Skip the guilt, savor holiday flavors, and save your waistline


A nutritious and light meal including vitamin-packed vegetables.

Delia Rush, Features Editor

Turkey, stuffing, pie, oh my!  At last the Thanksgiving season is upon us: the time of the year notorious for making you feel over-indulgent.  Though it seems impossible, there are ways to avoid that food-baby in the hours and days following your Thanksgiving dinner.  There is room to savor your seasonal delicacies while maintaining that trimmed waist line simultaneously.

The simplest way to keep from feeling overly guilty is to start the day off right.  A foolproof way is to do some exercise on Thanksgiving Day.  Exercising earlier in the day (before diving into a pile of mashed potatoes) is probably easiest on your stomach.  The extent of your physical activity is up to you, whether it be participating in Port Washington’s very own annual Turkey Trot or just doing a few jumping jacks.  Whatever you choose, you should definitely kiss those calories goodbye while blasting the song “Disco Inferno” aka “Burn Baby Burn.”

My biggest piece of advice, especially if exercising isn’t your thing, would be to refrain from stuffing your face all day long before your Thanksgiving day meal.  Eat a nutritious breakfast and munch on healthy snacks throughout the day to keep yourself from caving in to unhealthy choices.  This will keep you feeling fresh and energized during the busy holiday.

Whether your family is hosting Thanksgiving or you trek miles away to sit in front of that glorious turkey, there is most likely food around all day long.  It seems like there are little hors d’oeuvres everywhere you turn so it is easy to pop hundreds of bite-sized appetizers in your mouth or just grab handful after handful of the food lying around the kitchen.  A simple solution is to occupy yourself with some other activitity.  Throw around a football outside (the more activity the better), watch Thanksgiving specials on television, or play with those annoying cousins who just won’t stop screaming.  The point of the holiday is to show gratitude and spend time with family, take advantage of the tradition and give thanks.

After sticking to your guns all day, Thanksgiving dinner will seem even more appetizing.  But wait! Don’t help yourself to three servings just yet!  Using a smaller plate for any of the courses makes portion control a little easier, so don’t reach for that platter the size of your head, however difficult it may seem.  Take a small serving of everything that seems to whisper your name seductively and enjoy the meal while it lasts.   Even if your passive aggressive aunt squeezes your cheeks and beckons your to have just one more scoop of stuffing, stay strong!  You have made it this far.

Finally it is time for dessert, time to let yourself truly indulge and satisfy that sweet tooth. At first it may seem overwhelming. who knew so many different kinds of of pie existed?  Choose your favorite, but if you just cannot decide on one, take a small sliver of whatever your heart desires and suck in all of that pumpkin-y apple-y goodness.

So, fellow food lovers, whether you are watching your figure or just want to be able to button up those jeans when shopping on Black Friday the next day, you do not have to be overwhelmingly filled with Thanksgiving food. Keep yourself from being stuffed from stuffing by just limiting the amount that you eat.  After all, the day is unofficially called Turkey Day.  Spoil your taste buds a bit and do not be afraid to over-nourish; just be aware of exactly how much and what you are putting into your body this Thanksgiving.