Ensure a Happy, Healthy Thanksgiving with These Tips

Photo: Thanksgiving Table Holding Holds with Family

Let the Thanksgiving celebrations begin! Whether you participate with a traditional feast with the whole ‘ohana, don’t celebrate at all, or have created your own unique way to observe the holiday- here’s some easy tips for staying healthy and having no regrets at the end of next week.

Don't Skip Breakfast

If you’re planning to have a big feast in the late afternoon or evening, you might be tempted to skip breakfast so you’ll be hungrier later. This tactic seems practical but will almost always lead to later pain and suffering as you overeat to satisfy your huge hunger.

Stay Hydrated

Picture: Glass of Water

As strange as this may sound, it’s common for people to confuse thirst for hunger. If you aren’t drinking enough water your body may signal that it needs something but the message gets mixed up. The next thing you know, you’re going for another helping of ice cream when your body really just needed a glass of water. Staying well hydrated also helps with proper digestion and keeping you clear headed to enjoy the festivities, as well as to make smart decisions on how much to eat and drink.

Go for Small Portions

As great as all the food at the Thanksgiving party may be, you don’t have to heap your plate with each one. Taking 2-3 tablespoon portions of each dish is usually plenty, especially if there are more than six different foods on the table. Be the wise one in the room with small portions and you’ll also be the first one ready for seconds of the most ono dishes!

Slow Down

Picture: Healthy Salad

Have you ever experienced spending hours, or even days, preparing food for Thanksgiving or other big occasions and it takes the guests about thirty minutes to eat and get full? It’s an amazing phenomenon that is a bit disappointing for the tired cooks. Eat slowly, chew well (studies show that it’s best to chew each bite 32 times!), and take breaks to allow your food to move through your digestive system before going in for more. Your ʻohana and your gut will be grateful if you set a slow pace this year, with more time to talk story and laugh.

Start a Healthy New Tradition

A traditional Thanksgiving meal can be a little dull looking. There aren’t many bright, natural colors, except maybe some green beans and cranberry sauce. Don’t be afraid to start healthy new traditions by contributing a big, vibrant salad to the menu. In fact, the more different colored fruits and veggies, with little to no additives, the better. Above all, the very best option is to go meatless. It’s not as hard as you may think and with these deliciously satisfying recipes you won’t miss out on any flavor- Tofu Turkey, Mushroom Gravy, Herbed Cranberry Stuffing, Hawaiian-style Sweet Potatoes, Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake.

Get Active

Picture: Family Walking on the Beach

Add a new physically active tradition to your family's celebration. When the Thanksgiving feast is over, encourage everyone to get up from the table and take a nice long walk around the neighborhood or at the closest beach. Experts recommend walking at a conversing pace after eating a big meal, rather than a fast pace. The benefits of walking after eating are impressive. It can:

  1. Improve your intestinal movement
  2. Boost your blood flow and support blood sugar regulation
  3. Promote good mood hormones
  4. Lower your stress level
  5. Allow for better and deeper sleep

Don’t forget to visit our grocery and produce aisles for healthy and natural ingredients for your celebration. Or, check out Down to Earth’s Thanksgiving menus so you can relax and leave the cooking to us!