Thanksgiving is a joyous time for families and friends to gather together, give thanks, and eat their way through an entire day. Overeating, lounging, and napping are expected!
The Thanksgiving holiday traditionally features a festive table filled with laughter, love, stories, and people going back for seconds. Marshmallow-topped sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes with cream cheese and gravy, buttery sausage stuffing, and the all too famous green bean casserole with French fried onions. And we can't forget the infamous pumpkin pie! Traditional meals tend to be sugar laden, gluten-loaded, dairy disasters.
Yet some people who struggle with food intolerances or allergies may find the holiday meal stressful. Aside from the turkey and raw vegetables, menu options are limited.
Whether you are hosting your Thanksgiving gathering or providing a dish to share, the following tips offer simple, lighter, easy modifications and some new ideas. Your guests may enjoy your new recipe beginning some new family traditions!
Healthy/Lighter/Alternative Options to Traditional Recipes:
All traditional Thanksgiving favorites are prepared (i.e., stuffing, gravy, turkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, etc.) using more fresh and less artificial ingredients.
Choosing a Gluten Free Lifestyle
Many people are choosing a gluten free lifestyle due to the negative effects it has on the body. While most people do not have celiac disease (an estimated 1 in 133 Americans, or about 1% of the population) estimates suggest that one in 10 adults might have some form of gluten intolerance or non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS).
Non-celiac gluten sensitivity is diagnosed by process of exclusion. Experts recommend that you first get tested for a wheat allergy and for celiac disease. If both of those are negative, then your doctor may recommend a gluten elimination diet. If symptoms improve on a gluten-free diet, then you likely have non-celiac gluten sensitivity.
Gluten sensitivity shares many symptoms with celiac disease. However, individuals with non-celiac gluten sensitivity have more non-GI symptoms, such as headache, brain fog, joint pain, and numbness in the legs, arms or fingers. Symptoms typically appear hours or days after gluten has been consumed vs immediate .
Offer gluten/dairy free options at your Thanksgiving table
Stuffing is a Thanksgiving staple. Following are other fresh and delicious gluten-free alternatives to try as an additional side dish. Try a yummy new flavor and be the hit!
Enjoy the moment - cultivate a state of gratitude
Holidays can increase stress and drive chaos with all of the planning and time tables to get everything accomplished.
Taking periodic moments to pause, breathe and reflect on all the blessings in our lives allows us to connect to the things that make us feel glad to be alive. The holiday meal tends to be the focal point, yet gathering with our loved ones and expressing gratitude for all of our blessings is the true meaning of the holiday. Take the time to pause.
Finding little ways to incorporate daily gratitude in your life increases your overall sense of happiness and provides a ripple effect.
Susan Finn, PhD, RD, chair of the American Council on Fitness and Nutrition, suggests making “fitness a family adventure.” Get a brisk walk in during the day or plan a family activity to burn off the extra calories to increase your time together.
Most importantly, be easy on yourself and just let the stress go. There is always time for getting back on your regular plan. Enjoy time with family and friends, focus on your blessings and share gratitude with loved ones.
While I think every day is an opportunity to be thankful, Thanksgiving is an extra special reminder to grateful for health, abundance, laughter, safety and shelter of a comfortable home, a job that pays the bills each month, loving families and friends - and most importantly to be grateful for each and every Brand New Day!
If you would like suggestions on incorporating healthy lifestyle changes and personalized wellness goals that are tailored to your specific needs,
CONTACT ME for a FREE health consultation.
It costs nothing and the results will change your life!