Several friends told me this week about their Thanksgiving traditions. Food was the major focus. They are going to eat turkey, ham, pork loin, or prime rib, etc. Along with the protein, the list of side dishes is long also.
I asked why. The reason given was, “We’ve always had holiday meals like this in the past.” Tradition is good for many things. One of the traditions mentioned was that there would be no talking about politics, dieting, religion, sports, sex, and a few other subjects.
Yet, for holidays, they eat many more calories, drink more adult beverages, and do less exercise than non-holiday days. I asked about ‘left-overs’. Yes, left-overs would be finished before the weekend was over.
Tomorrow, Thursday, November 22, 2018 is Thanksgiving Day. Most people eat more on Thanksgiving Day. Most people have a lot of left-overs. Most people have more desserts centered around Thanksgiving that most other holidays.
The Thanksgiving tradition centers around excessive eating and drinking. With relatives in proximity, stress levels usually go up. Excess food, excess alcohol, and excess stress are traditional triggers for obesity, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, and other health issues.
Is there anything wrong with eating a lot of food on one day? No, nothing wrong with it. However, the excessive eating doesn’t stop on that one day. Most people enjoy a four-day holiday. The Thanksgiving tradition continues for three more days.
I am not suggesting that Thanksgiving be a small subset of tradition. I am suggesting that awareness of what you are eating and drinking should be more of a concern. Smaller portion size is a good option to reduce total calories. Pile your food onto a smaller plate and don’t go back for seconds and thirds. Include your dessert on the same plate as your food.
Drink water, unsweetened tea or coffee between each beer, glass of wine or mixed drink. Total alcohol consumption is nearly cut nearly in half. Portion the left-overs into meals for the next few days and freeze the rest for future meals. Moderation should be your focus when eating and drinking.
Stress management is always a good idea, but rarely ever considered as a family tradition. Yet, stress from family members seems to be a constant tradition in many families.
Enjoy Thanksgiving and don’t give into the temptation of seconds and thirds for food, drink, dessert. Choices have consequences.