Monday, October 19, 2009

Thanksgiving - Holiday Meal Breakdown

Here are some guidelines to help you enjoy your Thanksgiving celebration without the fear of getting fat.

Before the Meal:

Plan a meal: Think less fat, salt, sugar and alcohol without your family noticing. Eat well and exercise the days running up to Thanksgiving. Don’t starve during the day, eat lightly. On the day, wear clothes that fit, not pants with a stretchy waist. Go for a walk with the family. An average American consumes between 2,400 to 4,000 calories during this meal. Recommended daily intake is 1,600 to 2,400 for adults.

Put out healthy snacks: vegetables and humus, edamame, popcorn, freshly cut fruit, nuts and dried fruit.

Preparing the Meal: Start with a filling soup, full of vegetables. Then a tasty-looking salad with pecans, walnuts, or almonds; pumpkin or sunflower seeds; dried apricots or cranberries; or pomegranate or blood oranges. Rub the turkey with lemon juice instead of rubbing butter under the skin. For stuffing, use a whole-grain barley or wild rice salad - less butter and more fruit, vegetables and nuts such as apples, celery, onions, parsley and walnuts. Instead of hollandaise sauce, use salsas and chutneys. Steamed vegetables (pumpkin, kale, collards, mustard greens) with herb vinaigrette; or sautéed vegetables with garlic salt, chopped fresh herbs, garlic, chilies, dried spices or grated citrus. Make gravy with reduced stock then lightly thickened with a little cornstarch rather than fat and flour. When baking a dessert, find a recipe using fruit juices or fruit purées, such as applesauce, mashed bananas, or prune purée; buttermilk instead of cream; and on the baking sheets, use cooking spray.

Serving The Meal:

Alcohol: drink sparkling water before, during and after your drink. Serving sizes: wine (5 oz), beer (12 oz), spirits (1 1/2 oz), soda (12 oz) -100 to 150 calories. Dish up 3 – 4 oz turkey, 1/4 cup stuffing, ½ cup mashed potato or a medium sweet potato, 2 cups vegetables with 2 Tbsp gravy. Add fresh cranberries. Avoid second helpings.

After the Meal: Wait 3 hours for dessert. During this time, take family and friends for a walk. Dish up fresh fruit with small slices of pumpkin or pecan pie - 500 calories (50% fat). Give some leftovers away and save the rest for the next 3 days. Keep in the fridge. Stuffing should be eaten within 24 hours. Return to healthy eating the next day.