By: Dr. Evan Pulver
We want to see you enjoy your Thanksgiving with family and friends this week. For some, this holiday is an excuse to eat and drink more than one human should in a 24-hour period. I know from experience! My typical Thanksgiving includes eating 3/4 of the spinach artichoke dip to the point of being completely full. Then I proceed to eat each of the items on the table, because it would be just plain RUDE to not eat Aunt Ellen's pumpkin pie or to skip Mom's famous cheesy potatoes. Does any of this sound familiar?
WHAT I'M NOT SUGGESTING
I am not suggesting you deprive yourself, start a new raw vegan diet, or demand that your grandma make everything paleo and grass-fed, if it's not too much of a hassle. :) This time for family and eating things you may not normally take in is a great opportunity to make memories and spend face to face time (NOT Facetime) with those that are important to you. Obviously, if you have food allergies or sensitivities, please avoid those as you normally would.
WHAT I AM SUGGESTING
I am suggesting you take a few simple precautions to prevent your body from going into a sugar overload that weakens your immune system, drains your energy, and slows you down. You need to be functioning at 100% Friday morning as you hurdle someone's grandma to get into Target or Best Buy, right?
Here are my Thanksgiving Survival Strategies:
1. TROT- Or go to a yoga class, barre class, play an organized game of football, hula hoop, double dutch. If you are participating in the GE Run Through The Woodlands, good luck! If not, you can still get out and be active. Burning a few extra calories in the morning is FUN and it will help balance the extra calories you take in later.
2. AVOID LIQUID CALORIES- Choosing water to accompany your meal will help cut down the calories you take in from eating. We are often guilty of eating when our body is actually craving water. Empty soda calories won't hydrate you, leave your energy depleted, and high fructose corn syrup is the asbestos of the food industry. It won't be long before people realize, "Whoops, that stuff is actually TERRIBLE for us!" If you choose to have a soda or a cocktail, at least having a glass of water between will help to minimize the risk of overdoing it.
3. HELP CLEAN UP- Doing the dishes, packing up leftovers, or scrubbing pots not only makes mom happy, but it keeps you from crashing on the couch watching the Lions lose. If you are able to keep moving after the meal, it will aid digestion. Maybe even do some air squats in the kitchen or rough house with your niece/nephew (use EXTREME CAUTION: Projectile stuffing is very REAL possibility).
That's it! Don't stress yourself out too much to "eat clean". Just make small changes to keep you functioning well this Thanksgiving.
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Dr. Evan Pulver