Since the pilgrims broke their bread with the Native Americans in the seventeenth century, Thanksgiving has been a time of culinary celebration. Celebrating the bountiful harvest of years gone by has now become an important national observance of thanks. We have a lot to be thankful for, particularly when such a holiday brings families together from across the nation and the globe to share the bounties of our modern labour. However, when a celebration is so often characterised by the calorie-laden foods of its celebration, it can be a challenge not to let your health and fitness regime suffer in thanks.
That’s a lot of turkey!
The average American will eat just over 13 pounds of turkey in any given year. That’s over 10,400 calories per year in turkey alone, and no doubt most of this is consumed at Thanksgiving! Considering it would take the equivalent of 5 marathons to work off that kind of calorie intake, now is the time to think about how to save your health and fitness regime during this year’s holiday period.
3 tips for healthy eating these holidays
1. Put your turkey on a diet
This year, make sure to roast your turkey on a rack so that the (deliciously) calorie-intensive juices drain away from the meat. Try a turkey breast roast instead of a whole bird; the white breast meat is far less calorie laden than the darker meats of a whole bird.
2. Keep your side-dishes fresh and interesting
Serve freshly steamed green beans tossed in light olive oil with a little chilli and garlic. Remember that color is the best indicator of healthy choices – make sure your feast has a healthy balance of greens, reds and yellows! Try something new and introduce a fruit dish at dessert; keep it fresh and keep it simple!
3. Have a healthy, balanced breakfast
Before making the long drive to your family’s home for Thanksgiving dinner, make sure you have a healthy, balanced breakfast of whole-grains, fruit and a glass of milk. This is particularly important if you won’t be in charge of providing the meal, and will help you pace yourself when faced with a bountiful feast of delectably calorie-filled foods. Snack on high-fibre, low-calorie foods throughout the day to avoid over-indulging at the dinner table.
Be active this Thanksgiving
As well as making sure your nutrition is up to scratch, it’s really important to stay active these holidays. Try introducing a new family tradition this year, encouraging your family to share in activities such as walking, playing with the family pet, throwing a frisbee or even starting a friendly game of neighborhood football! Don’t let inclement weather dampen your active ways; fire up the Nintendo Wii and get the whole family active inside! This is a great way to get people of all ages engaged in family friendly activity.
Another great way to work off those calories is to get enthusiastic about cleaning your house from top to bottom before your visitors arrive! Get scrubbing and keep yourself on track for a healthy Thanksgiving. Exercise will also give you a natural buzz to help you moderate the amount of high-calorie alcohol you consume over the long weekend.
Give thanks in health and happiness
As you reflect on the year past and the year ahead, give thanks for your health and happiness. What better time to focus on making the best of what we are blessed to receive! There is no better way than to lead by example, showing your family and friends how health and fitness can coexist this holiday season!