5 Tips to Stay Healthy During Thanksgiving.

Staying healthy during the holidays can be very difficult. Whether you are traveling great distances or hosting family and friends in your own home, here are our suggestions to enjoy your holiday with healthy habits and plenty of energy. 

Thinking About How To Enjoy the Holiday without Stress? 

Thanksgiving is a season for family and friends but more often than not, it is a celebration of way too much food, stress and chaos. These are our five tips for you to enjoy the holiday while staying happy and healthy with no after-meal guilt. 

Written By: Ila Meza
Health guru, yoga instructor and Voke editor.

1. Start the Holiday off Right

Fall break for Thanksgiving is the first of the big holiday travel event of the winter. Most of us travel far and wide to spend time with family and friends. For some of us, our family and friends travel to see us. Let's be honest, travel is tough enough without the holiday masses. 

The first step towards having a healthy, happy Thanksgiving is to start on the right foot with plenty of energy. 

Before loading up the car for a road trip, rushing to catch a flight, or prepping the house for a mass of loved ones, kick the holiday off with plenty of energy. Get a full night's rest, boost your vitamin C game, and use healthy energy boosters like Voke for a jitter-free clear-headed day of travel. 

Take fruit in the car or on the plane, and drink plenty of water to get yourself in the right space before the festivities begin.

Helpful Hint: grab a Voke partway through the day on Thanksgiving to keep your energy high and feel present with your friends and family. Also if you know you won't have much time during the Holiday to take a break, you can keep a back-up pack of Voke in your pocket for a quick lift no matter where you are!

2. Remember Breakfast!

The first meal on the celebration day is the most important one! Eating a full breakfast will keep your family and friends fuller longer, which lessens the chance of people getting too hungry and overeating. 

Try focusing on fruits and proteins for breakfast since most traditional thanksgiving foods do not always provide full servings of fruit or vegetables. Having fresh fruit with breakfast will help boost healthy energy to tie everyone over before the big meal. 

We all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so if you aren't hosting, offer to bring or make something for the family so everyone has a chance to eat healthy first thing on Thanksgiving Day. 

3. Take Time to De-stress

Big get-togethers can be hectic for anyone and everyone involved. No matter how much you love your family and friends, having so many people together can be as wonderful as it is crazy. With all the ensuing chaos of cooking and being surrounded by loved ones, you need to take a moment to yourself. 

To prevent getting stressed, make time to take a moment alone for a quiet break. 

Take some deep breaths to reset. For some of us, the best de-stressor might be to grab a cup of hot apple cider or tea and sit for a second to soak in the excitement. 

Give yourself time, whether you are hosting or visiting, so you can stay calm and enjoy the happy, busy day. 

Try keeping your energy up and your mind clear of stress so you can be present for the best moments of the holidays. 

4. Get Active: Have Some Fun!

The most fun tip is to get active after breakfast and before the big meal, whether you eat at lunch or dinner. 

Consider sending everyone out for a round of flag football or soccer in the yard, or set up a mini turkey trot to get everyone out and moving. It's pretty straightforward, but exercise will help balance out the calories you'll take on during your family meal! 

Many local yoga studios do pre-thanksgiving classes on thanksgiving day at a discount so you can grab a friend or a family member and work up a sweat! (This is my go-to every year and in whichever state we visit when we travel for our big family thanksgiving). 

Bonus, if you are the one that's cooking, you can always get some exercise earlier in the day and have the kitchen a bit quieter while everyone else plays and works up an appetite outdoors. Big Hint, this can also give you the quiet time you might need to prevent stress. 

Healthy Trick: Wait 20 minutes after your first plate before going for seconds. This gives your body time to digest and time to decide if you need a second plate or if you are ready for desert. ;) 

5. Plan Ahead

Plan ahead! If you have a chance to get involved in the meal planning, do! 

Discuss using healthier recipes and having more fresh vegetable options. It's easy to get excited by older, less healthy recipes, but there are so many ways to update them to have less sugar or fats. 

If you aren't on the cooking team, offer to bring dishware so you can all use smaller plates to help with proper portioning. Bring a healthy veggie or fruit dish. 

Try to encourage family members or friends to drink less soda by bringing iced teas or low-sugar lemonades to help keep the extras surrounding the meal a step healthier than usual. 

Planning for the holiday will help make cooking and portion size healthier and more manageable, so you don't have to worry about overeating or eating poorly. 

Reminder! There is nothing wrong with treating yourself! This is a big holiday so don't be afraid of having desert. Opt for a smaller piece of pie or skip the ice cream, but enjoy the delicious deserts! 


The Better-for-you Traditional Sweet Potato Dish

We all remember the classic sweet potato dish that a family member had aggressively topped with a bag of marshmallows and candied nuts. You'd take a bite and find more butter than possibly necessary, and they are too sweet to handle. 

This is my famous Spicy-sweet Potato side. It is still decadent but just a slightly healthier twist on a sugary family favorite. 


3-4 large sweet potatoes sliced

One tablespoon cinnamon

1-2 teaspoons cayenne

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup plant butter


Wash and thinly slice 3-4 sweet potatoes. Leave the skin on because it has additional potassium and fiber, as well as other nutrients.

Set oven to 350. 

Lightly spray down a pan with a plant-based butter spray. 

( Plant butter and plant butter sprays are very easy to find now and far better for you than traditional butter. You can opt for an avocado-based plant butter for healthier nutritional fats that benefit your brain to replace unnecessary fats like those from animal butter.)

Lay the slices leaning on one another to fill the pan. 

Sprinkle the brown sugar, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper across the sweet potatoes and divide up the plant butter evenly across the top as well. If your family enjoys spice, add more cayenne!

Cover the top with foil and bake for 45 minutes. 

Serve warm!

Notice, I chose not to use any salt, but if you like, a small sprinkle would be plenty. The idea is to have a lightly sweet dish that is not drowning in marshmallows and butter. Keep it light, and feel free to adjust the recipe according to taste.

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