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CLIF Blog

Nov. 24, 2009
Pilgrims Ate Vegetables
So here we are, Thanksgiving already. Someone sent me a meeting request for November 24th, 2009 and I casually accepted thinking “oh that’s just weeks away,” when in fact it was today.

Where does the time go? Alas, like many of you, this Thursday (day after tomorrow), I’ll be baking sweet pumpkin pies and bringing my contribution to the family potluck turkey dinner. Unless you’re a dietitian, a food scientist, or a nutrition know-it-all, you probably haven’t noticed how starchy the traditional turkey day meal is. So, let me lay it out for you:

Sweet potatoes
Yams
Stuffing
Rolls
Mashed potatoes
Gravy
Cranberry sauce

If you’re lucky enough to have something green, it’s probably going to be peas or corn (though corn isn’t really all that ‘green’), which are both right up there with potatoes as a starchy vegetable.

But why is too much starch a problem? Starch is the plant version of a carbohydrate and when you have too much of it, through a natural reaction instigated by your very own body, you end up feeling tired. Not to mention feeling bloated and as if you just packed on few extra pounds.

Oh, and let’s not forget the pumpkin pie with whipped cream.

No wonder everyone’s exhausted after a meal like this. Never mind the “tryptophan effect” of the turkey. Take a look at how much starchy carbohydrate your body has to metabolize while zoning out in front of the TV watching football and parades whilst drinking good beer.

I’ve turned this around (even if just a bit) in my family. What do we do? Add more color and a dash of extra flavor to the table.

Frozen peas have now made way for fresh green beans. My contribution to the meal usually provides something of the orange variety such as glazed carrots or butternut squash. These are worthy contributors to this harvest meal and deserve their rightful place back in the cornucopia. So if your family’s like mine, I dare you to break tradition and bring a real vegetable to the meal.

Pilgrims ate vegetables and so should we.
Posted by:
Tara, the RD
Category:
Food Matters
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We like getting our heart rates up, taking a big breath of fresh air, savoring delicious food. But we also love telling stories and here's where we type 'em up. (BTW, it works both ways; leave a comment—please and thank you.)

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