Top 8 tips for enjoying Thanksgiving

Published 11:40 pm Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A well-meaning organization sent us a press release recently titled “Top Ate Tips for Enjoying Thanksgiving” in which it suggested eight different ways to make sure you eat healthy on turkey day.

They might be good tips for your health, but really, who sits down for Thanksgiving dinner with the idea that he’s going to stick to his diet in the face of all that wonderful food?

Following are their tips, along with my own thoughts about them.

  • Eat beforehand: This is a good tip, actually. I often like to start Thanksgiving with something light, like a small chicken. It gets the taste of poultry on the palate and makes you ready for the day’s eating. That way, you won’t attack Thanksgiving like a hungry wolf.
  • Move it! Really? If you’re like me, you probably move the other 364 days of the year, so it hardly seems necessary on a day when you are to be thankful. I, for one, am thankful I have nieces to bring me things, so I don’t have to get up. They know Uncle Troy enjoys Thanksgiving much more when he’s sprawled across the floor with a fresh piece of key lime pie resting on his belly. The kids get exercise and learn responsibility. It’s a win-win.
  • Hydrate, hydrate: I don’t deny that drinking water is a good idea. However, if there’s a tray of deviled eggs just sitting, it’s important to remember that eggs, mayonnaise, and many other ingredients in deviled eggs can spoil very quickly. Water’s always good and available every other day of the year. Deviled eggs are not.
  • Pitch in! Some of your loved ones fancy themselves great cooks. Quite frankly, they’re not. So, bring something you’ll enjoy so you’re not stuck trying to get through Aunt Ruby’s poor excuse for green bean casserole.
  • Choose wisely: I say, just choose! The first person who says the word “calories” at the Thanksgiving table should be made to sit in the bathroom for the remainder of the evening. One of the things I’m most thankful for is that there’s so much to enjoy with friends and family. The person who holds up the buffet line or fails to pass the gravy because she’s worried about calories is ruining the holiday for every one else. So, just choose, already.
  • Treat yourself! Agreed. Thanksgiving should be nothing but a table full of treats. Calories be darned. Remember: It’s a celebration. So celebrate … with a plate in each hand.
  • Leftover-mania! It’s important to be a good host and send your guests home with a little something. And by that, I mean a medium container for each. After all, to the host belong the spoils. It’s not selfish but thoughtful to keep all those tempting calories away from your guests. They can have nice healthy salads for lunch the following week, and you can suffer through the roasted turkey sandwiches and leftover potato salad.
  • “Fat” pants: I’m in favor of them. Comfort may be key during the holiday feast, but safety is also an issue. Wearing your sweats with the elastic waistband doesn’t just give your gut room to grow, it may just keep someone from losing an eye. A button traveling at speeds exceeding 175 mph could easily make this Thanksgiving Grandma Ethel’s last if it flies in her direction. So wear “fat” pants for safety, not just comfort.

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Happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy your dinner. I know I’ll enjoy mine.