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Six Ways to Enjoy a Healthy Thanksgiving Feast
Juicy turkey, creamy mashed potatoes and sweet pumpkin pie tempt your taste buds this Thanksgiving. However, you might need to watch your weight or follow dietary restrictions for health reasons. You can enjoy the holiday treats but stay healthy this year when you follow six tips.

1. Drink Plenty of Water

When you're hydrated, you feel full and are less likely to overeat. So, sip water as you prep the meal, watch football and hang out with friends. By meal time, you won't be tempted to stuff yourself.

2. Fill Your Plate With Vegetables

Crunchy and healthy vegetables make the perfect appetizers, side dishes and game time snacks all day. Plus, raw and cooked veggies satisfy your hunger and offer numerous health benefits. Before dinner is served, fill your plate with a large salad or a selection from the veggie tray as you satisfy your hunger with healthy foods.

3. Hide Veggies in as Many Main Dishes as Possible

No matter how your favorite dishes have been prepared for years, alter the recipes to make them healthier. Substitute cauliflower for at least half of the potatoes in mashed potatoes, shred carrots into the meatloaf and add extra celery, squash and carrots to the stuffing. No one will notice the extra veggies, but your waistline will.

4. Ask for the Recipe

Some of your favorite holiday dishes may be prepared and served only at Thanksgiving. Instead of overindulging in them, ask for the recipes. When you can make these dishes throughout the year, you'll be less likely to overeat this one day of the year. 

5. Serve Fruit-Based Treats for Dessert

Pie, cake and candy don't have to take center stage on the dessert table. Fruit, whether fresh, frozen or in smoothies, provides a sweet and healthier alternative to sugar-laden treats. 

6. Focus on Family Fun Instead of on Food 

While food is an important part of Thanksgiving gatherings, focus on fun. Play cards, football or board games, look though photo albums or go shopping with your family members and friends. You'll enjoy a healthier holiday when your focus in on the fun rather than the food. 

As you prepare for your Thanksgiving feast, implement these six tips that help you maintain your healthy lifestyle. Talk to your doctor or health insurance agent, too, about additional ways you can stay healthy this holiday.
Shawna Kreis
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