The early pioneers had feasts to celebrate their harvests. The tradition has carried on. The fourth Thursday in November each year we give thanks for all that we have, and also have feasts to celebrate the holiday. To ensure our celebration supports good health, there are certain things we can do. Following are tips for cutting calories and preventing food illness while enjoying your Thanksgiving feast to its fullness:
Tips for not overeating:
- Eat a small, healthy snack and drink plenty of water earlier in the day before your big meal. This will stave off some of your appetite and prevent overeating higher-calorie foods.
- Use a smaller plate so that it takes fewer “calories” to fill it.
- Take a small sampling of various foods rather than large portions. Eat slowly and savor their tastes and textures. This will save you calories while not making you feel you are being deprived of any food.
- Allow yourself larger portions of healthier choices, such as vegetables and fruit.
- Remove the skin and visible fat from the meat.
- Eat slowly and socialize between bites. This gives your tummy time to tell your brain how full you are so that you are less likely to overeat.
- Always wash your hands before you begin food preparation and especially after handling raw meats.
- Use a different cutting board when switching between meats and vegetables and visa-versa.
- Wash all produce prior to use. Even if you will peel the skin from the produce, you should wash it first, as bacteria can get into the meat of the produce while peeling and cutting it.
- While a new standard lowers cooking temperature to 145 degrees for beef, pork and fish, poultry should still be cooked to 165 degrees through every part of the bird.
- Store all leftovers in the refrigerator within 2 hours of being cooked.
- Discard all leftover meats after 5 days.
Have a wonderful, safe, and healthy Thanksgiving!