Thanksgiving is exactly one week away, and the online world is buzzing with advice and suggestions. This is a special holiday where we look back and count our blessings. Our family, friends, our democracy. The fact that we have simple things like running water and electricity (ask Sandy survivors…).
1. No guilt. If you are on a weight loss diet, decide right now that Thanksgiving will count as a day off.
2. Home cooking. It may be rich and full of calories, but at least it’s low on preservatives, additives, colorings, and other artificial stuff your body does not need. Prepare the meal together with your spouse and children, and enjoy quality time together, before all the guests arrive.
3. Simple Plan. If you are hosting, you don’t need to serve 20 different dishes. Whittle them down to 6. Write down the top 3 dishes you plan on preparing and focus on them. Have your guests chip in with something they will bring.
4. Hors d’oeuvres. People consume 300-500 calories BEFORE the meal begins, just by snacking. So if you plan on appetizers – go by the “less is more” approach. Make them small. Tiny. Bite size. Prepare a small amount that will run out if people start munching on seconds and thirds.
5. Small plates. When plates are smaller, people eat less. Period.
6. Serve from the Kitchen. Yes, it’s cool to have the Turkey on the dining room table, along with all the other dishes. It also makes it easy for folks to eat seconds and thirds…Consider plating in the kitchen, which is what you would expect any decent restaurant to do. You’re not an all you can-eat-buffet, are you?
7. Early Rainbows. Thanksgiving classics are all shades of brown – turkey, stuffing, gravy, and potatoes. Thank goodness for the cranberry sauce! Serve some colorful salads as before the main course – Corn on the cob, Broccoli, beans, carrots and peas, beets, leafy greens, etc… People who fill up on these will eat less of the high calorie stuff.
8. Water. And fine wine. But not soft drinks, juices, juice drinks, and other useless liquid calories.
9. Dessert can wait. Take A 15 minutes time out after the main course to let your body feel full. Then serve fresh fruit. Then dessert.
10. Plan for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. You’ve got a long weekend, 3 full days, after the big meal. While some may exercise by sprinting in amok during Black Friday’s big sales, try to plan a hike, jog, walk around the neighborhood. Whatever. Make sure you have plenty of fruit and vegetables stocked up to accompany your leftovers.
What are your plans for a healthy and fun Thanksgiving?