Thanksgiving Day is tomorrow, and as we prepare for quality time with family and friends – as well as a delicious feast – we encourage you and your loved ones alike to consider how you can mindfully, healthfully celebrate the holiday.

Take note of these four tips to ensure that you make the most of Thanksgiving Day without feeling day-after guilt on Black Friday.

Be mindful – From the turkey and all of the fixings to the pumpkin pie, this holiday is known for its calorie-dense food. Despite the delicious menu, calories and fat still count on Thanksgiving Day! Eating too much food in one sitting can potentially lead to heartburn or other digestive issues. Try to limit your intake of high-fat foods and be mindful of the choices that you make during this meal and always. But you don’t have to feel deprived of the once-a-year goodies. Rather than swearing off the pumpkin pecan cheesecake all together, take a small slice, and consider leaving the crust on your plate. Moderation is key!

Eat breakfast – Though you may think that it makes sense to stockpile your daily calories in preparation for Thanksgiving dinner, it’s important to do the opposite. A small meal in the morning can help to control your appetite as well keep your blood sugar levels stable. A nutritious meal with a mix of protein, fiber and carbohydrates will help control your appetite before the main event.

Stay hydrated – Along with the tastiness of Thanksgiving dinner come potential hidden sources of salt. With that said, be sure that you are drinking enough fluids throughout the day. Your elderly family members in particular need to drink plenty of fluids to maintain proper digestion, heart, liver and kidney function.

Be thankful – Last but certainly not least, don’t forget that Thanksgiving Day is a joyous celebration that lends us the opportunity to express our gratitude to our family and friends. In fact, studies have shown that feelings of gratitude have the power of improving emotional well-being. So, be sure to give thanks not only on this holiday but every day!

So Keep these four tips in mind as you prepare for tomorrow’s festivities, and on behalf of everyone at St. Barnabas Health System, we would like to wish you and your family a very happy Thanksgiving!

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