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Healthy Living: Don’t overthink trying to make the perfect plate for Thanksgiving

Published: Nov. 24, 2020 at 8:43 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Get ready for the turkey, gravy, stuffing and dessert, but also make sure you’re following food-safety tips, so you don’t end up sick instead of celebrating. It may seem like common sense, but really understanding how to thaw and cook your turkey safely is important. In order to prevent the spread of bacteria, you want to cook it through to 165 degrees.

According to the Food Safety website, you should not wash or rinse any meat or poultry that’s not recommended and if you do wash your turkey, you need to fully clean and sanitize your sink after. The USDA does not recommend stuffing a turkey due to food safety reasons. When it comes to thawing out your turkey the refrigerator method is recommended, that’s 24 hours for every five pounds.

Now let’s talk portions. While you may want to indulge in all the comfort food, you don’t want to end up in a food coma. Registered Dietician, Haley Hughes said when it comes to holiday eating habits, it’s important to take care and nourish your body, but don’t let the stress of what to eat and what not to eat to add to it either. Hughes said set your intentions. You don’t have to have the perfect plate. Eat regularly throughout the day and don’t starve yourself before dinner and maybe plan some sort of physical activity before or after you eat.

“We got to build a better relationship with food and be able to enjoy it, we’re not enjoying it when we’re making it this big deal and it’s all or nothing and then eating the entire plate and then feeling terrible afterward. It’s okay, let’s enjoy these portions that make you feel good and add to our quality of life that way,” Hughes said.

On another note, Hughes said with so many people working from home, you can still treat eating like you’re at the office. She said you may find yourself doing a different routine, but what’s important is to pull out some of the benefits and go from there.

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