Editor's Note: Brenna Mader is our guest ZEBRA Blogger this week! Brenna is a nutritional advocate who frequently speaks on these issues, works as a TV/Video Host in the Nashville area, served as Miss Tennessee, and is the Secretary on the Healing NET Foundation Board of Directors. She is one of the core founders of HNF after becoming aware of NETs when a former teacher was diagnosed with the disease.
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays - what's better than family, relaxing, and enjoying some of your favorite foods? However, for anyone wanting to achieve optimum health - and especially for those fighting cancer, it's important to think of the foods you eat as medicine. There are plenty of ways to still enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday and not go overboard on rich foods that will leave you feeling sluggish and miserable.
1. Choose Organic/Non GMO Ingredients
Why organic? More nutrient density, no pesticides or synthetic fillers, no synthetic growth or breeding hormones, no antibiotics, no GMOs. Check out this FAQ on GMO's for more info: http://responsibletechnology.org/faqs
2. Fill your plate with 80% healthy foods
Make sure the majority of your plate is filled with healthier items like vegetable dishes (not the variety drowned in butter). Keep the consumption of animal products to a minimum and make sure the eggs/butter/cheese/meat that you do consume are organic. Check out this delicious recipe for curried acorn squash: http://kriscarr.com/recipe/curried-acorn-squash/
3. Take digestive enzymes with your meal
Many people with NETs have digestive issues. Sometimes it is related to medications, sometimes, just individual digestion. Of course, always consult your physician about taking new supplements. But one thing to consider is adding over the counter digestive enzymes to your meals. Any time a food is cooked - even if it's a healthy food, the enzymes die. Enzymes are what break down and digest our food. I take them every day with any meal that involves cooked food, but ESPECIALLY on a day of such heavy food consumption be sure to take them before, during, or right after your meal. This may help digest the meal in an efficient manner so we may better absorb the nutrients we are consuming. I like this brand:
(http://www.corehealthproducts.com/products/core) and this brand: (http://www.amazon.com/Rainbow-Light-Advanced-Enzyme-Plant-Source/dp/B000EEDZ7W)
4. Eat a green salad before the rest of your meal
Eating a green salad prior to the rest of your meal has several benefits: it ensures you'll get some good nutrition, it helps fill your stomach up some so you won't over indulge on the rest of the meal, and it is light and digests quickly while also paving the way for good digestion of the rest of your meal. No unbuttoned pants necessary!
5. Look for healthy alternatives to your favorite holiday dish
If you can make healthier alternatives to the dishes you love eating, chances are you won't feel deprived. Check out this recipe for marinated mushrooms, mashed root vegetables, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and brussels sprouts: http://kriscarr.com/recipe/holiday-dinner-marinated-mushrooms-mashed-root-vegetables-stuffing-cranberry-and-brussels-sprouts/ Pumpkin pie truffles anyone!? http://kriscarr.com/recipe/pumpkin-pie-truffles/
Above all, enjoy your holiday. Thanksgiving only comes around once a year and it's ok to splurge occasionally - just make sure your day-to-day habits are filled with lots of organic/non gmo raw fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, filtered water, etc.
Happy Thanksgiving! Brenna Mader