Lighten Up Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of my very favorite holidays. Even as a registered dietitian, I am tempted to break out the maternity pants (that I just was able to pack away after delivering my second son in August) in anticipation of all of the delicious food to come. However, gorging during the Thanksgiving meal only leaves you feeling crummy the next day. In fact, did you know the average American eats a whopping 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving? That’s more than double the average recommended intake.

This year, try these tips for having all of the fun of the holiday without the need for stretchy waistbands!

Give Thanks

The reason for the holiday is to give thanks for what you have—including the food in front of you. So, practice mindful eating and be in the moment by savoring every bite of your meal. These are dishes and flavors that only come once a year. Make the taste last until next year!

Enjoy the Flavor without the Guilt

Flavors like cinnamon, allspice, sage and rosemary are what make Thanksgiving truly special. Enjoy those flavors without guilt by using more nutritious ingredients in place of less healthy ones. For example, use kefir in these Whole Wheat Biscuits for a protein and probiotic home run or this Green Bean Casserole using Greek yogurt.

Do the Turkey Trot

Instead of just watching football on TV, get up and play a game with family or go for a nice long walk after dinner. It will not only give you time to connect with family and make new memories, but also give your body a much-needed jump start to help digest the food.

Whatever your traditions are at Thanksgiving, there’s always room to make healthy choices. How do you plan to refresh your Thanksgiving? Share with me on Twitter at @TheDairyRD.

Lanier Dabruzzi, MS, RD, LD

Lanier