Thanksgiving is such a wonderful reason to make that extra effort to give thanks. This year, let’s all be thankful for healthy and delicious recipes that will keep us thankful after the holidays as well! Don’t deprive yourself of a hearty and tasty feast, but rather use the tips and recipes I’ve provided to help you stay on track while enjoying every bite! Wishing you a deliciously, healthy, and “thankful” Thanksgiving.
The calorie control council has estimated that the average American could consume as many as 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving Day!
Here are some tips to ensure that won’t be you!
- DO: Eat breakfast and all your meals and snacks as usual. Don’t be tempted to “save” calories.
- DO: Drink a lot of water throughout the day to fill you up and eliminate fake hunger. Try drinking two cups of water right before the meal.
- DO: Find out the menu ahead of time if you’re a guest. This will help mentally prepare you and help you decide ahead of time before you start smelling everything and making a bad decision in the moment.
- DO: Wear something tight, even a belt. This will be a physical reminder/barrier to overeating.
- DO: Offer to bring a salad or a healthy dish. Make sure to place this next to you as you’ll see that everyone will want some.
- DO: Eat the white meat only, not dark.
- DO: Start with salad or vegetables. Fill up at least half your plate with these.
- DO: Cheat smart. If you’re going to cheat, do so in the right way. Have one portion of one tempting item. Have this sitting down and enjoy slowly.
- DON’T: Have stuffing. Substitute with Melba Toast or rice instead. Half a cup of stuffing typically has 195 calories!
- DON’T: Have cranberry sauce from a jar. Make your own instead. ¼ cup cranberry sauce from a jar can have up to 150 calories and 17 grams of sugar!
- DON’T: Have pumpkin pie or mashed potatoes, which usually have margarine and other additives. Have butternut squash or a small sweet potato instead.
- DON’T: Have apple pie. Instead, have a baked apple with some oats on top or just add cinnamon.
Myth: Turkey is fattening.
Fact: Turkey is a great source of protein.
- Skinless turkey is low in fat.
- Turkey meat is a source of iron, zinc, potassium, and phosphorus.
- Turkey can help lower cholesterol and help keep insulin levels stable.
So why the bad rep?
- Turkey can be very high in sodium, especially when packaged.
- Turkey skin is high in fat.
- Some meat, particularly prepackaged slices, can be processed and contain other substances.
- Large amounts of tryptophan can make you sleepy.
AND... Obviously adding all the Thanksgiving goodies like pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce, etc. ,packs on tons of calories and fat.
So go ahead, enjoy one portion of white meat fresh turkey without the skin this Thanksgiving!
Thanksgiving recipe for a light pumpkin pie:
- Baking spray
- 15 ounces pumpkin puree, canned
- 1⁄4 cup brown sugar or sugar substitute
- 1⁄4 cup almond milk
- 1 large egg
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1⁄2 teaspoon table salt
- 2 tablespoons chopped pecans
- 24 wonton wrappers
Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together pumpkin, brown sugar, almond milk, egg, pumpkin pie spice, ginger, and salt.
Place a wonton wrapper in the bottom of each prepared muffin cup (corners will be sticking up); lightly coat wontons with cooking spray. Place a second wonton in each muffin cup (can place it on an angle to make a design. Two wonton wrappers per muffin cup).
Evenly divide filling among muffin cups; smooth filling with the back of a spoon and sprinkle with pecans.
Bake until wontons are crispy and browned, 13-17 minutes.
Make sure to check after 3-4 minutes to see if edges of tartlets start to burn. If they do, cover pan loosely with foil and continue baking until filling is set.
Makes 12 servings.
Count 1-2 servings as a starch (depending on your plan) on special occasions only.
Alice Harrosh, Alice Harrosh is a Nutrition Counselor and Manager at Nutrition by Tanya, with 12 locations, including one on Main street in Queens! Alice knows that making healthy choices is not always easy, as she has been through the struggle herself. As an optimistic person, Alice’s favorite quote is: “It’s never too late to start eating better. If you have a bad morning, make it a better afternoon.” For more information on Nutrition by Tanya or the TAP (Tanya-approved products) food line, please visit www.nutritionbytanya.com or call 844-Tanya-Diet (844-826-9234). For daily tips and inspiration, you may follow @nutritionbytanya on Instagram.