Thanksgiving Wellness Strategies

By, Chelsea Fechtner, MScN, CN

How are you feeling about the holidays the year? While this can be a joyful and indulgent time, it can also bring up other emotions around family, fertility, food and even body image. Below are a few strategies to try out this year that will help you care for yourself and bring mindfulness into the holiday season!

1. Nourishing Morning

Instead of skipping breakfast to “save up” for Thanksgiving dinner, include a breakfast with protein, fat and fiber to balance your blood sugar in the morning. Try eggs with sauteed kale and avocado, or blend up a smoothie with berries, almond butter, flaxseeds and spinach. Aim to include some movement in the morning as well like a family walk or Turkey Trot. This will help bring balance to your Thanksgiving festivities and help to avoid feeling sluggish after dinner.

2. Choose Your Indulgences Mindfully

Before a holiday meal, consider what your favorite indulgences are and what you wouldn’t mind missing out on. Maybe you look forward to your grandmother’s mashed potatoes all year long but don’t actually need that dinner roll or stuffing to feel satisfied. Whatever your indulgences are, create space to fully savor them! And allow yourself to say no to the dishes that you would normally put on your plate just because they are there.

3. Add Color to Your Plate

With all of the turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing, it can be easy to find yourself sitting down to a fully beige plate. Find delicious ways to add color (aka fertility-supportive fiber and antioxidants!) to your holiday meal. Incorporate a colorful salad with greens and pomegranate or try out a new veggie side dish like the Pecan Sage Sweet Potato Casserole below!

Pecan Sage Sweet Potato Casserole

Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar or pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ cup full-fat coconut milk or whole milk
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

Pecan Sage Topping:

  • 2 cups pecans, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons almond meal
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice off the ends of the sweet potatoes and bake until very soft, about 45-60 minutes. Lower the oven heat to 350 degrees F.
  2. Remove sweet potatoes and allow to cool for 10 minutes and then carefully scoop out the flesh of each sweet potato into a bowl. Using a potato masher or a couple of forks, mash the sweet potatoes until mostly smooth, with some chunks remaining.
  3. Add the coconut sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, milk, melted butter, eggs and sea salt. Stir to combine and pour into the base of a casserole dish, spreading out evenly.
  4. Prepare the topping by combining the chopped pecans, melted butter, almond meal, maple syrup and sage. Sprinkle topping over the sweet potatoes. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until nuts are lightly toasted.

November 14, 2021

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