Thanksgiving is a time to gather with your friends and family, chow down on some decadent food and allow yourself the time to kick back and relax. After all, Thanksgiving only comes around once a year, so why not indulge? Between the large selection of holiday delicacies and the multiple trips to the buffet table, keeping your energy high after dinner can be a challenge.
After gobbling down several helpings of turkey, you’ll likely hit a food-induced state of lethargy, meaning you’ll be out of commission for the rest of the holiday family fun. Luckily, we’ve got some tips to help you put a little pep in your Thanksgiving prep.
Pack In The Nutrients
When it comes to your holiday favorites, there’s nothing worse than having to compromise your favorite recipes for the sake of one meal. To preserve the integrity of your favorite family recipes like those delicious sides, desserts, and snacks, pack some nutrient rich foods into the existing recipes. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also trade them out with some equally yummy substitutes to fill your meal with more energizing ingredients. For example:
- Stuff your stuffing with more nutrient rich additives such as whole-wheat bread, walnuts, celery stalks, shiitake mushrooms, and plenty of fresh herbs
- Use fat-free chicken broth to baste the turkey, and as a base for your gravy
- Use sugar substitutes in baked goods such as our SweetLeaf® Better than Sugar® sweetener
- Add nuts to some of your favorite recipes for a little protein boost
- Try a spinach or kale salad for a big dose of vitamins, minerals, and brain-boosting phytonutrients
- Replace sour cream with plain yogurt in dips, potatoes, and more
- For a spin on one of your holiday classics, try our brown butter sweet potato recipe
Get Creative With Your Crust
Who can resist the draw of a buttery, flakey pie crust packed to the brim with sugary, delicious fillings? Pumpkin pie, apple pie, pecan pie, cherry pie… the list goes on and on. Pie is a staple of the holiday season, and of course you’re going to want a slice.
However, we understand some people want to find more nutritious options for their dessert. Crave pumpkin pie, but still want to have vitamins and minerals? Try swapping it for a fluffy, creamy pumpkin dip with apples. You get to enjoy the fall flavors while incorporating nutrient-dense options into your dessert. If you are committed to the idea of a traditional pie, try a walnut or oat crust to add healthy fats or complex carbs to your meal.
Get Up And Active Together
One of the best ways to nip your holiday hangover in the bud is to get on your feet and do something active together before the food coma has a chance to kick in. In fact, exercise can help you digest your Thanksgiving meal more efficiently so you can stay alert all day long!
Consider creating a new family tradition that gets everyone on their feet and feeling good. Some good (and festive) activities include:
- A family-friendly game of touch football
- Walk or run in your local Turkey Trot
- Try a Black Friday boot camp to prepare for your shopping haul
- Dance along to music while you cook and clean for a fun way to engage your whole family in the prep work
Dehydration can happen when you eat a lot of salt or don’t drink enough water, both of which are fairly common on Thanksgiving. This can lead to a slowed metabolism, resulting in the feeling of hunger and decreased energy. Drinking enough water can help you speed up your digestive system and relieve the overwhelming feeling of fullness that can make your stomach uncomfortable. Instead of taking a quick trip to the buffet table to pick through leftovers or laying down for a nap, try drinking some water to soothe your stomach and rehydrate. If you want to spruce up your water and add a little diversity to your beverages, try adding just a couple of drops of our SweetLeaf® Water Drops® for a tasty, calorie-free flavor boost!