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10 Tips For Rocking A Healthy Thanksgiving

Written by: Laurel Santiago, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 
Executive Contributor Laurel Santiago

Thanksgiving—a time for gratitude, family, and feasting! While indulging in a delicious meal is a cherished tradition, this year, opt to uplevel your favorite traditions with a better balance between enjoying the holiday spread and maintaining your health and well-being. As an integrative nutritionist, here are my ten best practical tips for a healthy and happy Thanksgiving celebration.

Happy Thanksgiving dinner party with family and food with turkey on table

1. Start with hydration


Before you dive into the Thanksgiving feast, kickstart your day with a glass of water. Staying hydrated is vital for digestion and can help control your appetite, ensuring you make mindful food choices.


2. Don't skip meals


It might be tempting to skip breakfast or lunch to "save room" for the main event, but this can lead to overeating later. Enjoy balanced meals throughout the day to keep your hunger in check.


3. Create a "car kit" if traveling


If you're hitting the road to visit loved ones, pack a "car kit" with healthy snacks like nuts, uncured beef sticks, turkey roll-ups, sliced veggies, and fruit. This will help you resist the urge to munch on less nutritious options during your journey.


4. Prioritize portion control


When it's time for the Thanksgiving meal, focus on portion control. Serve yourself smaller portions or limit yourself to one plate. Savor each bite, and remember, you can always go back for seconds if you're still hungry.


5. Load up on veggies


Fill a significant portion of your plate with colorful vegetables. They're rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, helping you feel satisfied.


6. Mindful eating


Slow down and pay attention to hunger cues. Practice mindful eating by savoring each bite. Put your fork down between bites, engage in conversation, and enjoy the sensory experience of your meal. Stop eating when you feel full – and consider left-overs to minimize thoughts of wanting another bite when your stomach says “no thank you”.


7. Balance protein and carbs


Balance your meal by including lean protein sources like turkey alongside carbohydrates like stuffing and potatoes. Protein helps stabilize blood sugar levels and keeps you feeling full.


8. Limit sugary drinks


Be mindful of sugary beverages like soda and fruit juices. Opt for water, herbal tea, or sparkling water with a slice of lemon to keep added sugar in check.


9. Be choosy with desserts


Thanksgiving desserts can be irresistible. Instead of sampling every option, choose one or two treats you truly love. Savor them slowly and share the joy with others.


10. Stay active


After the meal, encourage your family to take a leisurely walk. Physical activity can aid digestion and help lower blood sugar. In turn, this helps keep your metabolism and weight at a healthy hum from food consumed during the feast.


Bonus tip: Express gratitude


Thanksgiving is about more than just the food; it's about giving thanks and spending time with loved ones. Express your gratitude, share stories, and create cherished memories. A positive mindset can enhance your overall well-being.


Remember, a healthy Thanksgiving is not about deprivation but about making mindful choices and savoring the joy of the holiday without overindulging. By following these tips, you can enjoy a satisfying and healthful celebration that leaves you feeling thankful for your health and happiness.


This Thanksgiving, I encourage you to nourish your body and soul, enjoy the company of family and friends, and reflect on the many blessings in your life. Wishing you a happy, healthy, and harmonious Thanksgiving!


P.S. If you have any specific dietary concerns or need personalized advice for a healthier Thanksgiving, don't hesitate to reach out. Your health and well-being are always a priority!


Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube and visit my website for more info!

Laurel Santiago Brainz Magazine
 

Laurel Santiago, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Laurel Santiago, an integrative nutrition expert, specializes in optimizing gut health, weight, and overall well-being. As a clinical pharmacist, she transformed her health journey when faced with alarming lab results and was following the imprint of her parent’s rapid decline. Her Master's in Human Nutrition empowered her to craft a personalized plan based on addressing root causes to revolutionize health. Her innovative science-based approach is nothing short of groundbreaking, delivering sustainable results that nourish and energize the body without resorting to restrictive diets. What sets her system apart is its ability to preserve muscle while shedding fat, making it a truly holistic solution.

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