Navigating Thanksgiving Dinner (without the sacrifice)

Tips, Tricks, and Your Thanksgiving Fix 

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, literally just a few workdays away. No, I am not here to tell you to sit out of the family feast and munch on carrots, because that’s just not a practical request and we all know none of us could actually skip the turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing galore. What I am gonna do is give you a few important tips to avoid completely overstuffing yourself this holiday season.

Get The Most of Your Morning

It’s especially important on a day that you know you’re going to be eating more than your normal amount of calories, to have a good workout. It will get your metabolism started, and help burn off some calories you’ll be sure to eat later. Starting off the day with a great workout will make you feel less guilty after dessert, trust me.

Make sure to continue your morning with a hearty and healthy breakfast. Most people think skipping this part of the day on Thanksgiving will save them calories, and help them eat more later. But it’s important to nourish your body after a good workout. Make sure the breakfast is full of all your morning essentials: carbs, protein, and healthy fats! Eating a nutritious breakfast will keep you full for a long time and prevent overeating later during the main course.

* Recipe Alert! Try my favorite (and easiest) oatmeal recipe

“Reese’s” Peanut Butter Oatmeal (2 Servings)

– 1 cup of oats
– 1 3/4 cup milk
– 2 tbsp peanut butter
– 1 sliced banana
– 2 tbsp dark chocolate chips

– Place oats and milk into a pot and cook on the stove top on medium heat until the milk is absorbed and the oats are soft.
– Whisk in the peanut butter until fully incorporated, then fold in the sliced banana
– Split between 2 bowls and top each with 1 tbsp of dark chocolate chips

Healthy Mind, Healthy Body

 Keeping yourself hydrated is an everyday necessity. It’s so easy to overlook your daily water intake, but it’s more important than you think. Water helps your body stay hydrated to properly function, and prevents false hunger cues. But wait, what the heck are false hunger cues? Sometimes, you might think you are hungry, but really it’s just your body getting confused, and signaling a hunger cue. Think about all the times you thought you were hungry, but were really just thirsty, leading to so many extra calories. But now you know to drink plenty of water, especially during the holidays to avoid that.

Eating a small bowl of soup before you eat dinner can prevent you form overeating. Keep it low calorie (but still tasteful) and enjoy on a crisp Thanksgiving day!

*Recipe Alert! Check out this fall inspired soup, perfect for a crisp thanksgiving day!

Peanut Butter and Sweet Potato Bisque (6 Servings)

– 2 large sweet potatoes, diced
-2 tbsp canola oil
-1 sweet onion, chopped
-3 garlic cloves, minced
-3 cups low sodium tomato juice
-2 tsp minced fresh ginger
-1 tsp allspice
-1, 15oz can low sodium vegetable broth
-1/2 cup smooth peanut butter

-Heat a medium sized pot over the stove top and add the canola oil.
-Add the onion and sweet potato and cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic, ginger, and all spice. Cook for 1 more minute.
-Add the tomato juice, and vegetable broth to the pot and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and allow to simmer until the sweet potato is soft.
-Using an immersion blender, carefully blend the soup to a puree. Whisk in the peanut butter.

Time For Some Stretchy Pants, Or Not

When you first grab your Thanksgiving plate, start with the vegetables. Believe it or not, you always take bigger portions when the plate is empty. With this logic you’ll be taking in more vegetables than anything else, because the rest of the portions will be smaller, therefore you’re consuming less calories.

Slow down! Eat your food slowly, and engage in more conversation with your family. Eating slower allows you to digest and gives your brain time to send signals to tell you when you’re full. Stop eating when you’re full, and if you feel like you want to eat more because it’s so delicious, pack some up for lunch tomorrow. When you eat too fast your brain can’t send the brain signal until it’s too late.

BYOB. Bring your own low calorie cocktails to sip on throughout the day, instead of drinking the heavy stuff. This is a way to still have some fun with your family, but not overload on dinner and cocktail calories.

 Enjoy the Day and Build New Memories

The most important thing to remember, is to enjoy the holiday. You don’t have to be perfect all the time, you just have to live your life the best you can. If that means taking a day to overload on calories, just cut back the rest of the week. Make healthy choices every chance you can, but don’t give up everything you love. Just learning and educating yourself to change bad choices into better choices is a step in the right direction to a healthier lifestyle!

Follow me: on Facebook at Dietitian Plus, Instagram and Twitter: @dietitianplus to see how living life to the max can be paired with healthy decisions.

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