by Elaine P. Secilmis, RD Dietician at Wesley Homes Des Moines Nothing brings family and friends together like a good meal, especially Thanksgiving dinner. It seems as if overindulging is a rite of passage during the holiday, but it doesn’t have to be. Controlling portions during Thanksgiving is easier than you think. It’s called My Plate and can be adjusted to reflect the delicious food commonly seen at Thanksgiving. The idea behind My Plate is to fill 1/2 of your plate with fruits and vegetables. The remaining 1/2 is divided between healthy starches and lean protein. This visual representation makes the task of eating a well-balanced Thanksgiving meal much easier. A healthy and balanced Thanksgiving plate is a great way for everyone to eat healthy during the holidays, even for people with diabetes. Additional tips to help you stay healthy through the holidays: Avoid skipping meals to save calories. This can cause your blood sugar levels to drop too low during the day and lead to overeating during Thanksgiving dinner. Come up with a plan! See what is available on the table and be choosy! Maybe this year skip the bread and go for the stuffing or mashed potatoes instead. Fill up on raw fruits and vegetables and limit foods with creams and gravies. Slow down. Enjoy your company and the conversation; savor the taste of the delicious food that took hours to prepare. Don’t give up dessert; choose a smaller portion instead. Stay active this holiday. A walk after dinner can aid with digestion and lower blood sugars. For healthy holiday recipes and additional tips, visit: http://www.diabeteseducator.org/export/sites/aade/_resources/pdf/general/ThanksgivingPlateResource.pdf To learn more about USDA’s My Plate visit: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/downloads/GettingStartedWithMyPlate.pdf Have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!