Turkey Day Survivor Tips

I found a lovely video to demonstrate some of the food craziness that goes down on this holiday. You may have heard of the turducken (chicken stuffed inside a duck stuffed inside a chicken), but have you heard of a turbaconducken? Only in America, eh…

Now for the survivor tips. I’m not gonna sit here and tell type you not to eat 5+ courses, skip seconds, avoid stuffing and dessert because, well, that’s unrealistic. But, I will give you some effortless tips to make your meal a little healthier for you and the family.

1. Make it colorful. Incorporate fresh salads and veggies (see previous post for recipe ideas) to at least get in some low calorie, high fiber and vitamin choices to balance some of the heavier foods.

2. Avoid adding sugar and sweeteners to foods that don’t need it. Carrots and sweet potatoes (hence the name)  taste so sweet and delicious when roasted with a little salt, pepper and herbs. No need to find recipes that call for adding brown sugar, honey or maple syrup.

3. Lighten up salads. Since you will give into your cravings for certain things, try to cut  the sugar and fat in salads and dressings. Make a simple light vinaigrette, lemon + mustard dressing or hummus thinned with water, lemon juice and olive oil instead of the creamy, cheese- based, mayonnaise and sugar rich dressings. Avoid salads that call for candied nuts or even dried fruit, which can add about 130 extra calories per 1/3 of cup.

4. Have at least 1 fruit based dessert (try these chunky cinnamon balsamic apples)or an eye catching fruit plate to add to the spread of chocolate cake, pumpkin bread and pecan pie.

5. Serve olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette with bread (preferably whole wheat) instead of heart-clogging butter.

6. Look for a stuffing recipe that is full of veggies (peppers, celery, apples). Try epicurious.com for some ideas.

7. If you plan to serve a lot of grain dishes like rice, couscous, quinoa then have more non-starchy veggies and limit the number of dishes with starchy veggies (yes that means corn, squash, potatoes).

8. Use the opportunity to cook with kids and involve them in preparation and table setting. Show them what a pumpkin looks likes, so they learn it’s more than just orange mush from a can.

9. Eat SLOWLY. Chew. Talk to your aunt. Yes, it can be that simple. If you pay attention to the food in your mouth rather than just robotically picking up the next piece on your fork it will give you a chance to digest and you will eat less. Give yourself at least 5 minutes before diving in for seconds.

10. Don’t eat the skin! It’s all fat, and not the good kind. Look what I found on University of Illinois Extension’s site. Choose your piece of the carving wisely. The info is based on a 3.5 oz piece of turkey:

11.Stay hydrated. Our bodies often confuse hunger for thirst. Make sure to drink water before, during and after the meals. Before getting up for leftovers have at least a half a cup of water. And, this is definitely the day to cut out soda, juice, iced tea and lemonade.

12. While you’re cooking, get a’ moving. Every step counts.

Happy Thanksgiving! 

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2 thoughts on “Turkey Day Survivor Tips

  1. all of your recipes sound yummy and so easy to make. i am going to start trying them this week.
    thanks for breaking through the egg misconception. it is so unknown and widely misunderstood. .

    i am so happy we ate the white meat, skinless part of the turkey and it had NO sugar, a small pinch of salt and lots of good spices to make up for the butter, over salting and fat that is added by many people. you can have a juicy turkey without all of that!

  2. Pingback: Lighten Up Hannukah « Little Bites Nutrition

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