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November 5, 2012

Perfect Portioning for the Season of Overeating

The season of overeating is upon us. It is common for even the healthiest eater to get derailed during the holidays. But, this Thanksgiving can be different; use a smaller plate, watch portion sizes and eat a small breakfast to avoid overindulgence at the main meal.

The USDA’s MyPlate is the perfect model for helping you from overindulging this year. Keep this visual in mind when plating your dinner to ensure proper portions and a balanced meal. Ultimately, you want half your plate filled with fruits and vegetables and the other half reserved for lean proteins and whole grains. Here are some other tips to keep you on track:

FRUITS Consider seasonal fruits and vegetables when planning your holiday meal. For a sweet start, dish up roasted pears with brie. Cut back on sugar in some dishes by adding apples, applesauce or raisins.

VEGETABLES Sauté asparagus, squash or zucchini in olive oil for a perfect side dish. Fill up on vegetables by enjoying a side salad before digging in to the turkey and stuffing.

GRAINS Enjoy grains in small portions. Skip the marshmallows on your yams and limit gravy and butter in your potatoes. Flavor your potatoes with garlic and herbs. Add fresh vegetables like spinach or kale to your homemade stuffing. And, bake the stuffing in a dish rather than in the turkey where it absorbs fat as it bakes.

PROTEIN Select white meat and limit the serving to 3-4 ounces. Roasting or smoking is the healthiest way to prepare turkey; if that’s not an option, you can always skip the skin. Don’t eat meat? Enjoy bean, tofu or lentil rice loaf to nourish your body with the protein it needs.

DAIRY Top your small slice of pie (which you purchased from Food & Friends!) with low-fat vanilla yogurt instead of ice cream or whipped cream.

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