Thanksgiving, YAY!! Food, friends and family—it’s one of the best days of the year. The day after, though… sometimes that’s not such a great day. That’s when too many people wake up with regret; realizing that they should have passed on that last piece of pie.
Well, with a little bit of help, you can enjoy a holiday that is traditionally abundant with calorie-rich foods – with no regrets! Follow these simple tips and substitute healthy recipes that use high-impact flavors, fresh herbs and spices as well as seasonal fruit and veggies instead of lots of butter or cream.
- One of the best things about Thanksgiving is the variety of foods to choose from. If you like to make the rounds, be sure to take smaller servings of each dish.
- Remember that moderation is the key; instead of stressing about every last calorie, try filling a smaller plate with a variety of colorful, fresh foods.
- Whenever possible, exchange empty calories for nutrient rich foods.
- Start slow and give the food time to settle.
- Go ahead and enjoy some of the “good stuff” – but after you have filled up on the healthier items. That way, you’ll be less tempted to binge on dessert.
In addition to these tips, try some of our favorite, healthy recipes that will allow you to still indulge in your Thanksgiving favorites:
- Turkey - Try a roasted garlic & meyer lemon-rubbed turkey or an apple-shallot roasted turkey for less fat and a whole lot of flavor.
- Stuffing - This holiday favorite often packs quite the caloric punch, check out this video about how to make stuffing healthier.
- Potatoes - Mashed or baked, potatoes are a Thanksgiving staple. Try sweet potatoes for a more vitamin-rich food and different flavored spin on holiday dishes.
- Bread - When choosing which kind of grain to put in the bread basket, opt for whole wheat options like this honey whole wheat bread.
- Dessert - This may well be the Thanksgiving favorite, and with low-fat options like citrus ginger cake, apple pie and chocolate walnut cake, you can satisfy your sweet tooth without going overboard on the calories.
- Pumpkin (you fill in the blank!) - Thanksgiving just isn’t complete without a pumpkin something! The good news is that this vegetable is full of fiber, beta-carotene (a powerful antioxidant) and potassium. Choose a healthier recipe and enjoy that pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup or pumpkin bread.
Remember, with the right preparation and support, any goal can be achieved—a healthy Thanksgiving isn’t impossible. Happy Turkey Day from Mountain View Hospital!