Thanksgiving is right around the corner & you know what that means...parties, food, friends, family, & more food! Take the stress out of the holidays & enjoy the delicious meals with these easy tips.
November is the kick off of the holiday season. People start shopping for presents, the parties start piling up, & we're surrounded by food! It's really easy to get overwhelmed by the hustle & bustle of the holiday season and feel as though all the great progress you've made with your healthy lifestyle goals will fall by the wayside. To take the edge off & reassure you that this holiday season can be as enjoyable as ever, I'm sharing my favorite tips for navigating the main event!
1. Portion control is your friend
I know, I know...you hate me already for this being the first tip. But honestly, it's so true! When you restrict yourself altogether, you end up feeling deprived & probably more angry with yourself than if you just ate that dang cookie. By keeping your portions in check, you save room to try different types of foods & you can still indulge in those sweet treats. You'll end up being happier & enjoying the meal more because you let yourself have the foods you desired.
2. 1/2 & 1/2 Plate Rule
I was reminded of this rule yesterday by Regan Jones, RD. It's like the MyPlate...fill 1/2 your plate with fruits & veggies and the other half with foods you love & consider 'splurging' on. This is a great way to balance out your plate during your Thanksgiving meal!
3. Set up a game plan
Go to into your Thanksgiving meal with a game plan in mind. By setting up a plan for how you're going to navigate the buffet, you will be less overwhelmed by all the choices & you won't have that tendency to stress eat. Maybe your plan will be only fill up your plate once at the buffet. Or maybe follow the 1/2 & 1/2 Plate Rule. Having a plan & sharing it with your spouse or a friend will keep you accountable & stay on track.
4. Eat a balanced breakfast/lunch
The most common misstep on Thanksgiving day is skipping breakfast or the meals before the big event. This is just going to make you cranky & increase your chances of overeating when the turkey comes out of the oven. Have a protein rich breakfast with whole grains to keep you satisfied until it's time for the main meal.
5. Step away from the stove
Don't be tempted to snack on the foods you're preparing all morning long. It's okay to taste test to ensure your guests will love your dish, but snacking all the way up to the main event is a no-no. You'll likely feel bloated & uncomfortable by the time you sit down at the table & you won't be able to enjoy the meal.
6. Bring your own healthy dish to pass
Worried that there will be nothing on the table that isn't drenched in butter, marshmallows, or cheese? Dig out your favorite cookbooks and see if you can make a traditional Thanksgiving dish a little healthier by swapping out some ingredients. This way you won't be anxious about the food choices available.
7. Enjoy the day
Stay focused on the most important things...family, friends, your health, & so much more! That's what makes the holidays a special time of year. Thanksgiving is one day, one meal...enjoy it!
I'm leaving you with a pumpkin custard recipe that comes with a little less guilt, but all the indulgence! I swapped out sweetened condensed milk with a little homemade version...I think you'll love it!
Divine Pumpkin Custard
1. Make sweetened condensed milk substitute.
2. Combine 3 eggs, pumpkin, maple syrup, & spices in a bowl.
3. Add pumpkin mixture to milk mixture, 1 large spoonful at a time; whisking between each spoonful.
4. Return saucepan to medium heat, stirring constantly until custard becomes 160 degrees & bubbly.
5. Remove from heat & place in ice bath to cool quickly.
6. Portion into dishes & top with your favorite toppings - crushed gingersnaps, dried cranberries, pecans, chocolate chips, etc.
*Sweetened Condensed Milk Substitute:
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3 T cornstarch
2 1/4 cups 1% milk
Bring all to a boil in large saucepan over medium heat. Cook 1 minute stirring constantly; remove from heat.
Serves: 4-6 Time: 30 min
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Hey everyone! I'm Emily - a Registered Dietitian & food lover! I love sharing better-for-you recipes & nutrition tips here on my blog. You can browse my site for other services I offer & learn how to work with me :)
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