Of Turkeys, Traditions, and Thankfulness

Written by Dr. Veena Madhankumar and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team

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That time of the year is rolling around again for those celebrating the festival, which gives you an excuse to not buy gifts. Instead, all you are required to do is be thankful. And also gorge on turkey. It is interesting how all considerations of personal beliefs and ancestry are lost when a simple celebration of Thanksgiving becomes a tie that binds, which is to say that food and gratefulness bring people together. But if you are looking for tips on how to build your own special Thanksgiving memory, this is where you come for pointers.

1. Long, Long Ago

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And so the story goes… Because you do not start a whole research project without the background info. History is the whole reason why Thanksgiving is even a thing, so learn we shall. It all harks back to when the Pilgrims (the survivors who traveled to America on the Mayflower) celebrated their first harvest in what they called the New World. They invited the native Indians over and made a day of it with turkeys, pumpkin pie, and thanksgiving (obviously). This tradition stuck, and while the festivities have expanded to include newer, fancier traditions, the purpose is still simple. Giving thanks. On the fourth Thursday of November every year.

 
 

2. Food Before All Else

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Naturally, this is the part that catches your eye because why not? So a typical Thanksgiving menu looks something like this – turkey plus stuffing, mashed or sweet potatoes with gravy, French beans, corn, squash, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. Of course, everyone has their own spin on this, so you can expect some changes. Many will have their own secret recipes. There is nothing like a secret recipe to shake things up a little and become a sore point between all the chefs in the family. And while petty catfights and public spats can devolve into some incredibly funny montages, they certainly are the furthest thing from the spirit of Thanksgiving. So this festival could potentially help you practice patience and humility. That is some character-building stuff right there.

3. The Aftermath of the Stuffing

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No, we are not referring to the turkey’s stuffing but to the stuffed nature of your belly after the feast. This might seem like a natural consequence, but the heartburn is real. We have some free tips for you on preventing bursting at the seams from becoming a reality. First, you could tone down the eating. Easier said than done, we know, but no problem. We have more practical solutions too. For one thing, you could try eating in small portions and taking your time with it. It is a holiday; you have all the time in the world. Or you could keep some peppermint tea or supplements, ginger, digestive enzymes, or antacids on hand. And if nothing else appeals, why not just get up and move? Walking around between meals can really help with that digestive process. You can thank us later.

4. The RSV Scare

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We do not mean to dampen your holiday spirit, but this is important. If you are going to gather for the festivities, there are high chances, given the recent spate of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) transmissions, that an infectious party will follow. Protect yourself by making sure to maintain hygiene standards, do not join the gathering if you feel ill, and read up on the virus. Arm yourself with the knowledge you need to prevent an antibody festival in your body.

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This is the season for joy and gratitude, so we hope you have a memorable holiday. Have the fun you set out to have, but give it the veneer of caution that comes with protecting yourself and your family. Happy Thanksgiving!


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