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Healthy Thanksgiving 101

Thanksgiving is a unique holiday. It’s one of my favorite holidays since it’s dedicated to being grateful. It reminds us to look back and appreciate our accomplishments of the year and celebrate with the most important people in our lives. Celebrations with food are prevalent in many cultures, however too much emphasis on food takes away from the precious moments we can spend with our loved ones and instead leaves us feeling bloated, uncomfortable and moody.

Here are some basic tips you can use to rethink your Thanksgiving Day and enjoy it fully, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

1. Begin the morning with warm lemon water. It tricks the liver into producing bile which is important for the digestion and absorption of fat and fat-soluble vitamins.

2. Remove all kinds of sodas from your dinner table to save you from ingesting a lot of empty calories and inducing a sugar coma. Instead, drink pure water or fruit and herb infused water.

3. Drink a lot of water before dinner to fill your stomach and also balance its PH level.

4. During the meal, fill half of your plate with nutrient-dense vegetables like kale, collard greens, spinach or beet greens. The other half is for protein such as turkey and healthy grains. Choosing what goes in your plate wisely will have a great impact on your body.

5. Refrain from drinking during eating. This is not a good practice because it wipes out the digestive enzymes in your mouth that help break down food.

6. Do not end up feeling guilty and punishing yourself for eating dessert. Instead, choose healthier options. Fill your dessert plate with nuts and fruits before cookies and cakes. Treat yourself to a small piece of pie.

7. Put the cell phones away. Without a phone, you will be able to give your undivided attention to your family and have a quality time. Also, by eliminating its electromagnetic field, you will prevent fatigue, headaches, sleep problems and muscle pains.

8. Verbalize why you are grateful for each family member. Often, we forget to thank each other and appreciate each other’s presence.

9.Take a walk after dinner. Enjoy the beautiful fall colors, connect with nature and breathe fresh air.

There are so many great things you can concentrate on a beautiful day like Thanksgiving. Nourish yourself primarily with spirituality and be present for your family members; food becomes secondary.

Try the creamy butternut squash soup recipe below. It's both soothing and healing.

1 medium peeled and cubed butternut squash

1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed

½ cup mushrooms

¼ cup pumpkin seeds

1 medium carrot chopped

2 tablespoon virgin olive oil

4-5 cups water

sea salt to taste

Combine all ingredients (besides water) and saute in large saucepan until soft. Add water. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to medium heat for 7-10 minutes. Puree well in blender. Add salt, black pepper and pinch of cumin. Enjoy!

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