Health & Fitness: These Are a Few of My Thanksgiving Things...

By Ashley Aragona on November 27, 2013 from Health & Fitness via

I look back on Thanksgiving dinners as a child with nothing but fondness and warmth. The excitement I felt as my mom started baking the first pie, then the second, then the third.... The smell of the turkey and ham baking slowly through the night that would wake me and make my stomach growl. The friends and family that gathered and most of all, the memories, laughs and moments shared. As a child that’s the ONLY thing I thought about on Thanksgiving; the food and the company.
As I got older, I started to look at Thanksgiving differently. I started to think maybe I shouldn’t have that second go of pie, maybe I should take off a little bit of that gravy, or in my case because my mother cooks enough for seven armies; maybe I shouldn’t be eating a plate of mashed potatoes and stuffing for breakfast the day after.... Yeah, you feel me. I know you do.
Regardless, my thoughts and feelings have come full circle and I find myself back to the girl I was growing up in Shinnston, and that girl was one thing- “thankful.” Back then I was thankful to have my family who gathered together every year because to me, those were my favorite times. Today, I am thankful for the same thing, but I am also thankful for my life and my health and it’s because of my thankfulness for my health that I will eat (oh yes, I WILL eat) and enjoy Thanksgiving dinner in all of its gravy covered glory, but I will also feed my body items that are not only tasty, but good for me.  So in honor of Thanksgiving, here is my list of my top 3 items to have on your plate (among many others) that give you a little more than just a savory bite to be thankful for.
1.) Turkey
Thanksgiving really does get a pretty bad rap considering its main dish is one of the most protein packed foods you can consume. There are about 32 grams of protein in a 4 oz serving of turkey. It is also a good source of amino acids and gives you a boost of B6 and B3. Regular turkey consumption can aid in lowering cholesterol.
Fun facts: Turkey is roughly 70% white meat and 30% dark meat. The white meat has less fat than the dark meat.
Tip: Try tobuy organic turkey if possible. This ensures that the turkey was treated humanely and is free of pesticides, herbicides, and steroids used by many mass distributors.
2.) Sweet Potatoes
While there are many ways these babies are cooked, the humble sweet potato is loaded with vitamins including Vitamin A. Depending on how they are cooked (skin on) they can also be a good source of fiber. If you cook them like my mother does, which tastes like a dessert, then you can feel a little less guilty by knowing you are getting vitamin A, as well as iron, vitamin C and magnesium which is a relaxation and anti stress mineral. Tres’ magnifique for a care free day with the family.
3.) Cranberry
I never got the whole cranberry thing until I was older and had a more “educated palate” as the crew at the Food Network would say. But don’t let these little red berries fool you, not only do they taste mighty good with some turkey, they pack a mean punch. Did you know as far as antioxidant power goes, they blow away almost every other fruit including cherries, apples, strawberries and raspberries? Not to mention they are also good sources of vitamin C, Fiber and Vitamin E.
How about one more for good luck?
4. Graham Cracker Pie
No, I’m just joking... it’s really, REALLY bad for you. It tastes amazing, but yeah... it’s so bad. Just throwing that out there to remind myself, that while I am thankful for good health and good family, I am also thankful for DAYS OFF in which to enjoy a slice or two of turkey and a slice or two of graham cracker pie.
Here’s to a very happy, and healthy Thanksgiving to you and yours.
Until Next Time,
Yours in Health and Fitness

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