When we think of Thanksgiving, a few images may come to mind: roasted turkey or tofurkey in the middle of the table, family members gathering together, football game on TV and the often inevitable food coma.
While we love our annual holiday traditions, this year I want to propose a new ending to your Thanksgiving feast - a comfortable satisfaction and easy mobility. Here are our top 3 tips to avoiding Thanksgiving Food Coma:
1. The week of Thanksgiving: I often see people over-indulging at Thanksgiving because they deprive themselves in weeks before the holidays.
To avoid overeating in one big meal, allow yourself small treats through out the month. For example, try a guilt-less dessert such as my raw vegan brownie with chocolate ganache – look for the recipe in the current issue of the magazine.
When you indulge a little bit during the week, you may be less likely to overindulge in a traditional pumpkin pie after the big dinner.
2. The Day of Thanksgiving: Make sure you eat small balanced meals throughout the day, especially before the big turkey or tofurkey dinner. The impulse may often be to dramatically restrict your calories beforehand, but that may backfire when your eyes become bigger than your stomach.
Instead of starving yourself, enjoy small, portion-controlled, balanced meals with your favorite holiday flavors. That way when dinner comes around, you won't be anxious to dig in and instead make the best food choices for yourself.
3. During Thanksgiving Dinner: When you find yourself sitting in front of all your holiday favorites, first thing to do is to take a deep breath and make a conscious plan of what dishes you would like to indulge in first. Fill up half of your plate with green veggies and salad, one quarter with your favorite starchy side dishes and leave a palm-sized space for the protein. (Note: vegan protein will be better for your digestion and well-being)
Slow down during the meal and focus on enjoying the conversations with family and friends. Wait 20 minutes after you’re done with your plate before you reach for the seconds. If you choose to get more food, eat it slowly and with gusto and pleasure. By taking your time to eat slowly, chewing every bite and enjoying every morsel, you will help your body do its best to digest the food and leave you happy and satisfied.
BONUS Z-Tip: Make one of these dishes and bring with you on Thanksgiving to make sure you have a healthy and delicious recipe to enjoy!
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About Alina Z.
Alina Z., aka “The Green Goddess,” is a certified holistic health coach, detox specialist and raw-food chef (she conducts occasional classes at Whole Foods in Boca). Prior to moving to Florida, Alina hosted her own TV show in Maryland—“Entertaining A to Z”—for people who didn’t have time to cook but wanted to eat healthy. Catch one of her web episodes at eHow.com, visit Alina’s website at alinazhealthcoach.com, or follow her on Facebook (facebook.com/CoutureFood) or Twitter (@CoutureFood). The Green Goddess blog runs every other Wednesday at bocamag.com.