Having a healthy Thanksgiving
Tips to help you remember to maintain a healthy lifestyle in the midst of a very unhealthy holiday.
Monday, November 23, 2009 - 17:23
Who doesn't love Thanksgiving? It's a great time to gather friends, family and everyone you love for quality time and a fabulous meal. Even so, sometimes the holidays can throw us off from our normal routine. A couple days off from work and a couple pounds of turkey later, we can forget how to stay healthy in the midst of the festivities. By following these simple reminders, MNN will help guide you back on track to the road of vigorous living.
1) Have a small snack in the morning when you wake up. Try something like a whole grain granola bar or a fruit smoothie. This way you will be able to save room for the main meal later, without skipping a meal and harming your metabolism.
2) Go outside and be active. In between the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and the various football games on television throughout the day, round up the family for your own game of touch football in the backyard. You will burning off the calories you just consumed, while simultaneously taking advantage of quality family time. It's a win-win situation!
3) Buy organic groceries and produce. If you can, try to buy locally as well. By doing so, you will be avoiding the various chemicals and preservatives that could be present otherwise in your food. When you eat better, you feel better.
4) Look for different approaches to making the traditional Thanksgiving goodies. Pretty much everything you see on your Thanksgiving table is very high in sugars or fats, and there are plenty of recipes out there to change that without changing the delicious taste. Here are a few ideas from Eating Well that you could incorporate into the menu.
5) Balance your food groups. Don't eat too much starch or focus only on the deserts. Pick the sweet potatoes over the mashed potatoes, or the fruit salad over the apple pie and ice cream. If you don't have any vegetables on your plate, add a spoonful of green beans. This will help you gather all the different forms of nutrition that you will need to get you through the day.
6) Get a good night's sleep the day before the festivities. Whether you are hosting the Thanksgiving dinner or attending as a guest, the holidays can be stressful and tiring. It is important to get plenty of rest to minimize stress and create a happy environment for you and your family. High stress levels can be damaging to your health. When you are happy and without stress, you release endorphins that are beneficial to your health. In addition, a good night's rest will also help you if you are traveling a distance -- especially if you are driving and will need to remain focused. The last thing you'd ever want to happen is a call that your friend or family member got in a car accident on the way to see you because they were too tired to drive.
7) Organize a carpool. If you have a number of family or friends all traveling to a central location, this is a great idea. The less amount of cars on the road creates for a better environment with less pollution. It will also keep your hosts' house from getting too crowded, which will keep their stress levels down and their focus on accommodating their guests. If you are driving a long distance, the more people in the car means the more people to take turns driving. It also makes for a more entertaining ride and good use of quality time together!
We all know things can get a little hectic over the holiday season, but remembering these small tasks will aid to make your life that much easier this week. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!