Thanksgiving Holiday Ideas to Live Healthy, Live More
On average, Americans will consume between 3,000 – 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving Day, while the recommended average ranges from 2,000 – 2,600 calories (depending on age, gender, and various other factors). We believe it is essential to enjoy, celebrate and relax on Thanksgiving. We also recognize that small changes often make a big impact in your wellness journey. As you prepare for time with loved ones, consider nutritional options and healthy lifestyle alternatives. Celebrating one holiday differently could spark inspiration to take more control of your overall health. At Saint Francis LIFE, we believe when you live healthy, you live more. Let’s get started together with these Thanksgiving ideas:
Don’t Nix Menu Staples, Replace with Nutrient-Dense Substitutes
Instead of traditional recipes, try these swaps for some of your classic dishes:
- Instead of mashed potatoes, try mashed cauliflower or vitamin-rich mashed sweet potatoes.
- Swap out regular stuffing for a quinoa/squash base and add kale, diced apples, and rosemary.
- Instead of green bean casserole (often made with greasy onions and fattening soup) cook fresh green beans with roasted garlic, or alternatively, make lemon and garlic roasted asparagus.
- Instead of canned, sugary cranberry sauce, steam fresh cranberries and mash them or try using the variation monk fruit instead.
- For the main dish, avoid deep frying the turkey, and roast your turkey without adding butter. Avoid eating the skin, which is full of saturated fat.
- For dessert, try baked apples with cinnamon and nutmeg or a healthier version of a pie with a nut crust, monk fruit filling and coconut whipped cream.
Don’t Skip Meals
Eat as you regularly would prior to Thanksgiving dinner, and you will be less likely to overeat. Make it a three-meal day. If appetizers are part of the celebration, try to choose lighter options such as veggies and hummus, chips and salsa or a vegetable-based soup such as butternut squash soup.
Keeping blood sugar levels steady helps avoid irritability and lessens sugar cravings. In addition, the mindset of starving yourself prior to the main meal, will often result in binge eating.
Stay Away from Sweet Beverages
Instead of sweet cocktails, cider, punch, soda or juices high in sugar, try a flavored seltzer. Stay hydrated throughout the day with water or tea. Having enough water will curb your sugar cravings and keep your appetite balanced throughout the day.
Engage in Light Activity
Take a walk with your family in between dinner and dessert, or after both! A break with movement can increase energy and help you to digest a big meal. Light exercise before and after the meal will help decrease the fat in your blood.
Don’t Forget to Give Thanks
It’s easy to get swept up in the hustle and bustle of a Thanksgiving celebration. Try a phone-free dinner to stay engaged with loved ones and enjoy the moment. The best way to live in the present is to embrace gratitude. Look around and recognize who and what you are thankful for, share it with each other and find the joy in the day. After all, the heart of the holiday is to give thanks.
Boosting mental health and making smart nutritional choices are essential to improving quality of life, a fundamental value at Saint Francis LIFE.
Saint Francis LIFE is here to help seniors live life to the fullest. Our program helps participants live independently, live at home, and LIVE MORE. As a Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), we offer community-based care with a full circle approach. A team of health care providers creates customized care plans for each participant’s individual needs. The care team includes primary care providers, nurse practitioners, specialists, social workers, rehabilitation therapists, recreational therapists and more. Our model of care helps seniors live in the comfort of their own home for as long as possible. There’s so much LIFE to live, and Saint Francis LIFE can help seniors to LIVE MORE.
Contact us today to see if you or someone you know qualifies for services. We can be reached by phone at 302-660-3380 or visit our website www.saintfrancislife.org.