#1 Eat Breakfast
While you might think it makes sense to save up calories for the big meal, experts say eating a small meal in the morning can give you more control over your appetite. Start your day with a small but satisfying breakfast — such as an egg with a bowl of oatmeal — so you won’t be starving when you arrive at the gathering.
#2 Lighten Up
Make your recipes healthier with less fat, sugar, and calories.
A few suggestions…
- Use fat-free chicken broth to baste the turkey and make gravy.
- Use sugar substitutes in place of sugar and/or fruit purees instead of oil in baked goods.
- Reduce oil and butter wherever you can.
- Try plain yogurt or fat-free sour cream in creamy dips, mashed potatoes, and casseroles.
Also, keep in mind that some holiday foods are better choices than others.
White turkey meat, plain vegetables, roasted sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie tend to be the best bets because they are lower in fat and calories. AND if you keep your portions small, you can enjoy whatever you like!!!
#3 Get Active
Create a calorie deficit by exercising to burn off extra calories before you ever indulge in your favorite foods!
#4 Drink responsibly.
Unfortunately, liquid calories can sneak up on us during the holidays. Go easy on the booze and stick to a healthier cocktail like a vodka soda or bloody mary to avoid excess sugar.
#5 Skip the seconds.
Wait about 20 minutes (the amount of time it probably takes to feel full) before filling up the dinner plate again. Unless you’re really hungry, save some food for leftovers! 😉
#6 Don’t deny dessert.
The holidays shouldn’t be about restricting certain foods — just try to enjoy them in moderation! Stick to one slice of pie instead of totally skipping the dessert table.
#7 Chew slowly.
How quickly we eat really does matter. Chewing slowly could mean less calories consumed, so take a chill pill when digging into the dinner plate .
Make sure to drink water throughout the day to stay hydrated. Not drinking enough could spark hunger pangs, which may actually be thirst.
#9 Go easy on the appetizers.
Cheese and crackers can happen any day of the year. Save your appetite (and calorie consumption!) as it gets closer to dinnertime.
#10 Focus on Family and Friends.
Thanksgiving is not just about the delicious bounty of food. It’s a time to celebrate relationships with family and friends. Try a few of these healthier Thanksgiving recipes I love!
Sweet Potato Bread Pecan Bread
1 1/2 cups flour of choice (I use Spelt flour)
½ tsp sea salt
1 to 1.5 tsp baking powder
1 cup stevia for baking
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 TBSP oil (I use coconut)
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons milk (use coconut, soy, almond or rice milk to make dairy free)
1 cup mashed cooked sweet potatoes
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup golden raisins
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom only of 8×4-inch loaf pan with shortening or cooking spray. In large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon.
2. Add oil, milk and eggs; blend well. Stir in sweet potatoes, pecans and raisins until well mixed. Pour into pan.
3. Bake 1 hour 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 15 minutes. Remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature up to 4 days, or refrigerate up to 10 days.
6 cups diced apples (I like a mix of Granny Smith & Macintosh)
⅓ cup sugar (coconut, maple or palm sugar)
3 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon maple syrup
juice from ½ lemon
⅓ cup sugar of choice (I used coconut sugar)
¾ cup quinoa flakes
⅓ cup flour of choice (I used spelt or brown rice flour)
¼ cup coconut oil, room temperature
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
*Preheat oven to 350F. Oil a 9×13 dish or large casserole dish with a dab of coconut oil and set aside.
*Combine filling ingredients in a large bowl and toss to coat apples in the mixture. Make sure everything is well mixed before dropping into the prepared casserole dish.
*Place topping ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and mix with a hand mixer until well combined.
*Sprinkle topping over apples.
*Place in preheated oven for a total of 50 minutes, covering with a loose fitting glass lid or sheet of aluminum foil after 20 minutes to prevent the top from burning.
*Once complete, allow to sit with lid off for 20 minutes or so. Then top with a small scoop (remember, moderation!) of healthy low sugar ice cream or topping of choice!
Healthier Green Bean Casserole
2 (16-ounce) bags frozen green beans, thawed
1 (10-ounce) can low-fat cream of mushroom soup
3/4 c skim milk
1 tsp black pepper
1 c canned fried onions
If desired, stir in 2 cups sautéed mushrooms.
Mix soup, milk, and pepper in a large bowl, then stir in the thawed green beans. Transfer to a greased casserole dish.
Bake in a preheated 350 F oven for 30 minutes, until the casserole is bubbling.
Remove from the oven and top with the onions. Bake another five minutes to crisp the onions.
Makes 10 servings (heaping 1/2 cup)
Enjoy & have a healthy & happy holiday season!!!