Tomorrow, enjoy your family, food, friends... and especially the turkey.
Turkey is a great source of lean protein (which means less calories).
It's also a great source of niacin (helps heart function), phosphorous (helps bones and kidneys), iron (fights anemia), zinc (reduces stress and boosts healing), potassium (helps kidney function), and other B vitamins (protects the brain and heart).
Last week, we got a question from Retirement Millionaire subscriber Phil...
With Thanksgiving around the corner, when's the best time to buy turkey?
Great timing, Phil... I like to buy my birds at a big discount after Thanksgiving.
Americans eat about 46 million turkeys on Thanksgiving and 22 million at Christmas. And demand for frozen turkey drops sharply after the holidays.
So you can find great deals from grocery stores trying to clear out their surplus.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, you can keep a frozen turkey indefinitely – no surprise if you read our essay last week on expiration dates – though for best quality you should cook it within a year.
So buy next Thanksgiving's turkey now, for far less.
Just don't stick the turkey in the freezer in only its original packaging. Its thin layers will lead to freezer burn. Keep the packaging on and then either wrap the turkey in aluminum foil or stuff it in a freezer bag.
If your turkey runs too large, try wrapping it in freezer paper and an extra-large, 10-gallon Ziploc bag (both available at Wal-Mart). I used this trick a few years ago and got my next turkey for just $0.25 a pound.
And as you're enjoying your Thanksgiving holiday, keep these things in mind...
Eat slowly. Many studies have shown that eating slower – and drinking water between bites – reduces the amount of food you eat. The prevailing theory is that eating slower allows your hormones enough time to complete the long process of signaling your brain to stop eating.
One paper, published in 2011 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, saw bigger drops in post-meal ghrelin levels in people who ate slowly (measured by people chewing each bite 40 times instead of 15 times).
Make sure you save room on your plate for cranberries. Cranberries contain compounds that help prevent bacteria like food-borne pathogens E. coli and staphylococcus from sticking to cells. They can keep plaque from sticking to the surface of your teeth. And they can protect against cancer, particularly breast cancer, due in part to their potent polyphenol antioxidants.
I also like stocking up on fresh cranberries after Thanksgiving. They're often marked down 50% right after Thanksgiving and Christmas... I buy at least a dozen packages and freeze all but two.
Eat a little less. Good research shows eating less will help you live longer and with less discomfort when older. The Japanese philosophy about eating less is called "Hara Hachi Bu."
In Japan, the Okinawans practice it by literally eating until they are "only 80% full." I plan to keep my calorie intake down this year by remembering this practice. After all, these people live well into their 100s, and I'd like to do the same.
Get active after dinner. If you succumb to extra helpings, make sure to get up and get active after dinner. I love to take my family for an evening walk around the neighborhood after a big meal.
Walking after a meal can lower your blood sugar and help prevent diabetes, too. Exercise directly lowers your blood sugar by bypassing insulin... When you work your muscles, they contract and allow your muscle cells to absorb glucose without the help of insulin. Once they have the glucose, muscle cells break it down to use it for energy.
To get the most benefit, follow the 20-20 rule – wait for 20 minutes after eating and then walk for 20 minutes. You'll be surprised by how energized you feel.
Pair your meal with wine. I grew up drinking white wines from Germany, so I'm partial to whites with very little sweetness on Turkey Day. They remind me of my dad. Specifically, look for the grape varietal riesling. If you can find a dry white Riesling at your local wine shop, give it a try – especially if you're a newbie wine drinker.
If you prefer red wines, I recommend grabbing either a French Bordeaux or a Rhone wine for your roasted turkey. The Bordeaux wines are mainly cabernet and merlot (plus a few other varieties often blended in). And the Rhones are usually syrah (northern) and grenache (southern) with other grapes blended in.
Stick with these wines and you can't go wrong... Try visiting a local shop where the employees have tasted the wines and can give you the answers you're looking for.
What We're Reading...
- Squirrel – "more earthy and sumptuous than the darkest turkey."
- Something different: "No vacancy" signs are vanishing from America's highways.
Here's to our health, wealth, and a great retirement,
Dr. David Eifrig and the Retirement Millionaire Daily Research Team
November 23, 2016
P.S. After our Thanksgiving issue of Retirement Millionaire Daily last year, subscriber Bill M. wrote in with a great personal story about the history of the Thanksgiving Day Dallas Cowboys game. I have to share it...
The problem isn't from all those things in the turkey and the rest of the food. The problem is that everyone in America...
... wants to sit on the couch and watch America's Team, the World Champion Dallas Cowboys play football. Which just happens to occur every single Thanksgiving Day at 3:00 p.m. Central time. Like since forever. Do any of the post-Thanksgiving Dinner studies take THAT into account?
As one of the three Braniff Airways pilots who actually flew the Cowboys every time they left Dallas in the 1978-79 season, I know THIS story.
Tex Schramm, the wise old General Manager of the Cowboys in the early years, tried to get attendance up – and took a chance with copying the Detroit Lions, who had done the same. It was a chance to have the Texans (later named the Cowboys) get in front of a national audience.
It worked! And Tex signed a contract in perpetuity to play the second game of the day. Some don't like it – but the Lions and the Cowboys are ALWAYS at home that game. The other teams all have to travel... It's convenient – as the Lions are in the Eastern Time Zone, and go at 1:00 p.m. EST, with the Cowboys to follow at 4:00 p.m. EST.
Down here in Dallas, we LOVE it! – Bill M.