Happy November everyone! Thanksgiving is fast approaching, a holiday famous for celebrating family, friends, and food! It can be hard to stick to your nutrition goals when you’re standing over a table full of delicious meats, sides, and sweets. Fear not! You can still eat all of your favorite foods; but be smart! The only thing that should be stuffed on Thanksgiving is the turkey!
MyPlate is a guide from the US Department of Agriculture to help guide us with our food choices. We’ll go over each section and talk about what foods go where:
- Protein: this section should take up ¼ of your plate. This is your turkey! Go for white meat and peel the skin off before eating. Also, don’t overdo it on the gravy.
- Grains: this section also takes up ¼ of your plate. Foods in the grain section include stuffing, potatoes, rice, corn, and dinner rolls.
- Vegetables: load up on veggies! With fruits, they should take up ½ of your plate. Common vegetables at Thanksgiving include carrots, green beans, broccoli, salad, Brussels sprouts, and asparagus.
- Fruits: Fruit at dinner? How? It is possible! Applesauce or baked apples, cranberry sauce, and baked peaches/pears are all good options.
- Dairy: A glass of milk with your dinner or desert works to get your dairy in, or you can pick a side that has cheese on it.
Okay, so we know what to eat. Now, what else should we keep in mind?
- Don’t skip meals before your Thanksgiving celebration! This leads to overeating and you will not feel good after stuffing yourself.
- Don’t overfill your plate! This can be easy to do with so many yummy things to try, but if you put too much food on your plate you will either waste it because you’re too full to eat it all, or you will eat it all and you’ll get sick from eating too much.
- Rethink your drink. The best drink choices are water and milk! Avoid too much juice, soda, and alcohol so you can leave some room for dessert.
- Speaking of dessert…Try to limit your choices to one piece of pie, cake, cookie, brownie, etc. If you really want to try a couple different desserts, take a smaller size piece of each one than you normally would if you were only having one.
- Trot off your turkey. Go for a walk to help digest and get some fresh air. Your body will thank you!
Most important of all, take some time this Thanksgiving to GIVE THANKS. For me, I am thankful for my loving family and friends, my amazing boyfriend, the awesome Special Olympics RI community, my health, and the opportunity to follow my dreams and do what I love every day. What are you thankful for?
Have a safe, happy and healthy Thanksgiving everyone!