With Halloween now behind us, Turkey Day is around the corner! As we gather loved ones together at our tables, it’s important to prioritize our health in the midst of all the busyness. By planning ahead, we can ensure that heart-healthy Thanksgiving decisions will lead to a Thanksgiving filled with warm memories for all.
Instead of loading up on stuffing and mashed potatoes, consider eating small portions of Thanksgiving favorites and opt for healthier choices, like salad and vegetables. Decide not to have second helpings – or carefully consider what you choose during round two. Limit or eliminate dessert altogether.
Use Healthy Ingredients
You can still partake in Thanksgiving traditions, but get creative and swap traditional ingredients for heart-healthy choices. Here are some ideas to help get you started!
- Instead of traditional stuffing, try making quinoa stuffing
- Instead of baking with white flour, opt for whole wheat flour (or a mix of the both)
- Instead of baking with heavy cream, use whole milk instead
- Instead of white sugar, sweeten baked goods with applesauce
- Instead of frying vegetables, try roasting them
Eat More Vegetables
Add more vegetables to your Thanksgiving menu this year. Try slow cooking collard greens with smoked ham, or roasting sweet potatoes (hold the casserole!), or baking brussel sprouts with bacon. You can easily throw together delicious seasonal salads with tasty homemade dressing (think: kale, apple, and toasted pecan salad or roasted root vegetables with apples and a drizzle of maple syrup). There are a myriad of ways to enjoy your favorite fall flavors, even while incorporating extra vegetables and heart-healthy foods.
Your Thanksgiving dinner is not a race. Pace yourself. Remember to eat slowly and enjoy the food you are consuming. By slowing your food intake, your body will recognize it is full sooner.
Be Mindful About Movement
After the meal is done, gather your family for a rousing game of football or take them on a walk through your neighborhood. It’s important to be mindful about physical activity over Thanksgiving weekend, as it will help keep those extra calories away. Use your time of mindful movement to reflect on what you are thankful for this year.
All of us at Trusted ER Coppell wish you a wonderful, memorable, and heart-healthy Thanksgiving… and GO COWBOYS!