Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Living It Up: 8 Steps to a Healthy Thanksgiving

8 Steps to a Healthy Thanksgiving
By Meri Raffetto

Sure, Thanksgiving is about eating that fabulous meal, but the good news is the traditional festive meal doesn't have to ruin your efforts towards a healthier lifestyle. Try the following tips to ensure a healthy and delicious thanksgiving day!

1. Add some pumpkin!
Pumpkin is a great food that we usually eat at Thanksgiving. A matter of fact, canned pumpkin is higher in vitamins than fresh pumpkin. Add pumpkin to soups, breads, or even mashed potatoes.

2. More veggies less bread
Make stuffing with less bread and add more onions, celery, vegetables, or fruits such as dried cranberries or apples. This simple step will add more health benefits and decrease some of the calories.

3. Decrease the fat in your gravy
Use a fat separator or refrigerate the pan juices and skim the fat off before making the gravy. This can save up to 55 grams of fat per cup (495 calories) and help you to avoid having greasy gravy.

4. Don't forget the veggies
Thanksgiving is such a great time to get in all of those wonderful fall veggies. Sweet potatoes, yams, squash, and green beans are a great way to add more vegetable side dishes.

5. Pies
What is thanksgiving without pie? All in moderation is what I say. If you don't have a preference, opt for pumpkin pie instead of pecan pie and save hundreds of calories.

6. Don't Rush!
Slow down, savor your food, and enjoy your family and friends. Give yourself a chance to feel full and satisfied. Remember, it isn't the last time you will eat these foods and you can always have more of the leftovers tomorrow.

7. Partake in some fun activities
Take a leisurely walk, go for a bike ride, or start a family tradition of playing touch football. Getting active will help you to burn more of the extra calories you ate during the day rather than storing those extra calories as fat. Get out and enjoy some movement.

8. Most importantly...
Thanksgiving comes once a year. Have fun sharing your thanksgiving meal and celebrating your family's traditions.

Meri Raffetto is a Registered Dietitian, free-lance writer, and is a recognized professional in the area of nutrition and wellness. She is the owner of Real Living Nutrition Services providing online weight loss programs to help people make sustainable lifestyle changes. Learn more at: http://www.reallivingnutrition.com

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

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