It’s time for Thanksgiving dinner, but this year is different. On New Year’s Day, you committed to eating healthy. When you made the decision you weren’t thinking about the impact on special occasions or holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays, and any other special celebration. Now it’s time for one of the biggest holidays for Americans, Thanksgiving! Even though thanksgiving has changed since the very first Thanksgiving celebration in 1621 when the Plymouth colonists celebrated with the Wampanoag Indians their first full harvest after landing in America, this day is still a celebration with family, friends and food!
Since food is one of the main components of Thanksgiving, it’s hard for people eating healthy on this day! They find themselves wondering about what to eat. I too asked what to eat back on November 2005, three months after I decided to make this lifestyle change. But I can say since going through seven years of eating healthy on Thanksgiving, I still enjoy this special day! In fact I still can enjoy and wonderful dinner which comprises of my favorites–dressing, collard greens, cakes and pies–healthy of course! LOL!
Okay, if you’re faced with wondering what to eat at dinner, here are some tips to help you survive Thanksgiving with your family or friends:
- Drink at least 2 (16oz) bottles of water one hour before dinner.
- Eat your normal healthy meal or snack before the Thanksgiving meal; do not start dinner in STARVATION mode!!!
If dinner is at 12pm: Eat breakfast between 8am – 9am (hot cereal–oatmeal, grits, etc. nothing sweet!); eat a healthy snack or protein shake between 10:30am – 11:00am).
If dinner is at 4pm: Eat breakfast between 8am – 9am (hot cereal–oatmeal, grits, etc. nothing sweet!); eat a healthy snack or protein shake between 10:30am – 11:00am); Lunch at 12pm; healthy snack between 2:30pm – 3:00pm
- At dinner, choose double portion of the turkey breast–that’s the healthiest thing on the table!! Get extra vegetables even though the life has been cooked out of them! Eat extra collard greens, green beans (without the french onion top!); only get one scoop of dressing/stuffing.
- For dessert, choose the pumpkin or sweet potato pie first; then go for the pound cake. If you must have pecan pie and red velvet cake, make your slice a little smaller than your norm and drink 8oz of milk (non-dairy for those of you lactose intolerant!!!) to help fill you up!
- Stay hydrated; keep drinking water to help you stay full. It will help fill those gaps that you were saving for more food that you have no room for anyways!!
So, as you see you can still have a great Thanksgiving dinner without wondering what to eat or feeling guilty about not giving up your meal because you’ve started eating healthy. Strategy and moderation is key on this day for sure!