9 Tips for Enjoying Thanksgiving Without Overindulging (Slideshow)
November 18, 2013
Vegan chef and author Fernanda Capobianco shares her secrets and recipes
Have a healthy breakfast the morning of Thanksgiving. Eating plenty of fruit in the morning is an ideal way to start the day. This will ensure you have enough carbs to give you energy throughout the day. Added bonus — you’ll be full of vitamin C!
Make sure that you drink lots of water — especially if you are going to drink wine or alcohol. This will help you to keep hydrated and energized after the meal. If you are going to drink these beverages, try to limit the amount and/or alternate with water, seltzer, or unsweetened iced tea.
If the meal is going to be late (which tends to happen on Thanksgiving), make sure you have plenty of healthy snacks on hand to munch on in the meantime. Nuts, carrots, celery, and other raw vegetables are portable and convenient.
Bring Your Own… Food?
If you’re going to be a guest at a Thanksgiving meal, don't be shy to bring your own foods. Since I'm a vegan, I always bring something special for the host and make sure to bring enough for the other guests, too. In my personal experience, people generally love to try out the food I bring and I end up sharing all of my food with them! Things that have worked well in the past include a beautiful tomato soup, kale chips, chopped avocados, and anything special and fresh that you find in the local market. It's a great way to show and influence your friends about your healthy homemade food.
If you are going to be in charge of the turkey, aim for organic! Turkey is a great protein choice, but try to avoid eating the skin. If you are having a Turkey-less Thanksgiving like I do every year, you can be creative with the "main dish" by making a lentil casserole, farro risotto, or blue potato warm salad. Chicken, fish, and tofu are also healthy alternatives. Make the most of the beautiful seasonal produce: Brussels sprouts, pumpkin, winter salads, and of course, don’t forget the sweet potato. These foods will keep you full and satisfied.
Indulge a Little
Strive for balance! You don’t want to feel deprived, so if you really want dessert pick one, and enjoy it. Just remember that alcohol, soda, and juices are all high in calories, so be moderate if you are doing desserts as well.
Ditch the Plate
Get rid of your plate when you are finished! If it stays in front of you, you will be that much more tempted to refill.
If you are really suffering from a hangover after the feast, try to drink plenty of water, fruit juice, and coconut water the next day. The diuretic effects of the alcohol will cause you to lose minerals and these beverages will help you to rehydrate.
Don’t Beat Yourself Up
The most important thing to remember is that Thanksgiving dinner is just one large meal of the week, so if it is a little heavier and higher in calories, you will balance it out on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday!