Can you believe tomorrow is Thanksgiving? I can’t. This year has flown by! But
that’s okay with me because it means tomorrow is a day dedicated to family, friends, and
food. Three of my favorite things. You know what else I’m excited for? Christmas music!
After tomorrow sleigh bells can start ringing and frosty can start singing and my best friend
Deandra won’t be able to do anything about it! (She hates Christmas music. Crazy girl.)
Anyways, back to Thanksgiving. If your family is anything like mine, some of your holiday
dishes could rival Paula Dean’s in butter to food ratio. As delicious as those dishes are, let’s
face it, they’re not doing our bodies any good. In fact, during the holiday season it can be
difficult to find ANY foods that are good for our bodies.
Holiday foods are infamous for their high calorie counts so it’s no surprise that the average
American consumes 4,500 calories or more on Thanksgiving alone (Calorie Control
Council). That’s more than double the daily recommended calorie intake for an adult.
Although it deeply saddens me to say this, there are some holiday foods that you’re going to have to completely avoid. Foods with high fat and sodium levels like processed or fried
foods may taste good, but they’re bad for your body. Especially your heart.
Most holiday staples such as stuffing or eggnog are okay, as long as they’re eaten in
moderation. You can even treat yourself to dessert if you don’t go overboard. Save yourself
from guilt and excess calories by only eating a serving of your favorite holiday dessert. I’ll
be practicing what I’m preaching this Thanksgiving with my Aunt Mary’s peach pie. Wish
Fortunately, there are several holiday foods that taste good while also having high
nutritional value. Vegetables and proteins suppress appetite because they take longer to
digest. Proteins include lean meats such as turkey or chicken and seafood/fish such as
salmon or shrimp. (Vegetables are pretty self-explanatory.) Fill your plate with these foods
and you’re less likely to overeat.
Making healthier eating choices isn’t always easy, and it’s infinitely harder around the
holidays. But if you can survive the holidays, continuing these healthy habits throughout
the year will be a cake walk. Next year, when family asks you what you’re thankful for, you
can say you’re thankful your pants will still fit after dinner.
That’s all I’ve got, but if you’d like to know more about healthy food choices and how to
make them, contact our Occupational Therapist and Nutritional Specialist Susan Jarrett at
304-265- 1288 or visit our website at www.GTCHDWV.org.
We look forward to hearing from you.