The holidays can be a time of year filled with joyous gatherings and memories with family and friends.
Yet for some it is a time where people pack on a few pounds and keep the extra weight on permanently. It is also a time where people that struggle with food sensitivities find it stressful to gather for holiday meals.
Thanksgiving doesn't have to be a time where your wellness plans or maintenance efforts are sabotaged. With a few tips, you can still enjoy your Thanksgiving favorites - guilt free.
Holidays typically center around heavy calorie laden dishes, excess alcohol and tempting desserts which can put everyone into a post meal food coma. Meals tend to be sugar laden, gluten-loaded and dairy disasters.
But there are simple modifications that you can make to traditional recipes so that you can enjoy the holidays with energy and zest while still maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Healthy/Lighter/Alternative Options to Traditional Recipes:
Whether you are hosting your Thanksgiving gathering or providing a pot luck dish to share, here are some tips to prepare a few of the traditional dishes with less fat, sugar and calories, but still packing all of the flavor!
All of the traditional Thanksgiving favorites can still be prepared (i.e., stuffing, gravy, turkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, etc.) using more fresh and less artificial ingredients. For example:
Offer gluten free options at your Thanksgiving table
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).
Stuffing is a Thanksgiving staple. There are a lot of really fresh and delicious gluten-free alternatives that may become the new norm in your home. This year, step out of your box and try something new. Following are five fun and interesting options for stuffing to try below:
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, just breathe and reflect on all the blessings we have in our lives allows us to connect to those 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. So 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 and increase your time together.
Most importantly, be easy on yourself and let the stress go. There is always time for getting back on your regular plan. Enjoy your time with family and friends and focus on your blessings. While I think everyday is an opportunity to be thankful for blessings, Thanksgiving is an extra special reminder to share gratitude with loved ones.
Enjoy the moment, be 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 be grateful for every Brand New Day!
Blessings to you - Happy Thanksgiving!
If you would like more suggestions on incorporating healthy lifestyle changes and personalized wellness goals tailored to your specific needs, CONTACT ME for a FREE health consultation. It costs nothing and the results will change your life! Sessions can be done in-person or virtually.
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