Strategic Indulging this Thanksgiving


You know the cranberry sauce that slurps out of the can with the ring indents around it? That was my fave as a kid. I heaped it on my plate. I now know why I did that, one quarter cup has the same amount of sugar as half a cup of vanilla ice cream. I was eating dessert with my turkey.

The sweetener added into that can of cran is high-fructose corn syrup. The increase in this ingredient in many packaged foods has also increased obesity rates over the years.

I also loved  the stuffing, mashed potatoes and a big squishy white bun to mop up excess gravy on my plate.

I’d then be bloated, tired and cranky.

Everyone always blames the turkey for the sleepy sluggishness that ensues, but science has proven that it is not the tryptophan (an amino acid that helps to calm us down) the turkey coma is really an I-ate-too-many-carbs coma…and as an adult, I-had-some wine-too kind of coma.

So, how do you keep your energy coasting and avoid the bloated /cranky /cravings the rest of the week?

Here are my tips to strategically indulge:

  1. Eat small, high-nutrient and low calorie meals throughout the day leading up to the feast. It can be a kale & protein smoothie, poached eggs and spinach, tofu and broccoli. Think protein and greens and lower carb.
  2. Hydrate! Dehydration will make you eat more.
  3. During the feast fill up your plate with half vegetables, look for leafy greens or any green vegetable as long as it’s not drowning in a creamy base (creamy spinach does not count even if it’s green!). Also, don’t heap on the sweet potatoes if there’s marshmallows on top of them. A sweet potato casserole with this ingredient is now dessert!
  4. One quarter of your plate should have turkey, without skin. Three quarters white meat and one quarter dark meat. This way you’ll get the protein with less calories and some important minerals from the dark meat.
  5. Use the last one quarter of your plate to include your favourite carb. Think about a one-cup portion here. If you want to do up your pants after dinner go for three quarters  of a cup. You could go for one offering or split it up into smaller portion to make up that amount. You could try half mashed and half stuffing, or half mashed and half sweet potatoes (that would be my choice) Sweet potatoes are higher fibre, lower calories and have more Vitamin A than regular potatoes. Also, be conscious of the salt that adds up in stuffing. You can get 1,000 mg of sodium in 1 cup.
  6. Now, it’s time for dessert. Wait 45 minutes and let your body digest. If that’s too long, wait 20. It takes 20 minutes for your brain to get the message from your stomach that it’s full. Try sharing a piece of pie with your partner or family member. You’ll both be more grateful for not having a sugar hangover.
  7. The cocktails you ask? I’d avoid alcohol during your meal and then factor in 1-2 beverages over the course of the night before and after. A 5 oz glass of red wine is 125 cals, white 120 cals, and 1.5 oz vodka soda is 95 cals, but even more challenging then the calories is the craving for sweets that alcohol causes during the meal and the next day.

Tune into Miranda’s segment on CHUM FM with Roger and Marilyn October 5th at 8:25 a.m and The Marilyn Denis Show at 10 a.m. EDT. for more nutrition advice.






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