10 Tips for a Safe and Healthy Thanksgiving

10 Tips for a Safe and Healthy Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is approaching! This year is different than others as we all continue to live within the guidelines of the pandemic.  Naturally, this makes Thanksgiving a bit more stressful or difficult to manage compared to years prior.  To make things a bit easier, here are some quick tips on how to ensure you have a safe and healthy Thanksgiving 2020. 🦃

 

Tip 1: Offer To Make a Dish

If you are able to safely celebrate with family and friends, offer to contribute to the meal.  Not only will it lessen the burden on the host, but it will also give you some control over your options.  Sharing a healthy dish you love ensures the meal includes foods that contribute to your health goals. It’s also an opportunity to introduce loved ones to new ingredients or new ways of preparing a dish.  Who doesn’t love a new recipe?

Tip 2: Try Healthier Alternatives

No need to sacrifice the traditional dishes when opting for healthier alternatives.  To reduce calories, fat, sodium, and sugar…..

  • Swap butter for N4L's Organic Olive Oil wherever you can
  • Use fresh herbs and spices in place of salt when possible
  • Trade in your white rolls for the whole wheat version
  • Offer hummus, veggies, nuts, and seeds on your appetizer platter
  • Offer fruit as a dessert alternative, or something to have on the side of your other sweet treats

No matter what, get creative and have fun with it!  Creative home chefs love finding new ways to prepare the unique varieties of produce that come in our Farm Fresh Produce Box!  You never know what new recipe might become a staple.

Tip 3: Zoom Call

Fearful of COVID-19, but don’t want to miss out on family or friend time? Don’t worry! That’s what technology is for.  Schedule a Zoom or Facetime call with family and friends to celebrate virtually.  You can Zoom while you eat, play a game, or have everyone share what they are grateful for.  Even if you are comfortable with attending gatherings in person, it is a thoughtful gesture to reach out and check in on loved ones choosing to stay home this year.

Tip 4: Send Food to Family and Friends

Sending or delivering a meal to a family or friend is another thoughtful way to connect and give thanks.  If you don’t have time or logistics to prepare and ship meals safely on your own, leave it to us.  Nutrition for Longevity has prepared a special Thanksgiving menu for the week of November 24th.  Purchase one of our meal plans for yourself or a loved one before Friday, November 20th to experience our plant-powered family-style dinner.    

 

Tip 5: Pack Your Plate with Veggies

It is easy to overindulge on Thanksgiving when your kitchen is filled with mashed potatoes, cornbread, gravy, and pumpkin pie.  These dishes are traditionally high in saturated fat, excess sodium, and refined carbohydrates that make you crave more, leaving you extremely full and bloated.  So, what is the healthier approach?  Without avoiding all the delicious sweet and fatty dishes, control your portions by prioritizing raw, steamed, or roasted veggies on your plate first.  When you are filled up on high fiber veggies, you are less likely to overindulge on the sweet and fatty dishes.  We want the turkey to be stuffed, not you.

Tip 6: Do not fast for one meal

While the holiday dinner might pack in a lot of calories, that’s not a reason to skip your regularly scheduled meals. In other words, you do not want to fast before dinner and 'save' your calories for the Thanksgiving feast. Banking calories for a big meal is generally not a healthy approach as it promotes overeating and ignoring natural body hunger cues. By eating a small meal in the morning, it can help with appetite control for the dinner. If you are interested in fasting, consider the 12/12 fasting. You would fast for 12 hours and then eat within a 12-hour window. In the long run, it has been shown to provide some health benefits especially weight loss.

 

Tip 7: Reduce Liquid Calories

If your dinner table is filled with sweetened and alcoholic beverages, remember to always - mix in a water.  It’s fun to have apple cider, hot chocolate, or a cocktail on Thanksgiving, but too many of these will drive up your calories without offering any essential nutrients.  A healthy strategy to cut these empty calories is to get most of your calories from food, drink a big glass of water between holiday drinks, and sip slowly.  

Tip 8: Go on a walk or hike!

Instead of lounging around on the couch after eating your delicious Thanksgiving dinner, go on a nice leisurely walk with friends or family to help with digestion and burn some calories.  Better yet, start your day by going for a walk, throwing a football, or any kind of physical activity for some pre-dinner family fun. If your plans do not allow for a walk on Thanksgiving, schedule a hike the morning after!  

Tip 9: Create an event at home!

You may have traditions of going to watch sports, parades, and so on.  Given these unprecedented times, it is best to watch all of these events from the comfort of your own home via TV or live stream.  Since you can’t be there in person, use this year to establish new traditions at home!     

Tip 10: Be Present

Thanksgiving is a great time to catch up with family and friends. By participating in conversations you will naturally spend less time eating. Remove food as the focus of the day by reconnecting with those you have not been able to see given the pandemic.  If you are keeping this year's gathering small, check back to Tip 3: Zoom Call to establish safe ways to connect during the Thanksgiving celebration!

We hope all these tips help you navigate Thanksgiving and all your holiday gatherings this year!