It’s about the giving…
Thanksgiving tends to be the mealtime that stresses each of us out because of the massive amounts of traditional comfort food that we wait for months to just get one more taste of — and in reality – it’s so much more. So take the time out this week to forget the food stress, and simplify your dinner menu to add some nutrition options to the meal plans.
Boss Approved Turkey Day Tricks
- First, don’t forget turkey is a rich source of protein when it is prepared right.
- Skip the fryer and get out the roaster!
- Both colors of meat (white or dark) are great sources of protein, however choosing white meat will save you a little when comparing calories and fat content.
- Whichever choice of meat- remove the skin!
2. Roll vs. Stuffing:
- Any way you look at it, it’s all bread!
- Focus on the portion control. Choose one over the other
- Let’s be honest, the traditional mash potato dishes are insanely delicious, I mean who doesn’t like a combo of potatoes, cream and butter all in one serving.
- KJB to the rescue, there are multiple ways to make white potatoes into a nutritious dish: choose skim vs. heavy cream and if your recipe calls for sour cream, replace with Greek yogurt. Both swaps will cut unneeded calories/fat!
- Now, if you really want to get crazy – swap your white potatoes for cauliflower. Prepare the same way, just switch the vegetable, and mash away!
- As for sweet potato casserole, turn this into a nutritious dish rather than a candy bar. Save your sweet tooth for the dessert table; don’t waste it by adding marshmallows!
- Sweet potatoes are filled with fiber and nutrients, including beta-carotene, vitamins A and C. See recipe below for Honey Cinnamon Roasted Sweet Potatoes.
4. Cranberry Sauce
- Simply put- ditch the canned cranberry sauce. Canned cranberry sauce calls for excess calories and sugar. Replace with fresh cranberry relish!
- This superfood is known for their rich antioxidant content. With its super powers, cranberries have been linked to lowering the risk of urinary tract infections, improved immune function and decreased blood pressure. Just to make myself clear these benefits are from the cranberry, not sugar and cranberries!
5. Green Bean Casserole
- We start to eliminate the nutritional value of the green beans when we come across this holiday staple. Thanks to the cream of mushroom soup, canned green beans and fried onions; this dish is high in calories, fat and sodium!
- If this dish is a must at your family gatherings- I don’t want you to get your head chopped off, so I would recommend to just tweak it a little. Use low sodium or no added salt canned green beans, low sodium cream of mushroom soup, and top it off with homemade baked onions. These alternatives will significantly cut calories, sodium and fat, allowing you to enjoy this side dish without feeling guilty.
- Now if you can go cold turkey and get rid of the casserole, saute up fresh green beans with a little butter, top with slivered almonds or baked onions.
- Go for the pumpkin! Snagging a slice of pumpkin over pecan pie will save you once again a significant amount of calories and fat.
- The combination of nuts, and the gooey sugary center of a pecan pie, offers almost twice the amount of calories and fat, when comparing it to a slice of pumpkin pie.
- Pumpkins are rich in fiber, potassium (keeps our heart and muscles functioning at optimal capacity) and vitamins A and C.
Day of Tips:
- Light breakfast: Start your morning off right with an easy breakfast, so you don’t over indulge at meal time.
- Exercise: Whether you find a local turkey trot, head to the gym, or get a 30 minute yoga session in, get the blood flowing, before you sit down to enjoy the festivities.
- Portion control: Smaller portions are key around the holiday season. Having proper portions will allow you to taste all the foods available, without feeling guilty or uncomfortable.
- ENJOY: At the end of the day its Thanksgiving- you know me, balance is key. Splurge as you need to and reset on Friday!
Honey and Cinnamon Roasted Sweet Potatoes
By: Tyler Florence
- 4 sweet potatoes, peeled, and cut into cubes
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Lay the sweet potatoes out in a single layer on a roasting tray.
- Drizzle the oil, honey, cinnamon, salt and pepper over the potatoes.
- Roast for 25 to 30 minutes in oven or until tender.
- Take sweet potatoes out of the oven and serve warm.
Happy Turkey Day!