How to eat mindfully at Thanksgiving As the holidays draw near, most of us start salivating at the mere thought of eating some of our favorite foods. However, if you have diabetes or weight issues the holiday can be a minefield when it comes to navigating your way around the  Thanksgiving table.

Fortunately there are ways to enjoy the holiday without overindulging by following these simple tips.

Eat Ahead of Time

Although it may seem logical to skip breakfast on Thanksgiving Day, the experts say that eating a small meal earlier in the day can help you control your desire to over eat later on. Eat a breakfast with protein like eggs instead of having your usual coffee and toast. Protein will last longer in your body and you won't be starving when you arrive at the dinner table.

Consider the Ingredients

You may be hosting Thanksgiving or bringing a dish to share--either way there are ways you can choose ingredients that will be healthier for you and the guests.

  • Cut back on sugar - many recipes for Thanksgiving are loaded with sugar. Consider the classic yam dish with marshmallows on top. Yams already contain sugar which is what makes them super delicious. If you want to add zest to them, add spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Consider substituting white sugar with maple syrup or honey.
  • Use fat free chicken broth to baste the turkey and as the base for gravy
  • Skip the butter when serving mashed potatoes. Try using Yukon gold or red skinned potatoes. Because of their smooth and buttery nature they taste great without it.

Change Up Your Plates to Cut Calories

It's been shown that people will choose less food if their plate size is smaller. If you're hosting let your guests choose their plate size. If your celebrating somewhere else ask the person hosting to provide you with a smaller plate.

Choose Must-Have Foods Only

Instead of scrambling to get everything on your plate--take a deep breath, look around the table, and take only your must haves. For example, rolls are almost always a staple at Thanksgiving but so is stuffing. If you know you must have stuffing to feel like you've really celebrated, pass up the rolls.

Savor the Food and the Experience

Because most of us eat so quickly, we don't realize we're full until we've already eaten too much. Put down your fork after each bite and actually taste the delicious food you just put in your mouth. Enjoy the company in addition to the food and you'll eat more slowly.

If you're experiencing foot pain or diabetes and need to see a podiatrist, call the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City at 206-368-7000 for an appointment, often same day. You can also request an appointment online.

Dr. Rion Berg
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A podiatrist in North Seattle treating families for over 40 years.
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