Think ahead this Thanksgiving

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By Raime Spence, Guest Blogger

Raime SpenceThis is absolutely my favorite time of the year! There are cold fronts blowing in, festive gatherings with loved ones and pumpkin patches galore. I have just what you need to keep you and your family healthy while preparing a feast full of thankfulness and deliciousness.

I hope we can all be friends after I say this but it must be said folks, “stay away from the pumpkin spice craze!” Here’s the deal, they are pulling on our heartstrings and in the interim of it all adding unnecessary calories to our diets as well as a hefty hit to our pocket books. I know I know, that pumpkin spice latte is so satisfying and it takes you to a happy place when you sip it…me too, but I have a better way to tantalize those taste buds and still keep your waistline trim. Brew coffee just as you normally would. While it’s brewing place about 2/3 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, ½ teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice and 2 teaspoons of honey or agave nectar in a saucepan and heat on low while whisking everything together (you can also use the microwave if you’re short on time). Once the coffee is ready simply add the creamy pumpkin spice creation and enjoy your guilt free indulgence. Whether its Starbucks or coffee mate from the store they are all loaded with refined sugars, artificial flavors and unnecessary (often hidden) calories and fat. Plus you can save that five bucks you would have spent going through the drive through. Winning!

Next up on the think ahead list are greens. Your mom told you, you’ve read it in magazines and now I’m telling you, eat your greens. They are loaded with fiber, vitamins, minerals and above all they help to keep our bodies in an alkaline state. As Thanksgiving approaches and you prepare your menu I suggest adding in a big salad full of spring mix, spinach leaves and all your favorite raw veggies. Go ahead and get crafty by making a harvest style with walnuts and pumpkin seeds. Serve it before the buttery mashed potatoes and you are sure to eat less of the unhealthy options because your tummy will be full of leafy green goodness. If you are eating somewhere other than home this can be your healthful contribution to the table.

If there is one thing you do this season please and I repeat please make it portion control and awareness of what you put into your body. Between the ongoing chatter while catching up with everyone and the football games on TV there will no doubt be some mindless munching going on. Try to be aware of your body. When you are full, stop eating. When you make your plate get very small portions and eat slowly. If you are still hungry after you have eaten everything and let it settle for a while then and only then can you go back for seconds. Most likely you will realize you are full off of half of the food you normally eat. Being aware of the signals our bodies send us is a major component of living a healthy life style.

One last tip before I hit the road. The roll is not your friend. Yea, you know the one you grab just because its there and it’s been the cherry on top of your heaping plate since you were a kid. Save yourself the calories and the tummy bloat by just opting out. Give thanks a new way this year by making better choices and savor the flavor with confidence knowing you on your way to a healthier you!


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