, etc.) and/or replacing them with healthier options. Sweet potatoes are usually thought of as a smart option but not when dripping with syrup and marshmallows. Try roasting them and eating with a little salt and pepper instead. They are sweet and creamy without the extra calories! Serve whole grain rolls and have fresh fruit as a dessert option. There are so many easy ways to fill the table with a healthy yet delicious banquet.

Even if you are a guest and can’t control what goes into the dishes, you can make good choices and still have all of your favorites. If Aunt Bea’s corn pudding is your favorite dish, by all means, have some; moderation is the key. Skip over things like bread and other every-day items, and instead fill your plate with moderate amounts of the special holiday dishes. Choose white meat turkey, and be careful of dishes with creamy sauces and sugary syrups. They can be full of fat and added sugars. Drink lots of water and limit alcohol intake which is not only full of empty calories but can also lower your inhibitions and make it easier to over indulge.

Make Thanksgiving 2014 the best one yet by gathering with family and friends to eat, drink, and be merry. Be grateful for each other, and share a fabulous feast fit for a healthy you!

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