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Wednesdays with Whitney: Thanksgiving Meal Edition

All your Thanksgiving questions answered!

If you feel as though you have indulged a bit, say on appetizers, should you skip a meal or still eat a balanced meal?

This could go in a couple different directions:

  1. If you would rather go for it on the appetizers and treat it like a meal, that is fine, and try to make it balanced (fruit/veggie apps with some protein and starch).

  2. If you would like to enjoy both, I would recommend being mindful on the appetizer consumption and sticking with a balanced meal.

The tricky thing is that if you get full early on appetizers and skip a meal you are more apt to overindulge again on dessert.

**Another important point is that while it is important to be mindful during the holidays, it is also not the end of the world to eat differently on one given day. Now, if you are someone who indulges from Thanksgiving to New Year’s, then you may want to re-consider. Read your hunger and fullness cues (no matter what you are eating), enjoy the foods you decide to eat and drink plenty of water.

Are there any nutritious holiday (adult) beverages?

Keep in mind one serving for women and two servings for men of 5 oz wine, 12 oz beer or 1.5 oz distilled spirits per day is the recommendation. There are not necessarily nutritious drinks, however we do know the benefits of say red wine. If we are not careful, we can end up drinking a significant number of calories depending on what we decide to drink. Mixed drinks made with juice, sodas or milk will undoubtedly be higher in calories than one made with seltzers or fresh citrus. Craft and darker/heavier beers tend to be higher in calories than light beers. As with food, we want to enjoy what we drink. Have a mixed drink or beer and savor it, remember to drink water and know that there are other ways to cope with holiday stress than overindulging in alcohol.

Is stuffing better for you if it’s been cooked in the bird or on the stove?

Your safest bet is to cook stuffing outside the turkey (try a casserole or stove top). The concern here is ensuring the appropriate internal temperature of the turkey and stuffing. If you do decide to stuff your turkey follow these recommendations https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/get-answers/food-safety-fact-sheets/poultry-preparation/lets-talk-turkey/CT_Index

White potato vs. sweet potato?

Sweet potatoes are all the rage these days, however both types of potatoes are loaded with nutrients! Potatoes are slightly higher in calories and protein; sweet potatoes win in the vitamin A department and they are about the same when it comes to fiber. Like anything--how you cook them, what you top them with and what you eat alongside makes a world of difference. Enjoy both!

My budget is tight this year, what two sides would be best for my family?

I would say pick your favorite two and savor them! Green beans are often an easy go-to and can be prepared simply or done-up. Fresh, canned, or frozen might I add. Potatoes, squash or sweet potatoes are usually the “starch” winners, so think about what works with your budget and how you like to prepare them. Sticking to two sides makes preparation (and dishes) more manageable!


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