Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are just around the corner. The seasons are changing, and it’s a time where we typically gather as a family and follow predictable routines of indulgence. Unfortunately, 2020 isn’t a typical year, stress is high, and the large family gatherings will need to be scaled down due to COVID-19. Change isn’t necessarily bad, though, as it’s a perfect opportunity to introduce some alternative ways to celebrate.
Everyone loves the holidays but fears the hangover and the weight gain. Everyone thinks of the heavy turkey gravy, pies, alcohol, and the couch, becoming a human blob all of a sudden. In truth, the Holiday Weight Gain is largely a myth. Turkey Day, in particular, gets a bad rap, but it doesn’t have to be this way. With holiday gatherings scaled-down, the traditional large meals can also be scaled down. The traditional Thanksgiving Dinner contains many dishes that are healthy and hearty.
Turkey is high in zinc and niacin (vitamin B). Zinc helps produce collagen, an essential ingredient for your skin’s elasticity and tensile strength. Niacin helps maintain your skin’s moisture, helping reduce dryness in the autumn and winter months.
Carrots are a great source of vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, calcium, and fiber. They are high in antioxidants and not only are great for your skin but also provide your body with many other benefits.
Cranberries are a great source of vitamin C and a powerful antioxidant. Replacing the canned cranberry sauce with homemade and naturally sweetened cranberry sauce can give you a boost.
Spinach is a superfood and contains tons of micronutrients that benefit the skin, such as Vitamin A, Vitamin E, iron, folate, magnesium, and fiber.
Pumpkin and Sweet Potatoes are both rich in antioxidants that help your skin’s cell turnover and have an anti-inflammatory effect, and can help fight premature skin aging.
- The main problem is overindulging in some of the less desirable parts of Thanksgiving.
- While technically a macronutrient, alcohol doesn’t provide our body any benefit, save for the extra calories. It also makes you hungry. While it’s tough not to drink on Thanksgiving Day, consider taking it easy for 2020.
- Reduce or cut out over-processed foods like canned cranberry sauce, boxed stuffing, green bean casserole, and store-bought pumpkin pies. Many pre-made foods aren’t healthy or cheap, but they are convenient, which is a priority when serving a large group of people. 2020 is the year to experiment with cooking and to add some new skills to your repertoire. Try an online recipe, and make your food from scratch. Mayo Clinic has a list of healthful recipes for the holidays.
Keeping it in Perspective: The Other Days
Thanksgiving and Christmas are important days in the year, but it’s also only two days in two months. If we average this out, 97% of the difference is made up by what you do on the other days. If you choose to indulge for Thanksgiving, remember that what you do on the other days matters more.
Even a small sustained improvement in the four pillars of health will add up to more than a day or two of indulgence.