Have A “Stress Less” Thanksgiving

I was just on Let’s Talk Live talking about tips to avoid stress over the holidays. About 90% of Americans report stressing out over something. Here are a few ideas to make your life a little easier, as well as improve your health, so that you can get through this holiday season healthy and happy.

Eat A Balanced Breakfast

This goes for all year round, but it is especially important around the holidays. Many people think that skipping breakfast isn’t a big deal when they are short on time, but it’s important to understand that eating at regular intervals promotes weight management and will help stabilize your moods, easing stress.

Make sure to eat a balanced breakfast; I like to include milk in my family’s breakfasts because it is a “breakfast powerhouse” with 9 essential nutrients, including lean protein. Make seasonal “pumpkin spice oatmeal” with steel cut oats,  1/4 cup per serving of pumpkin puree, cinnamon, and honey. Make it with milk and drink an 8oz glass of milk on the side for 8 grams of protein. You could also make it ahead of time to serve for breakfast on Thanksgiving day, so you have one less thing to worry about cooking.

For another good on the go breakfast, try this milk-based green smoothie

Image reprinted with permission from http://www.butterthantoast.com and http://www.healthyaperture.com

Image reprinted with permission from http://www.butterthantoast.com and http://www.healthyaperture.com

you can assemble in your blender, store in the fridge overnight and blend in the morning before you head out the door. Check out TheBreakfastProject.com for even more easy breakfast ideas and recipes.

Cook With Canned Foods

When you’re busy, dinner can be a last-minute thought. Don’t order delivery just yet. Whip up a quick family meal with help from libbys-cornthe grocery store and canned vegetables. It saves time and  money, so you can stress less about what you’re going to put on the table, and spend more time eating with your loved ones. I like Libby’s because they offer a wide variety of fruits and vegetables.

Most grocery stores have rotisserie chicken. Grab one of those, bagged salad, and some Libby’s canned mixed veggies. You’ll have dinner on the table in less than 10 minutes.

If you’re looking to save some time making that big Thanksgiving meal, here is a recipe for a traditional delicious green bean and rice recipe that takes less than 30 minutes to make. Use those steamer bags of brown rice to save even more cook time. You can also check out GetBackToTheTable.com for some more scrumptious time saving recipes from Libby’s.

Simplify Holiday Favorites cranberries

We all know that cranberries are synonymous with Thanksgiving. Now a new review published in Advances in Nutrition show that they also have unique bioactives that may help reduce certain infections, reduce inflammation, and improve heart health.

This is great bonus during the holidays, when stress can suppress our immune system. Here are recipes so that you include cranberries in your holiday feast in more ways than one and double up on their bioactive power. You can try making this quick yummy cranberry orange compote that will cut down on sugar.

Easy Cranberry Compote

  • Simply place 2 bags of rinse cranberries in a pot over medium heat.
  • Add 1/4 cup water and the juice from two oranges. Let this simmer until you hear the cranberries “pop”.
  • Remove from heat and mash with a potato masher.
  • Add the zest from one orange.
  • Cool and refrigerate.

Eat this anywhere you’d have fruit. I love it in oatmeal, yogurt, smoothies, and even a sandwich spread.

For the big Thanksgiving meal, add dried cranberries to your roasted brussel sprouts and wow your guests with the tart flavor. Get more fun recipes using cranberries.

Disclosure: I worked with Got Milk?, the Cranberry Marketing Institute, and Libby’s for the TV segment, but did not receive compensation for writing this blog post.

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