LIVING A FULFILLING LIFE: Tips for a healthier Thanksgiving

By Christine Carey

AS A Bahamian, I didn’t really grow up with Thanksgiving celebrations but now that my circle of adopted family and friends has grown, this American celebration is now a regular yearly occurrence.

There seems to be a lot of pressure to eat as much as you can at this time; there are advertisements on TV, reminders in food stores and people are talking about how exhausted they’ll be after eating.

Enjoying meals with family and friends is special and I see so much value in bringing people together to enjoy life. This year, I am reminded, though, that some of us always have an abundance of food so why do we feel that we have to cook so much for Thanksgiving and Christmas? And why do we feel the need to over eat?

We can consider these questions and hopefully remember that we are not feasting because we have just harvested food like the Pilgrims did when Thanksgiving was first started. In 2015, we are feasting because we can. Our food is harvested for us and the stores are full of food.

Give your body some love this year and make sure to shorten digestive recovery time and don’t gain too much weight by following these tips.

1 Don’t go to the meal hungry. Eat a little fruit or salad beforehand so you don’t end up stuffing yourself with too much food at one time.

2 Focus on conversations with friends and family rather than trying all of the appetizers.

3 Prepare a raw leafy green salad with your meal.

4 When the meal is laid out, choose a little bit of everything so that you will get all the different flavours.

5 Stop eating when you feel full.

6 Plan a brisk post-meal walk when you get to your celebration. Friends or family may want to join. A brisk walk will help you burn some calories and likely put you in the right mindset to turn down a second piece of pumpkin pie!

7 Instead of eating the second (or third) plate of food, immediately pack it up for leftovers the next day.

Many people report feeling drowsy after eating a Thanksgiving meal. Turkey often gets blamed because it contains tryptophan, an amino acid that can have a somnolent effect. But studies suggest it’s the carbohydrate-rich sides and desserts that allow tryptophan to enter the brain.

In other words, eating turkey without the trimmings could prevent that post-Thanksgiving energy lull.

• Christine Carey is a Certified Holistic Life Coach (www.christine-carey.com), partner at Liquid Nutrition (www.liquidnutrition.com) and director of Corporate Wellness at 242 Consulting (www.242consulting.com). With over ten years of coaching experience, she works with individuals and groups to assess and define their health and lifestyle goals with a strong focus on increasing knowledge and implementing tools for success.


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