The Sleepy-Turkey Myth

Thanksgiving Eve is here, and most of us are hustling and bustling getting things ready for our holiday celebrations! We are so excited to be celebrating Emma's first Thanksgiving, Christmas, and basically first-everything this year! We are going to my husband's side of the family for dinner, then driving over to my grandma's house for dessert. We usually alternate dinner and dessert every year between the two families. That way we get double the fun and celebration! Do you have any traditions that you love? I'd love to hear in the comments!

Before we kick off this long weekend, I thought it would be fun to bust a Thanksgiving myth for you all, so you can act super smart and nerdy around the table when this topic comes up tomorrow! We all believe that we get sleepy from the turkey in our Thanksgiving meal....BUT, that is a myth!


We used to believe that the tryptophan in turkey is what caused drowsiness and naps after our Thanksgiving meals. Tryptophan is an amino acid, and a precursor for serotonin, a brain chemical that contributes to good moods, and helps us sleep better. But, the amount of tryptophan in turkey is no more than what is found in other animal products, such as chicken. Nuts and cheese are even found to have MORE tryptophan than turkey does!

So, why do we get extra sleepy after our Thanksgiving meal? The hard truth is that you are probably getting sleepy because you overate. Hey, it happens! Especially on Thanksgiving. But, don't blame the poor little turkey.

Actually, there is a way to make your Thanksgiving meal a healthier one! Turkey is a great protein source, so fill up on that! You can also make some roasted sweet potatoes as a yummy side dish packed with vitamin A and fiber, or bring some greens with you that aren't doused in a "cream of something." I plan on bringing a healthy smoky sweet potato dish and grain-free chocolate chip cookies, so I KNOW that I will have some healthy treats to look forward to! And if you end up overindulging, it's ok. Take that nap, don't beat yourself up, and just know that you can get right back on track the next day!

Thanksgiving is just one day, as is Christmas, New Years, and any other holiday. I think our downfall is that we tend to overindulge every day for 45 days and then wonder why we gained 10 pounds over the holiday season. If we choose our indulgences wisely and mindfully, we can fully enjoy the holiday season, be present with our friends and family, and still honor our body and our health.

I hope you all have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving tomorrow!