Every year as the holidays approach you promise yourself you won’t indulge at the family dinner and end up in a turkey coma after the meal, but then the table is set with all your favorites – mashed potatoes, gravy, turkey, and Grandma’s apple pie . . . how can you possibly avoid over doing it?
The key is moderation – don’t give up on your favorites, simply load up on the healthy options and then enjoy a small piece of that yummy pie at the end. Keep a few of these tips in mind and you can still eat well and enjoy a Happy Holiday without the turkey coma ending.
5 Tips to Enjoy a Healthy Holiday Dinner:
1. Make it Active
Turkeys take hours to cook up nice and juicy, so why not start a new family holiday tradition and invite all the guests out for a nature walk before the meal. Play a friendly game of tag at the park or go to a close by trail and get some exercise, fresh air and burn a few calories before settling in for a yummy meal.
2. Appetizers to Avoid
Make yourself a deal that unless is grows from the ground, you will steer clear! Don’t fill up on cheese and crackers or that creamy dip when you know a festive dinner is coming! Limit the nibbling you do before the main meal and fill your plate with fresh fruit and vegetables to keep you away from the pastry wrapped fat filled appetizers. If you are not sure there will be fresh vegetables offered, you volunteer to bring some!
3. Drinks in Moderation
At a family gathering, it can be so easy to have a few extra drinks without even realizing it. These empty, sugary calories can also fill you up. Try alternating a glass of your favorite chardonnay with a glass of water or water down your juice in a tall glass with lots of ice.
4. The Main Meal
The turkey is actually a very healthy part of the meal – full of protein and B vitamins – but beware of the skin and gravy. That is where you will add on the saturated fat that will induce that coma feeling! Fill up your plate with vegetables and salad and enjoy just a taste of Mom’s famous stuffing and mashed potatoes.
5. Dessert With Caution
Who can resist hot apple pie made from apples you picked at the orchard or homemade holiday cookies? By eating appetizers and a main meal that was mostly made up of fruits, vegetables and lean protein, you should have lots of ‘room’ left over for dessert. But don’t blow it all here. Enjoy a slice, but keep portion size in mind and if you can, avoid the heavy extra’s like whip cream and cheese on top.
The idea is to enjoy your Holiday Dinner with family and friends and still feel great as you say good night. Wishing you and yours the healthiest of Holidays!
Deb Lowther is a mother of 3 young daughters who, when not running after her kids, is running on the trails! She blogs about Raising Healthy Kids and ensures her own have fun while eating healthy and staying active.