4 Healthy Thanksgiving Tips

4 Healthy Thanksgiving Tips

A pox on all those health blogs and cooking sites trying to shame us out of enjoying the full-fat pleasures of a bounteous Thanksgiving dinner! Sharing favorite dishes is what the holiday is all about. Thanksgiving is not the day to start a diet or worry about a few extra calories. Except for those who have to worry about such things every day. For diabetics, people with food allergies, Celiac disease or digestive disorders, throwing dietary caution to the wind isn’t an option. Healthy Thanksgiving tips to the rescue! With a little effort, you can  slim down everybody’s favorite meal without sacrificing any of the deliciousness.

Best Healthy Thanksgiving Tips:

1. You Won’t Miss It

There are so many smart ways to cut fat, calories and salt from your favorite Thanksgiving recipes. You really won’t miss the unwanted extras if you follow these tips:

  • Use naturally non-fat vegetable stock instead of chicken or turkey stock to flavor stuffing or gravy. Baste the turkey with vegetable stock instead of melted butter
  • Substitute plain non-fat yogurt or fat-free sour cream in dips and mashed potatoes
  • Use less sugar in any non-baked recipe. Sugar is necessary for the perfect golden-brown crunch in many baked goods. Reducing the amount in pastries may cause a recipe fail. But for many puddings, jams, pie fillings and other non-pastry desserts, you can safely reduce the sugar by one-fourth or even one-half without giving up the sweet taste you crave
  • Wheat bread instead of white bread, brown rice instead of white rice, multi-grain macaroni instead of semolina. You get it. Adding more whole grains to the meal will help keep everyone’s blood sugar from taking a roller coaster ride on Thanksgiving Day
  • Skip the wheat altogether and make baked goods with high-fiber, non-gluten organic coconut flour. To make this healthy Thanksgiving tip work,  use recipes that have already been formulated for organic coconut flour
  • Rely on good fats like extra virgin coconut oil and other unrefined nut and seed oils to make your meal great. Cut down on the amount of overall fat in your feast by using the smallest amount of oil possible while cooking. Drizzle the dish with a bit of healthy fat before serving to add loads of flavor

2. Hydrate

This is an easy healthy Thanksgiving tip. You’ll eat less and feel more energetic if you drink more water. In keeping with the season, toss a handful of cranberries and orange or tangerine slices into a clear pitcher for a beautiful and refreshing infused the water. Having something fancy in your glass will also help you resist overindulging in high-calorie alcoholic drinks.

3. Roast Your Veggies

Back away from the candied yams, people. Just back away. This Healthy Thanksgiving Tip is all about keeping it simple. Oven-roast yams, carrots, Brussel sprouts or cauliflower to bring out their natural sweetness. No need to slather them with butter or—yikes—brown sugar or—double yikes—tiny marshmallows. With so many goodies to indulge in, let your guests have a few low-calorie options to munch. If you must add a dab of something to your roasted vegetables, try tossing them in a teaspoon or two of coconut oil for an extra smack of flavor.

4. Take a Walk

Yes, you may be running laps around the house slipping coasters under everyone’s drink and getting a good upper-body workout mashing a mountain of potatoes. But a brisk 30-minute walk after eating will help burn some of those extra calories and aid digestion. Walking will help you avoid the post-pig out bloat. It will also give you the energy boost you need to enjoy the rest of the evening instead of yawning until your guests get the hint. And the calorie-burning effects of exercise continue for about 60 minutes after the exercise is over.  That means your body is actually burning calories as you eat pie!

Tammie Burnsed

View posts by Tammie Burnsed
Tammie is a freelance and creative writer who usually disparages the term “super food” but makes an exception for coconut oil. Her research for Coco Treasure has turned her into a verified coco-nut, and she’s made peace with that. Tammie lives in sunny California where she enjoys painting, writing and sharing all things beachy with her husband and two dogs.
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