A Healthier Thanksgiving

There’s a lot of ways you can have a healthier Thanksgiving without sacrificing tastiness or satisfaction. Here’s some tips, swaps and some good old common sense to help you make it through the first of many seasonal feasts.

Eat Your Breakfast

Don’t skip breakfast to bank those calories for your Thanksgiving feast. By having breakfast you’re providing yourself with greater control at dinner. You won’t be starving when it’s time to sit down at the table. Having a small breakfast will decrease the calories you take in at dinner.

breakfast

Substitutions

You’re having a rich and decadent meal and whenever and wherever possible you can make the choice to use an ingredient’s healthier cousin. You might be able to swap plain yogurt instead of mayo or sour cream. You can use applesauce instead of oil in some baking situations. Fat-free or low sodium broth for basting and in your stuffing. There’s lots of ways you can cut down on the calories, sugar, and fat. It might not seem like that big of a deal but it can add up fast.

You can also substitute whole dishes for smarter choices. Your sweet potato casserole can be slimmed down to oven roasted sweet potatoes and save you a whole lot of calories and it’s still super delicious. Will you miss those melted marshmallows and crunchy sugared pecans on top? Perhaps. That said, chances are there’s so much food to go around that you’ll enjoy them meal all the same.

Sweet Potato Wedges

Sweet Potato Wedges
Photo – Baker By Nature

 

Reduced Processed Foods

Sometimes you’re not going to cut the fat or calories but you are going to cut down on the sodium, preservatives, and overly processed ingredients and have a more wholesome dish. If your family can’t make it through the day without green bean casserole then class it up and make it a more respectable dish. Bonus… just try to find anyone that doesn’t like it better than the old canned soup variety.

Green Bean Casserole from Scratch

Creamy Green Bean Casserole from Scratch
Photo – Sally’s Baking Addiction

 

Skip the Seconds

Decide to skip the seconds and you can cut a lot of calories from your meal. You can delight in dessert with a lot less guilt when you take it easy on the main course. You can also indulge in some of the more decadent dishes when you commit to just one plate. Feel free to employ little tricks like eating slower and putting your fork down after each bite. It might seem silly but it will result in less calories consumed.

Curb the Cocktails

By all means, indulge in a bit of bevi but don’t forget how many calories are in your alcoholic drinks. It’s so easy to forget to add in those calories for drinks. Your Pumpkin Spice Latte, hot chocolate, and spiced cider all pack a punch both in festivities and in calories. Try making sure you drink a glass of water between each beer, wine, or cocktail you have.

cocktails

Enjoy your Holiday

Above all, enjoy your holiday and try not to stress out. Having a good time is healthy. Plan ahead and make sure you have realistic expectations for the day.

2 Comments

  • A healthier Thanksgiving sounds great – I think I would add in a little morning exercise before the day got rolling.
    We celebrated early this year, kept the meal simple and it was so enjoyable. Just a bird and a couple sides with blue bell for dessert. The meal was all real food which was wonderful!

  • Katie Houdek says:

    Keeping it real is one of the best ways to go when trying to keep it healthy. A couple of great, clean wholesome sides are much better than several with lots of processed ingredients that add unnecessary sodium, chemicals, and preservatives into your meal.

    Having a nice morning workout is a great idea! Perhaps an early morning family walk will become a new Thanksgiving tradition!

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