01 NOV 2021

How to Have a Healthy Thanksgiving Feast

A generously packed plate on Thanksgivings featuring turkey, roasted carrots, roasted green beans, stuffing and cranberry sauce.
A generously packed plate on Thanksgivings featuring turkey, roasted carrots, roasted green beans, stuffing and cranberry sauce.

Your Thanksgiving gathering may be smaller this year due to COVID-19 precautions but that doesn’t mean you have to give up traditional, delicious Thanksgiving dishes. Registered Dietitian, Laura O'Mary, has shared some tips on how to enjoy your holiday meal while staying on track with your nutritional goals.

  • Prepare your foods the way you like them. If you try to replace the traditional dishes you love with slightly healthier versions, you may end up being disappointed and unsatisfied. Instead of focusing on reducing the calorie content in each dish, focus instead on moderation and portion control.
  • Leading up to your dinner, avoid skipping meals earlier in the day in order to “save your calories” for dinner. Doing so may set yourself up for overeating. Have a few light snacks/appetizers such as a veggie tray with hummus.
  • When building your plate, start by filling half of it with the non-starchy, vegetable-based side dishes, such as green beans or brussels sprouts. Then fill one quarter of your plate with turkey (the size of a deck of cards is a good amount). The remaining quarter of your plate will be for carbohydrate-containing items. If stuffing is your favorite side dish, fill this section of your plate with it and forget about the rolls and mashed potatoes. If you want to try a little bit of everything, put a small spoonful of each so you can have a taste of it all. Choose only the items that are your favorites and will satisfy you the most. If having a dessert, stick with a small portion and enjoy every bite.
  • Eat slowly. Put your fork down in between bites and take sips of water throughout your meal. Relax and focus on the people and the conversation in addition to the delicious food.
  • Be active. One of the best things you can do after you have a larger meal than normal is to be active. Get out and take a nice family walk after your Thanksgiving dinner.

Food is much more than just fuel for our body. It represents culture, family, traditions and it brings people together. Be thankful for your food and your health this holiday season and remember to focus on moderation over restriction.

Interested in learning more? Read Laura’s full profile or schedule an appointment: (707) 624-7900.

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