How To Have a Healthy Thanksgiving

winter jogger [Photo credit: Roberto Verzo]Apple Tree Health Plans wants everyone to have a joyous and truly blessed Thanksgiving — but we also want our family of clients and friends to celebrate this traditional holiday, known for splurging on gravy-topped stuffing, marshmallow encrusted yams, and decadent slices of pecan pie, pumpkin pie, spice cake, and anything chocolate, without gaining weight. Impossible? Here are a few ways to eat well and stay trim so you can fit into that little black dress or skinny velvet sweater on Christmas Eve.

  • Walk the day before and again right after Thanksgiving dinner. Walking on Wednesday will alert your body to how great it feels to hit your pace, making you more likely to keep your commitment to walk after the big dinner on Thursday. If you’re hosting the dinner, ask your invited guests to bring their walking shoes and make the walk a fun group event.
  • Focus on the people and not the food. While you’re preparing the meal and greeting guests on their arrival, focus your attention on them, not on sampling every piece of the food you’re slicing, dicing, stirring, baking, and blending. It’s a lot harder to hold a conversation if you have food in your mouth – so don’t put it there! Stay focused on the people, not the food.
  • Instead of seeing how much you can eat, serve yourself small portions of everything, but only enough to satisfy your appetite for that “special taste of Thanksgiving Dinner” — but don’t overdo it. Make a commitment to graze on small portions, then stick to it.
  • Clean up after dinner, not the next day. All the running back and forth from the dining room to the dishwasher is a mini workout. Folding tablecloths, scrubbing countertops, and drying those heavy roasting pans can be highly aerobic. If you’re the guest and not the host, jump in and help clean up. Your host will appreciate the gesture, and you give yourself a bonus workout right when you need it.
  • Plan to workout Friday morning, even if you have overnight guests. Whether you hit the pavement in sneakers or head to the neighborhood gym, an early morning workout will leave you feeling great instead of lethargic, and keep those extra calories from sticking to your waist or thighs. Plus, if in advance you ask a friend to join you, you’re more likely to show up.

Happy holidays everyone! From the Browning family to yours, we wish you the gift of gratitude for all that God has given to us.