Turkey has long been targeted as the source of post-dinner yawns and the desire to take a long nap on the couch after every holiday feast – but we can’t blame the bird anymore.
That’s because science has shown that it’s not the tryptophan (an amino acid that helps to make us mellow) in turkey that causes the post meal pass out. In fact, it’s just an I ate-too-much-of-everything kind of food coma!
The good news is that there’s a way to eat and feel energized even after your Thanksgiving meal. I call it strategic indulging.
Here are some tips to keep in mind before, during and after your feast.
Avoid “saving” calories for your big dinner. Instead eat small, high-nutrient and low calorie meals throughout the day. A smoothie with green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach or baby bok choy combined with some plant based protein, fibre and healthy fats is the perfect go-to.
Keep your Gut Happy
A Happy Gut = a Happier Thanksgiving! Sip on lemon water while you’re cooking, reach for easy to digest foods throughout the day, don’t skip your probiotic and consider taking an enzyme to help aid in digestion.
Hydrate! Signs of dehydration will often show up as hunger. If you’re planning on enjoying an alcoholic beverage or two this will help you bounce back the next day too.
Keep Your Plate Colourful
During the feast make half your plate vegetables and make sure you see a variety of colour on your plate overall. Among the orange (sweet potatoes) red (cranberries) and white (turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes), green is a colour you do not want to miss out on. Try a festive salad mix or a steamed leafy green to help aid in digesting your meal.
Mind the Ratio
Turkey ratio: 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.
It’s All About Timing
Dessert timing: I recommend waiting 30 minutes before your last course to allow your body to 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. One of the traditions in my home is to go around the table and have everyone offer up what they are grateful for. Gratitude is always a remedy for keeping your energy high.
We wish you all a Happy & Healthy Thanksgiving!
PS: We’re closed for the holiday Monday (holiday hours here), so be sure to stop in this weekend for all your last-minute holiday fixings!