4 Steps To Keeping It Healthier This Thanksgiving
Okay, who doesn’t love the bounty of wonderful foods at Thanksgiving? But who loves the bloaty, ‘why did I eat that’, ‘oh look at the scale’, ‘my arteries are screaming’, ‘now I have more weight to lose’ mental and physical gymnastics of overeating? No one, my friends. So here’s my 4 step approach with some simple and some more sophisticated ways to keep Thanksgiving a little healthier. You can save some time in preparation, give you more quality time with your family, and gift everyone a little more health. After all, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s are on their way!
Step 1: Start the day with healthy eating since a more indulgent dinner is on the horizon. Try to limit noshing to 2 meals today.
- Poached eggs
- Whole grain toast or homemade granola
- Sliced oranges and bananas with 1 Tbsp ground flax seed
- Coffee or tea
- Poached eggs over spinach with dollop of plain yogurt and sprinkle of turmeric
- Sliced oranges, bananas topped with 1 Tbsp ground flax seed and pomegranate seeds
- Buckwheat crepes with schmear of coconut oil or butter, a drizzle of avocado honey, lemon zest.
- Almond Milk Chai Latte, Coffee or Tea
Step 2: Lighten up the ingredients in some of the traditional recipes.
- Serve Au Jus instead of gravy. Simmer onions, sage, carrots, and celery in broth, season with salt and pepper, strain to serve.
- Roast brussel sprouts and root veggies to replace casserole vegetable dishes.
- Pan sautéed asparagus with Maldon salt and a little fresh garlic.
- Roast beets and sprinkle with goat cheese and pine nuts
- Use ½ of the butter or oil in any recipe. Use vegetable or chicken stock to add moistness.
- Use olive, coconut or avocado oil instead of butter in almost any recipe.
- Use topping of ground almonds, pecans or hazelnuts to dress up casseroles and veggies.
Step 3: Be a little mindful…remember the first few bites are the most rewarding.
- Have your piece of the pie and save a slice of cake for tomorrow. Savor those bites, giving the brain time to recognize and respond with satisfaction. Avoid the ‘fire hose approach’ to overloading with sweets or alcohol which leaves your brain and body less than thankful.
- Don’t’ forget alcohol is an appetite stimulant and reduces inhibitory behavior, like being able to say ‘no more please’, so imbibe until dinner time.
Step 4: Have healthy leftover options to help ‘Detox’ after a day of indulgence.
- Toss turkey on a salad of mixed greens, pomegranate seeds, avocado, chopped parsley, toss with lemon juice and olive oil.
- Recycle fresh herbs from Feast Day recipes: thyme and sage in soups; basil, parsley, and chives in salads and sautéed veggies.
- Serve a morning after Detox smoothie: coconut water, spinach/romaine, fresh ginger, apple, a squeeze of lemon and ice if desired.