Chicago Health | Homepage
Thanksgiving Tips: How to Indulge While Making Healthy Choices

Thanksgiving Tips: How to Indulge While Making Healthy Choices

By Laura Drucker

There are plenty of ways to be healthier on Thanksgiving that don’t include depriving yourself. Being conscious of what you’re eating allows you to indulge without overdoing it. Check out these tips for a healthy holiday:

1. Simple swaps

Thanksgiving is notorious for rich food, but all that cream and butter can easily add up. Fortunately, you don’t have to sacrifice flavor in order to make some healthy substitutions. Incorporate one or more of these swaps for a meal that is a little lighter but still heavy on the flavor.

Turkey: Ditch the butter rub before you roast the bird, and remove the skin before serving to reduce saturated fat.

Gravy: Butter is not a necessary part of a delicious gravy—the pan drippings from your turkey work just as well. Add extra herbs or stock to provide more body and flavor without additional fat.

Stuffing: Forego the prepackaged stuffing mix, which is often heavy on the additives and salt. Make your own better-for-you stuffing base by cubing whole grain bread and leaving it out overnight to dry (or putting the bread cubes in a 350-degree oven for 15 minutes). For flavor additions, skip the sausage and go for apples or butternut squash.

Green bean casserole: It’s more work, but making homemade mushroom soup instead of using canned will save you calories, fat and sodium. Using frozen green beans instead of fresh will give you more time to make the soup, while still giving you tons of nutrients. Instead of the fried onions or buttery crackers on top, lightly pan-fry shallots in seasoned flour and sprinkle them over your cooked casserole.

Mashed potatoes: Swap out part of the butter for nonfat Greek yogurt, which provides creaminess with loads of protein. To pack in flavor, rely less on salt and more on flavorful additions like roasted garlic or crumbled goat cheese.

Pumpkin pie: Pureed pumpkin has natural sweetness to it, so you can safely reduce the amount of sugar you use and focus instead on adding other flavors—like ginger, cloves and cinnamon. Store-bought crust is fine, but ingredients matter: You can find crusts with healthier alternatives, like spelt instead of refined flour, in the freezer section at stores like Whole Foods Market.

2. How you eat matters

Don’t deny yourself your favorite foods, but don’t overdo it, either. Here are a few common-sense ways to enjoy, without going overboard.

Plate wisely: Take some of everything that you want, but take more of the healthy stuff. At least half your plate should be dedicated to salad and/or veggies.

Eat in moderation: Just because you only eat sweet potato casserole on Thanksgiving doesn’t mean you should eat a year’s worth in one sitting. Just like satisfying any craving, a small portion is generally sufficient to hit the spot.

Skip the seconds: Fill your plate up once, and only once. Knowing that what’s on your plate is your entire meal (minus the trip back for dessert, of course) will make you savor what’s there, instead of rushing through it to get back in line for seconds.

Be gracious to yourself: Remember, a day off your diet is not going to make or break you. It’s certainly easy to overindulge, especially with all the temptation around you, so cut yourself some slack if you slip up. Be thankful for the great things your body can do for you, and don’t let eating an extra slice of pie ruin your holiday.

Similar Articles

Easy Tips for Anti-Inflammatory Eating, Plus a Chance to Win a $50 Gift Card to True Food Kitchen

Easy Tips for Anti-Inflammatory Eating, Plus a Chance to Win a $50 Gift Card to True Food Kitchen

By Eve Becker What do a new restaurant in River North, the anti-inflammatory diet and a

Slow Eating May Help You Consume Less and Lose Weight

Slow Eating May Help You Consume Less and Lose Weight

By Victoria Shanta Retelny, RDN Slowing down can be a challenge in our fast-paced society, but

Not Drinking Enough Water? Bloated Belly and Sweet Cravings Can Result

Not Drinking Enough Water? Bloated Belly and Sweet Cravings Can Result

By Rhonda Alexander You know that you’re supposed to drink plenty of water every day, but

The MIND Diet

The MIND Diet

New eating approach can help your brain By Victoria Shanta Retelny, RDN  Your brain health is closely

Cultures for Health: The Benefits of Fermented Foods

Cultures for Health: The Benefits of Fermented Foods

By Victoria Shanta Retelny, RDN For centuries, fermented foods have played a large role in many

Articles By Category

Family Health

In The Know

CH Lifestyle

January 2017
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
December 25, 2016 December 26, 2016 December 27, 2016 December 28, 2016 December 29, 2016 December 30, 2016 December 31, 2016
January 1, 2017 January 2, 2017 January 3, 2017 January 4, 2017 January 5, 2017 January 6, 2017 January 7, 2017
January 8, 2017 January 9, 2017 January 10, 2017 January 11, 2017 January 12, 2017 January 13, 2017 January 14, 2017
January 15, 2017 January 16, 2017 January 17, 2017 January 18, 2017 January 19, 2017 January 20, 2017 January 21, 2017
January 22, 2017 January 23, 2017 January 24, 2017 January 25, 2017 January 26, 2017 January 27, 2017 January 28, 2017
January 29, 2017 January 30, 2017 January 31, 2017 February 1, 2017 February 2, 2017 February 3, 2017 February 4, 2017

Categories

Recent Comments

Swing for the fences in the fight to Sideline Pancreatic Cancer

Swing for the fences in the fight to Sideline Pancreatic Cancer

Enjoy a great night of baseball at Peoples Natural

VIEW ARTICLE
Cost to give birth 1943 - Page 3 - Defending The Truth Political Forum

Cost to give birth 1943 - Page 3 - Defending The Truth Political Forum

A Hazy Shade of Healthcare: What does tort reform

VIEW ARTICLE

Archives