Make Thanksgiving a Healthy Holiday (Part 1)

Healthy cornucopia with pumpkins and gourds

 

How many families have Thanksgiving where the extended family gathers together at a long dining table, full of a bountiful feast, with more food than they could all possibly eat in that one day? Is it also often followed by a menagerie of pies laden with meringue and whipped cream? And how many families follow up the feast with a long afternoon of couch warming, watching one ball game after the next? How many of these families feel terrible the next day, due to overeating and lack of exercise?

Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be an unhealthy holiday. If one is hosting Thanksgiving, it’s easy enough to control a large amount of the food preparation; however, eating elsewhere presents its own problems. Either way, there are certain things to keep in mind if one wants a happy, healthy Thanksgiving.

Be Careful about the Meat

It’s advisable to avoid the usual suspects – turkey and ham, unless you know how the animals were raised. Mass-produced meats are often chock full of hormones, antibiotics, and genetic modification. Who wants to ingest all that?

Want a healthier, happier Thanksgiving? Instead decide to buy from an organic (preferably local) farm that doesn’t use typical industrial-farm techniques. Others may choose to eat a plant-based protein instead. Any one of these options is preferable to the alternative.

Don’t Overdo the Overly Refined Carbohydrates

Look over a Thanksgiving buffet table, and one is likely to see a cornucopia of overly refined foods, ones that are known for increasing a person’s blood sugar levels, contributing to obesity and diabetes. Some of these culprits at the Thanksgiving table include rolls and breads, gravy, stuffing, and mashed potatoes, which become possibly half of one’s Thanksgiving plate!

Want a happier, healthier Thanksgiving? For starters, choose to eat whole grain breads only. Refined flours are stripped of fiber and nutrients, leaving only unhealthy calories and empty carbs behind.

Stuffing can be made the same way – with whole, rather than refined, grains. And if it’s stuffed with veggies like onions, celery, and garlic and baked in vegetable broth, it’s much healthier than the kinds that can be purchased prepackaged at the supermarket.

Gravies can be improved as well. Instead of eating a traditional turkey-fat-based gravy, why not instead eat a mushroom gravy? Spoon for spoon, it’s bound to have more nutrients than turkey gravy.

Finally, mashed potatoes don’t have to be bad. Real potatoes should be used instead of instant flakes, and including the skins makes them that much more nutrient-dense.

Thanksgiving can be healthier than it has been in years past, and watching meat and refined carbohydrates are simply two ways to begin.

Article adapted from Natural News.

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