With Thanksgiving almost upon us, we wanted to share a few ways to help you stick with your wellness goals while still enjoying the tastiness this season has to offer. Below you will find 4 tips and 3 recipes to keep you on this side of an unwanted holiday binge.

Control Those Portions18925CM_EnVisionNewsletterNovemberImages_495x245_Portions_1014

Thanksgiving has a way of enticing our eyes into being bigger than our stomachs. All that delicious food on display, and we go savage and stock up like it’s the last time we’ll eat a turkey leg. It sounds silly, but eating less means you’re consuming fewer calories. Even if you’re noshing on pumpkin pie, do your body a favor by eating only one slice instead of your typical four (or maybe we’re the only ones with that bad habit!).

Practical pointer: Pick a smaller plate if you can, or just avoid heaping food onto the rim of your plate. The empty space on the edges of that plate is tempting and full of danger.

Cut Back on the Fat18925CM_EnVisionNewsletterNovemberImages_495x245_CutFat_1014

Who doesn’t love cheesy casseroles and Crisco-infused baked goods? Your veins, that’s who. You’ve probably heard that all that fatty food is bad for your heart. Well, it’s bad for your eyes for the same reason. Michelle Calder, O.D., from Urban Optiques in Northville, MI, says, “A diet too rich in fat can lead to the building up of plaque on your veins, and—to be more specific—your retinal vein. This can cut off blood supply to your retina, possibly leading to glaucoma and macular edema, which is fluid leaking in the retina.” Ewww!

Practical pointer: Don’t totally deprive yourself. Maybe skip the cheese casserole but treat yourself to a modest portion of gravy and mashed potatoes (emphasis on the word modest).

Move18925CM_EnVisionNewsletterNovemberImages_495x245_GetMoving_1014

You know we’re big on fitness, and that’s especially true when we’ve eaten ourselves into a food coma. What better and faster way to shed those calories than enjoying a post-turkey stroll with the fam? Dr. Calder says, “Exercising regularly can reduce your risk of developing wet AMD by roughly 70%.” That’s a lot, people! Additionally, “Research shows that the risk of AMD goes down by roughly 30% in people who walk more than 12 blocks regularly,” says Dr. Calder.

Practical Pointer: Pack some warm, walking clothes before heading to your holiday shindig and have your family and friends do the same. After the meal, propose you all take your conversation to the streets – and stroll!

Get Creative18925CM_EnVisionNewsletterNovemberImages_495x245_CreativeGeneral_1014

Abandoning a traditional menu can earn you some weird looks from your guests, but we’re totally fine with taking the blame for healthier, although unexpected, alternatives. The options are endless, but here are some of our faves:

18925CM_EnVisionNewsletterNovemberImages_495x245_SweetPotatoes_1014Mashed sweet potatoes – These spuds have a similar texture to normal mashed potatoes, but just as much flavor and wayyyy more eye-healthy nutrients!

18925CM_EnVisionNewsletterNovemberImages_495x245_Flan_1014Pumpkin flan – If you’re sick of being in charge of baking pumpkin pie every year, try flan instead! It’s lighter than pie and is served in smaller portions, so you won’t feel as gross after you indulge.

18925CM_EnVisionNewsletterNovemberImages_495x245_GreenBean_1014Green bean casserole – Ok, so this one’s pretty traditional on the outside, but much better for you on the inside. Your guests will welcome the familiar façade, and their cholesterol levels will give you a silent salute for sparing them all the fat and sodium that normally comes in this time-approved dish.

The content of this article is for general informational awareness purposes only. Please consult your eyecare doctor or physician for actual advice.
 
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Michelle Calder, O.D., is the owner and lead optometrist at Urban Optiques in Northville, MI.