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To many, good nutrition and thanksgiving dinner seem to cancel each other out. However it should be possible and even easy to make a nutritious meal that is a pleasure to share with friends and family. Here are a few tips to help you make your holiday meals healthy ones too.
Prepare a wide variety of foods. Traditional thanksgiving stories tell us of meals that contained wide varieties of dishes reflecting the backgrounds of the many people who came together for these meals and to give thanks. The nutritional benefit of eating from a wide variety of foods is you gain a wider variety of nutrients. Also, you are less likely to overload on a single type of food. If you don’t have time to prepare a large number of dishes, many grocery stores sell prepared dishes that you can add to the variety of dishes you’re cooking yourself. Gourmet grocery stores often prepare these dishes on site.
Try some simple recipes. Instead of making the obligatory green bean casserole with mushroom soup and fried onions, how about a simple green bean dish with a dash of sea salt? Substitute yams, cooked in butter with marshmallows and brown sugar, with a more simple preparation of yams. You may be surprised at how much people enjoy the taste of the original ingredients.
Be careful of portion sizes. An ideal meal is derived from all of the food groups and should include a wide variety of individual foods. Instead of loading up your plate with mashed potatoes, start with smaller portions of everything that has been prepared. If you would like a second helping, follow the same procedure. By eating from a wider variety of foods you will be providing your body with a more complex array of nutrients and you’ll be able to enjoy the many flavors as well.
Pace yourself. Unless you’re on call for surgery, you probably have a little time. Instead of jumping right into your second helping, consider a short intermission and burn some calories by helping out with the dishes. By eating more slowly, your body will give you signals when you are full. If there are leftovers you can always eat them later.
Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for all of the things that we have. It is a time for us to remember and reflect on the things that are important in our lives that we so often take for granted. The sharing of a meal with friends and family is a wonderful event and is cherished by nearly all cultures. So take pleasure in the eating and the sharing of food but also consider the nourishment that food gives you and be thankful and give honor to the abundance which you have to share.
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