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Eliz Greene: Busy Woman's Guide To A Healthy Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. We will have 19 people around our table on Thursday and we are truly blessed to have so many members of our family together. Yet, large family gatherings, cooking large meals, and “together time” can be stressful. Not to mention what it can do to your healthy eating habits! Even good things cause stress - and let’s face it, not every family gathering is entirely a “good thing.”

Here are some ideas to keep your stress level low and your Thanksgiving healthy:

Keep Perspective: Whether you are hosting or a guest, remember no one will recall the turkey or how long it took to get to the table. This holiday is about being thankful for the people around you and the blessings in your life. Take the time for extra hugs (especially for the harried cook).

Keep Breathing: When things start to overwhelm you, remember to breathe...in through your nose, and out through your mouth - more out than in. Blow out the stress and give yourself permission to enjoy.

Keep Connecting: Even when we have the opportunity to be in the same room with friends and family it is easy to let the time go by without truly connecting. Take the time to sit down and really have a conversation. Make this season a time to share.

Keep Proportion: It’s easy to overindulge at the holiday table. Here’s some tips to stay in control:

* If you are hosting:

* Don’t starve people before they eat.
* Often, the holiday meal is served at an odd time. Serve some healthy snacks (veggies and dip for example) to tide people over.
* Serve something warm to drink.
* If you are cold your body thinks it needs more food. Warm up and you will feel less likely to overindulge.
* Make the meal an event – serve in stages.
* Try starting with a salad or soup first. Then clear and serve the main course. It takes twenty minutes for the stomach to tell your brain it is full. Give it a head start!
* Once you serve the main course, take the leftovers off the table.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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