Tag Archives: Thanksgiving dinner

6 Ways to Give Thanks this Thanksgiving

Five orange pumpkins sit in a row in front of a distressed, wooden background.

Thanksgiving is about expressing gratitude for the blessings we have in life. Gratitude puts everything in a fresh perspective and allows us to see and appreciate all of the things we grateful for.

The more you practice giving thanks, the better you’ll be at it over time. Like anything else, you can turn being grateful into a habit and a way of living. The fall and holiday seasons are an especially good time to practice being thankful.

Here are 6 ways you can get creative and give thanks this holiday season:

Invite others to your dinner
Many people are alone on Thanksgiving. If you know a neighbor, friend or someone at work will be by themselves during the holiday, welcome them to join your dinner. Your guests will appreciate the invitation and your gathering will be happier with a sense of fellowship and togetherness.

Share Thanksgiving memories
You can remember Thanksgiving’s past and ask family members to tell fond stories about Thanksgiving memories. You can invite your guests to join in and share their warmest Thanksgiving memories and family stories.

Create a thankful atmosphere
Decorating your home with lovely crafts can create a thankful and comfortable space for family and guests. You can incorporate organic materials, such as greenery, pine cones, stones, leaves or acorns, to create a festive atmosphere. Put out a platter of fruits, veggies, cheeses and nuts to embellish your table. You can even use scrapbook paper and have guests create Thanksgiving card placeholders, sharing the things that they are grateful for.

Do a good deed or volunteer
While Thanksgiving is considered a time for enjoying family and friends, it’s also an opportunity to share your blessings with others. You can do a good deed or volunteer to express your gratitude. Visit a hospital or nursing home. Put together gifts or treats to share with the patients. These small gifts can mean a lot to someone who may not have family to enjoy the holiday with them. You can also donate to a church or charitable organization to help provide for others at Thanksgiving.

Write handwritten notes to friends
When was the last time you received a real letter from a friend or family member? Or the last time you wrote one? You may have family and friends you’re unable to visit during the holidays. A handwritten note sent by mail is a precious way to show your appreciation and love.

Appreciate the little things
A kind word, heartfelt hug or peck on the cheek can express your gratefulness better than expensive gifts. Give compliments to your family and friends on Thanksgiving day. Hugs and kisses are a delight to the young and old alike.

Thanksgiving is a great time to share kindness, thankfulness and appreciation. Get your family involved in doing something good on this day. Teach the younger generous to be gracious and giving. Express your gratitude and say “thank you” to everyone you know!


14 Healthy Foods You Should Be Eating

healthy-greens-1369011-mLast year, before Thanksgiving and the start of all the holiday festivities, we posted about the best and worst foods for fall and winter.

I was thinking about all the yummy foods that will be piled high on the table for Thanksgiving dinner, and I decided it might be good to add in a few healthy super foods to my eating habits this holiday season.

Here are 14 of the healthiest foods that you should be eating but probably aren’t (especially during the decadent holidays):

Lean Protein
Lean sources of protein can help speed up your metabolism and encourage your body to burn more fat. Some good examples include turkey, chicken breast, pork and leaner cuts of beef. You get muscle-building protein without the extra saturated fat.

Tomato Sauce
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene and decrease your risk of bladder, lung, prostate, skin and stomach cancers. Tomatoes also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Red tomatoes are the best, and processed tomatoes are just as good as fresh.

Yogurt gives you calcium and protein along with millions of bacteria that are beneficial for your body. These bacteria help boost your immune system and provide protection against cancer. Not all yogurts are probiotic, so check the label for “live and active cultures.”

Carrots are filled with carotenoids, which are fat-soluble compounds that reduce the risk of a wide range of cancers and combat the severity of inflammatory conditions like asthma and arthritis. They are easy to prepare and can be added to pastas and salads or enjoyed as a snack while on the go.

Cruciferous Veggies
Fruits and veggies should be a large part of your diet – you should strive to make them half your plate. Cruciferous vegetables are low in calories and high in fiber as well as essential nutrients. Great options include cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale and bok choy.

Black Beans
All beans are good for your heart, but black beans can boost your brain power. They are full of anthocyanins, an antioxidant compound that gives you better brain function.

Berries are a potent source of antioxidants that fight free radicals, slow down aging and reduce your risk of cancer. Berries are a healthy, refreshing snack that can satisfy a sweet craving. They also go great with your morning cereal, in smoothies and on yogurt.

Bananas are an easy, on-the-go treat. Pack in your gym back as a quick snack, or cut it up on your cereal or oatmeal. Foods high in potassium – like bananas – can help reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke.

This colorful fruit is full of antioxidants that can help prevent heart disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer. You can even get the benefits by drinking a glass of pomegranate juice.

High-Fiber Cereal
Fiber is essential to maintaining a healthy body and can help in losing weight. It fills you up and keeps your digestive systems working properly. Whole-grain cereals digest slowly and keep your blood sugar at a steady level. Cereals also give you B vitamins, antioxidants, iron, zinc, copper and magnesium.

Oats are packed with soluble fiber that helps reduce heart disease. While they are loaded with carbs, like cereal, they are released slowly to keep you full and satisfied.

Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are packed with vitamin A, calcium and potassium. Other great dark orange vegetables include pumpkin, carrots, butternut squash and orange bell peppers.

Eggs have gotten a bad rap in the past, but they are nutritious, economical and a great way to fill up on good protein. Studies have shown if you eat eggs for breakfast, you eat fewer calories through the day. Eggs also contain 12 vitamins and minerals that are good for your brain and memory.

Nuts are full of protein, heart healthy fats, fiber and antioxidants. A handful of nuts can help lower cholesterol and promote weight loss. You can mix it up with pistachios, walnuts, almonds, peanuts and pecans. Enjoy them as a snack or add them to salads, side dishes, cereals or yogurt.

So, if you’re feeling a little guilty after Thanksgiving dinner or holiday parties, add a few of these healthy foods to your regular diet. Put some diversity and color on your plate!