When starting or maintaining a healthy lifestyle, it can be difficult to stay on track as Thanksgiving approaches.  Thanksgiving, a holiday focused around a feast of food with our family and friends, can be a very tempting time to indulge in creamy mashed potatoes, rich gravies, and sweet pies.  However, it is possible to enjoy this feast of food without consuming an overload of calories and fat.

Use the tips below for lightening your Thanksgiving Day feast:

  • Volumize your feast with plenty of vegetables:  Green beans, carrots, leafy greens, cabbage, and zucchini are just some examples of low-starch vegetables that are full of fiber and nutrients that keep you fuller longer than starchier vegetables such as corn and peas.  In addition, volumize starchy dishes such as stuffing with chunks of celery, onions, and carrots to add fiber and nutrients that will make less stuffing fill you up more.
  • Create “mashed potatoes” from sweet potatoes or butternut squash: Sweet potatoes and butternut squash can create the same fluffy texture of mashed potatoes but with more fiber, and nutrients such as vitamin A.  In addition, sweet potatoes and butternut squash are naturally full of flavor, so less milk, butter, and salt will need to be added to provide a rich taste.
  • Use whole-grain breads for stuffing and rolls: Using whole-grain breads for rolls and for making stuffing will add fiber to our starchy dishes so they will fill us up longer and prevent us from eating more of those starchy foods. 
  • Lighten up and volumize desserts with fruit and honey: You can still enjoy desserts such as apple and pumpkin pie, but lessen the starch factor by adding in extra helpings of fruit, and sweeten such fruit with honey and brown sugar instead of more refined and processed white sugar.  In addition, add protein, nutrients, and a nutty rich flavor to the pie crusts by adding in portions of almond flour or finely crushed pecans.

 

Therefore, celebrate Thanksgiving Day by feasting in the harvests of nature by indulging in flavorful dishes full of fruits and vegetables without the fat!