Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Dieting on Thanksgiving

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Ok, So the holidays are coming up, and if you're like me you're freaking out about wandering from your diet.  For me, the next few months are going to be riddled with holidays, anniversaries, birthday parties and cookie exchanges.  All of which are going to be filled with my so called 'trigger foods' that I somehow have no will power around.

There are basic nutrients that we need to stay healthy, protein, carbs and fats. However, during the next few months will also have a variety of sugary goodies available to us which not only includes cakes, cookies and candy, but alcohol as well.

When it's your turn at the buffet line, keep in mind the following healthier alternatives for your holiday consumption.  I've compiled a list of available foods that may be available to you during this season.  These are listed from best to worst.

Appetizers
Veggie and fruit trays
Nuts
Deviled eggs
Guac and salsa
If there are plenty of dips around, use veggies, crackers and breads.  Avoid chips and pretzels unless they're whole grain and baked

Proteins
Turkey is one of the best proteins.  It comes just below fish.  Unless you're in 'Everybody Love's Raymond",  you won't have fish as your main course.  Just don't load gravy on it. Remember the School House Rock song 'Don't Drown your Food"? Gravy, sauces and dressings are loaded with fatty cream bases and sugar.   Opt for natural turkey juices and vinegar based salad dressings.
Tofurkey.  A turkey made out of tofu.  Yes, it does exist.
Ham is loaded with salt and sugar and is also one of the fattiest foods.  It is yummy (as well as one of my favorites on the holiday season) but don't slather on the brown sugar glaze it comes with, opt for mustard or thousand island instead.

Carbs, and by this I mean complex carbs.
Sweet potatoes.  Don't goop on the marshmallow topping.  It probably has enough brown sugar an butter in it to satisfy your sweet tooth.  This goes for acorn and butternut squash dishes as well.
Whole grain or whole wheat breads and stuffing.  Now I know you're not going to pass up the stuffing, but if it's made with anything other than white flour ingredients, it's better for you.
Rice, especially brown rice is better too, but I never see these on holiday menus.

Fats
There are good and bad fats.  If you're cooking your holiday meal, use olive oil.
Nuts, especially almonds (about a tablespoon)
Guacamole (in moderation)
Avoid mayo
Avoid rich sauces and sugar

Sides
Opt for salads and green veggies.  Avoid casseroles as the sauce in them is very fatty.
Squash
Sweet potatoes
Cranberry sauce.  Home made is better than canned which has a high sugar content.
Potatoes, avoid potato casseroles and au gratins.  Again, don't slop on gravy.

Desserts
All desserts are going to contain sugar and bad fats.  Try only sticking to one dessert and avoid trays of cookies and candy dishes.
Jello molds
Grab a piece of pie.  Try not to top it, but if it's a must, Cool Whip is best.
Avoid chocolate and caramel sauces and sugary berries as toppers.

Drinks
ALWAYS DRINK IN MODERATION
Straight clear liquors are best.  If it's cocktail, try sprite or seltzer and natural juices
Even though wine has sugar, it's still better than beer.
Egg Nog

Hope this helps.  Remember to chew slowly and drink lots of water before and during your meal.  Have a wonderful holiday!


Thanks for reading!

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Marcy
Life's Gristle
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