2 Truths About Thanksgiving that Will Turn Your Traditions Upside Down!

Every year, as the last Thursday in November approaches, most people don’t think twice about what to put on the table: Turkey. But why?

New England Turkeys in the Back Yard by M. Budd

According to culinary historians, “Much of the Thanksgiving meal consisted of seafood, which is often absent from today’s menus. Mussels in particular were abundant in New England and could be easily harvested because they clung to rocks along the shoreline.”  Well, this makes a lot of sense…but where did the whole turkey deal come from? Turkey meat is cheap and can typically feed a whole family. The big bird is also native to North America. Fun fact: President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863 as an expression of gratitude for the Union victory at Gettysburg.

Myth buster: Many people discuss a sleepy feeling after eating a Thanksgiving meal & turkey often takes the blame! Why? It contains tryptophan, an amino acid that aids in the uptake of serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that allows us to feel calm, relaxed, and sleepy.

However,  research shows it’s the carbohydrate-rich sides, excessive portion sizes and drinks and desserts that actually cause that “couch call”. In other words, eating turkey without the “extras” could prevent that post-Thanksgiving energy (and a walk around the block won’t hurt, either!).

From the folks of History.com, “The colonists occasionally served mussels with curds, a dairy product with a similar consistency to cottage cheese. Lobster, bass, clams and oysters might also have been part of the feast. ”

More Thanksgiving History Here!


For protein-packed, delicious seafood dishes this Thanksgiving, check out the Seafood Nutrition Partnership’s latest article, “10 Thanksgiving Seafood Dishes You Need on the Table”


10 Thanksgiving Seafood Dishes You Need on the Table

P.S. I’m thankful for you 🙂

Nicole Chenard, MS, RD, LDN

Published by Admin

Nicole earned her bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from Simmons College while working as a Personal Trainer at Boston Sports Clubs and Gold's Gym. While at Simmons College, she competed in crew, ice hockey and cheerleading. She went on to earn her master's degree in Applied Nutrition with a concentration in Fitness from Northeastern University. Between undergraduate school and graduate school, Nicole completed one year of service under the auspices of AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas as a Wellness Coordinator at a K-12 public charter school. Nicole completed her Dietetic Internship through Wellness Workdays to gain experience in Clinical Dietetics, Community Nutrition, Long Term Care Nutrition, Food Service Management, Corporate Wellness, Private Nutrition Counseling, and Sports Dietetics. Nicole worked as a Research Assistant at Tufts University for a Preliminary Investigation of Civic Engagement as a Novel Approach to Behavior Change and Body Weight Improvement in African American Females: The Change Club Study. Nicole recently launched the clinical and fitness nutrition programs for the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital's Home Base Program. For the past few years, Nicole has increased wellness programs at the John Nagle Co. in Boston's Seaport District, bringing in fitness instructors, yoga instructors, the American Heart Association, healthy restaurant options, and health screenings to a diverse population of fisheries workers. More recently, Nicole worked on the Framingham State Food Study with Boston Children's Hospital and is currently working on the Breast Cancer Weight Loss Study with Dana Farber. Nicole continues to help deployed service members and their spouses and partners find and create new avenues for healthy lifestyles before, during, and after deployment. Nicole has experience counseling veterans, professional, adult and college athletes, and individuals and families looking to make changes in their routines to better their health. Nicole lives an active lifestyle and this year completed the Boston Marathon injury and cramp-free. Nicole enjoys educating individuals and groups. Some of the topics she teaches include: Choosing Foods to Improve Your Mood, Eating for Exercise, How to Navigate the Grocery Store, Eat This not That, Building a Balanced Meal, How to Lose Weight and Keep it Off, and Finding Health Sources You Can Trust.

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