Laura Schmidt, RD, LDN

5 tips for a healthy turkey day

5 tips for a healthy turkey day

Its hard to believe Thanksgiving is only 9 days away. Its often a time when people want to throw all their healthy eating habits out the window until the New Year. With some mindfulness of the day and a little preparation you can still enjoy your holiday favorites, while most of all enjoying the company and the reason the season is all about.

5 tips for navigating turkey day:

1. Get up and get moving- There are lots of cities that offer “Turkey Trots” on Thanksgiving morning. Even if your area does not offer this type of walk/run, you can wake up and go on a family walk before you start the daily festivities and be back in time for the Macy’s Day Parade.

2. Don’t skip meals- Many times people think if they are planning to eat more later in the day it will help to skip breakfast to save “calories”. This is setting you up to become overly hungry and over eat when you get to the Thanksgiving meal. If you are having your turkey day eats for lunch make sure you have a breakfast packed with protein and fiber. Like a 2 egg omelet and a serving of fruit or a more festive breakfast like pumpkin oatmeal bake with a tablespoon of almond butter.

3. Hydrate- Get up and start your day with some H20. Lots of times when you are dehydrated you feel more hungry when in reality you are thirsty. Also many Thanksgiving meals include wine or other alcoholic beverages which can also be dehydrating. So fill up on water earlier in the day to help prevent a post thanksgiving headache.

4. Pick your Favorites- Just because there is mac and cheese, mashed potatoes and dressing on the buffet doesn’t mean you have to have it all. Ordinary mac and cheese or your grandmothers homemade dressing? The dressing would win in my book for sure. So just pick and choose vs pilling up your plate. You will find yourself more satisfied my picking reasonable portions of your favorites vs bites of everything offered.

4. Slow Down- Enjoy the conversation at the dinner table while really enjoying your food. Don’t rush up for seconds. Try to wait a few minutes to see if your still hungry to avoid that post thanksgiving stuffed feeling.. Bring on the stretchy pants.

5. Get back on track the next day- Thanksgiving is just one day after all. Of course there will be leftovers. But there are lots of healthy ways to use leftover turkey like soups and salads. Don’t let the holiday season be a reason to “give up” on your healthy lifestyle. Enjoying some festive treats here or there is not going to derail your whole diet, it what you are doing on a daily basis. So enjoy your pie and your kale salad to. Trust your hunger ques.