Thanksgiving is coming up and that means people across the country are licking their lips in anticipation of freshly-carved turkey, rich gravy, sweet cranberry sauce, buttery mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes with marshmallows — and don’t forget the pies! Apple, pumpkin, pecan, you name it! Thanksgiving has become a day of giving thanks and also indulging in decadent, delicious dishes.
But hold on just a minute — while we appreciate tradition, are all of these things really necessary? One of the things many people are thankful for on this special day is their health, and eating an enormous meal chock-full of fat and sugar won’t go a long way toward maintaining your health. Is it possible to celebrate Thanksgiving without destroying your arteries and pancreas?
5 Ideas for a Healthier Thanksgiving Dinner
Yes, it is possible to celebrate Thanksgiving and not feel terrible after. We’ve rounded up 5 tried-and-tested tips to help you enjoy the holiday without an aftermath of remorse or bloating.
1. Don’t Add Sugar to Sweet Things
Sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce don’t need a ton of sugar added to them — they are naturally sweet. So what if the recipe calls for a whole cup of sugar and marshmallow topping to your yam casserole? Find another recipe! There are so many healthy recipe websites on the internet, find one that has great reviews and that doesn’t include boatloads of added sugar.
2. Add More Veggies to the Menu
Brussel sprouts, green beans and autumn salads are all staples of Thanksgiving, but we tend not to focus on them because there are so many other yummy things on the table. This year, make the veggies center stage by preparing them in different and creative ways. Instead of one salad, make a few. And make them tempting and delicious so that everyone around the table will want to have a taste. If you eat salads and vegetables first, you will have less room for all the other stuff.
3. Ditch the Bread (or Your Least Favorite Carb)
Stuffing, potatoes, sweet potatoes and desserts — do you really need bread on the table too? Carbs are delicious, but we all know they’re not the healthiest. So while you don’t need to get rid of all of them (that would be sacrilege!), you can minimize the amount you have. Bread is an easy one to get rid of, since there are so many other tempting Thanksgiving dishes. If you feel like you can’t live without dipping a roll into gravy, eliminate a different carb from the menu. You can limit your quantity without limiting the quality.
4. Drink Water
While we’re not telling you to get rid of your beloved Thanksgiving favorites, we are telling you to modify your menu to be the healthiest it can be. That means swapping out sugary sodas and juices for good old water and seltzer. At the Thanksgiving meal, there are thousands of calories to be potentially eaten. You don’t need to add unnecessary calories from beverages to the count.
5. Know Your Limits
On Thanksgiving, it’s easy to keep eating and eating, since all the food is so amazing! But here’s where your willpower comes in. Don’t overdo it. Eat until you’re full, not stuffed. You don’t want to eat a whole turkey and then start experiencing the meat sweats. You don’t want to have too much sugar and feel nauseous after. Remember, Thanksgiving is on a Thursday—you don’t have to eat everything right away, you have the whole weekend to enjoy the leftovers.
A Healthy Balance
Unless you’re extremely committed to healthy eating, chances are you won’t be willing to give up on all the tantalizing Thanksgiving foods that you’ve come to know and love. You can, however, find a healthy balance by enjoying your favorites and forgetting about things you can live without.
Finding the right balance is the key to living a high-quality life. It’s what helps you juggle healthy eating and indulging, work and family, socializing and downtime, self-care and taking care of others. When you have the right balance, you feel good physically and emotionally. You can also save money on life insurance since healthier people usually get lower monthly premiums.
Sproutt insurance advisors are available to help you determine what kind of life insurance is best for you. Simply answer a few questions and we will find the best-value plan for your lifestyle, needs and budget.