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Holiday Eating Guidelines

Once again we are fast approaching the one meal of the year that Americans most commonly associate with “Being Stuffed.” Yes, that feeling that you can barely move. The only thing most people can do after this meal is sit in a large chair and try to keep their eyes open for more than ten minutes.

The good news is there is a simple solution that allows you to have your cake (rather, pie) and eat it, too. Here are the keys to surviving Thanksgiving and Christmas or Hanukah, without feeling like a “Stuffed Turkey” yourself and without gaining any significant amount of fat!

1.  Make sure the meal has lots of different tasty veggies that you love. I like to do variations on the traditional themes. For instance, I often make a mix of roasted onions with a balsamic glaze instead of the usual creamed onions.

2.  If you are having wine or other alcohol on this day, wait to have some of your meal before starting in on your “drink of choice,” or at least have an appetizer first. Drinking before you start eating will go right to your head, which will greatly increase your odds of losing all dietary control. A little food in your stomach first, plus some self control regarding how much you drink, and you are much more likely to stay “un-sauced and un-stuffed.” Another valuable tip if imbibing is to drink a glass of water after every glass of alcohol.

3. First, eat a lot of the foods you know to be healthy and not weight gaining.  These include turkey, ham, all the different veggies, salad, etc.  Be sure to mostly fill up on these before you move on to the stuffing, potatoes and dessert.  This way you can have some high carb foods, but the amount is going to be relatively small.  On the other hand, if you start out with the stuffing, you will end up stuffed, and end up eating less of the foods that keep you slim and trim. 

4. If at all possible, try to get the gang to go for a walk after the meal.  Even a 15 – 20 minute walk after eating this meal, will help refresh you, and keep you from falling into a deep slumber.  I promise if you try this you will feel better after the walk, and you’ll be glad you did it.  If “the gang” doesn’t want to go, grab one other smart soul, or go it alone!!  This can also be a great excuse to escape from any of those relatives you can only take so much of. 

5. The most important key to preventing this meal from becoming the beginning of a major weight-gaining marathon, is to “Send All The Carb-Loaded Leftovers home with your guests!”  Yes this is a cruel punishment for them, but they probably won’t mind, unless they’re a Dr. Dale patient also, which of course they should be!  One bad meal, even if it leaves you stuffed, will only do temporary harm.  Keeping the fridge filled with Calorie Rich Carbs is a Sure Sentence to Weight Gain.  

6. What you do on Thanksgiving is not nearly as important as what happens in the next few days.  Either T-Day is the beginning of trouble, or a one-day blip on the scale.  Here’s a treat and one of the smartest things you can do for your “holiday health”.  This can turn Thanksgiving into a starting point for losing a couple of quick pounds.  Now there’s a healthy concept!!  Take your leftover bones, make some great turkey stock (the longer and slower you simmer the stock the better) and then turn the leftover turkey into delicious turkey-vegetable soup, which you can eat for days, and lose weight while eating it! In fact, if you go to Dr. Dale’s Recovery and Rejuvenation Soup Recipe and then use the leftover turkey as your protein, you will be on your way to a lot of quick, easy and healthy meals for days to come. 

7. Follow these same general guidelines for the rest of the Holiday Meals and Parties, then come the beginning of the year you will have maintained your weight or possibly even lost some.  What a great gift to yourself! These tips are best printed out and put on your refrigerator for all your guests to read.  I hope this helps. It certainly was fun for me.  Enjoy and Thank You for the Many Blessings You Bring to All of Us at “The Clinic”!