Tricks, and Recipes for a Guilt-Free Holiday
Thanksgiving is synonymous with family, gratitude, and of course, bountiful feasts. But just because tradition dictates indulgence, it doesn’t mean you can’t have a healthier, guilt-free holiday. Here’s your comprehensive guide to a healthier Thanksgiving, from portion control to mouthwatering dishes that won’t weigh you down.
1. Set the Scene for Mindful Eating:
- Ambience Matters: Soft lighting and calming music can set a relaxing tone, encouraging slower eating and better digestion.
- Smaller Plates: Using smaller plates can make portions appear larger, helping to reduce overeating.
2. Rethink Traditional Dishes:
- Sweet Potatoes: Instead of sugar-loaded sweet potato casserole, try roasted sweet potatoes with a drizzle of olive oil, cinnamon, and a sprinkle of sea salt.
- Green Beans: Swap the creamy casserole for steamed or sautéed green beans garnished with slivered almonds.
- Mashed Potatoes: Consider a cauliflower mash, or blend half potatoes and half cauliflower for a lighter alternative.
3. Stuffing that Satisfies:
- Opt for whole grain or sourdough bread as a base.
- Add veggies like celery, carrots, and onions.
- Use broth instead of butter for moisture.
- Incorporate lean protein such as turkey sausage or lentils.
4. Lighten Up Desserts:
- Pumpkin Pie: Use a nut-based crust, and substitute heavy cream with almond or coconut milk.
- Fruit Salad: Combine seasonal fruits with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a drizzle of honey.
- Cranberry Sauce: Make your own, cutting back on sugar, or using natural sweeteners like maple syrup.
5. Stay Active:
- Plan a post-dinner walk with family.
- Sign up for a local Turkey Trot or Thanksgiving 5k.
- Play fun yard games like football, cornhole, or frisbee.
6. Stay Hydrated:
- Drinking water can help regulate your appetite and prevent overeating.
- Herbal teas or seltzer water with a splash of fruit juice can be festive and refreshing alternatives to sugary drinks.
7. Portion Control:
- Fill half your plate with veggies.
- Use the palm of your hand as a guide for protein portions.
- Remember, you can always take seconds, so start small.
8. Leftover Magic:
- Turn turkey into protein-packed salads, soups, or wraps.
- Use vegetables for stews or blend into smoothies.
- Remember to freeze anything you won’t eat within a few days.
9. Practice Gratitude:
- This holiday is about giving thanks. Before eating, take a moment with your loved ones to express gratitude for the meal, the company, and the blessings in your life.
Remember, Thanksgiving is one day out of the year. While it’s great to make healthier choices, it’s also okay to indulge a little. Balance is key. Enjoy the holiday and the special moments it brings. Cheers to a healthy and happy Thanksgiving! 🦃🍁🍂
10. Recipes to Try:
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate Seeds
- Kale and Quinoa Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash
- Herb-Roasted Turkey Breast
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Veronica is dedicated and experienced nutritionist and certified health coach who specializes in functional medicine, She's a published author, nutritional instructor, WBFF professional figure athlete, and both the brains and beauty behind all that Makeover Nutrition offers.
Veronica is also the President & CEO of a BC based health and wellness association; Pacific Alliance of Body Care.