In Canada this weekend, people are getting ready to cook their Thanksgiving turkeys. Turkey…. easy to prepare, healthy and feeds a crowd. Doesn’t get better. So, let’s talk turkey.
When I plan our Thanksgiving dinner, a quick look down the guest list reminds me that I will not be the only person sitting at the table and hoping to see a nutritious, healthy and great tasting meal. Many of our guests have health concerns, so I am not being selfish when I make healthy choices.
Just a few changes to the Thanksgiving menu and you can have a delicious meal that everyone can eat, despite their health concerns. But where do you start?
1) The Oh-So- Scrumptious Gravy: While absolutely mouth-watering, gravy is made with butter and high fat pan drippings – oh the calories and fat!!! So take only a small portion and have other condiments to enjoy with your turkey. Cranberry sauce, apple sauce, or other fruit and vegetable based chutneys are all good alternatives.
2) The Sides: Serve at least 2 or 3 vegetable based dishes. There could be a squash soup as a starter followed by a salad and then a hot vegetable or choice of vegetables served with the meal. Browse through recipe books and websites to get different some ideas on how to make your traditional recipes healthier.
3) The Plate Size: Often, we fill our plates until they are piled high. Make an effort to put less food on your plates. My nephews always laugh because I serve dinner on the luncheon plates and use the dinner plates as chargers. Those who want to eat smaller portions can do so and still feel like they are eating a full plate. My son and nephews with the big appetites can eat as much as they want and then can go back for seconds…and thirds…and fourths.
4) Drink Water: Stay hydrated. Putting a pitcher of water and water glasses on the table will remind you to drink water and allow you to skip that second or third glass of wine.
5) Dessert: Keep your portions reasonable. Pumpkin pie – why not? A one-inch wedge….yummy. A 3 inch wedge and you are in I-can’t-believe-I-ate-the-whole-thing territory. Your body will thank you
6) Get moving: Take a walk through the park, organise a football game, put on some
great music and dance, dance, dance or whatever physical activity you enjoy, just get moving!! If you’re moving and having a great time doing so, you are not nibbling, eating or drinking, all of which can make you feel tired and sluggish. (Think Food Coma) That sluggish feeling can sometimes take a few days to pass.
In a nutshell, keep your portions reasonable, eat lots of vegetables, get some exercise.