With a big feast day in our midst, we wanted to review some of our top holiday tips to keep you sane, smiling and satisfied. We are also sharing few of our favorite Thanksgiving dishes below. Enjoy!
Maintain your normal eating routine. We can promise you this: starving yourself up until the meal, with the intention of saving up your calories, will backfire! Eat a good breakfast and have a snack with protein or light lunch before the feast so you are not famished when exposed to all the holiday food.
Bring a healthy (but supremely tasty) dish. If you are not hosting, offer to bring an appetizer such as fresh vegetables and a rockin’ healthy dip (like this one). This way, you are assured there will be something safe to eat just in case. It’s likely that others will appreciate this as well, and at the least, you can prove that healthy can be yummy too.
Resist peer pressure. If you need to be on a strict regimen for one reason or another, be prepared for well meaning friends who may tempt you to “have just one drink” or “you must try one of these!” Congratulate yourself for resisting (if that is your choice) and realize that you are taking good care of yourself. If this resonates with you, be sure to read our article on “Eating to Please.”
Manage your portions. When the meal is served, take a minute or two to look over your offerings. Pass on the foods you can have anytime, but go ahead and take small portions of specialty dishes you may only get to have once or twice a year (Mom’s mashed potatoes, Aunt Robin’s stuffing, Grandmas pecan pie). If you keep your portions reasonable, you can’t go too off track. Simply take a modest spoonful or small piece and savor every bite! Remember – small on serving, long on taste.
Practice conscious eating. Make sure to taste and appreciate ALL the food you eat. We so often plow through our food and forget to actually taste it. So chew your food slowly and take your time. Sounds simple, but most people in social situations do not do this.
Keep in mind – it’s just one day. If you overdo it a bit, don’t panic! No one day can derail a healthy eating plan unless you let it. Wake up Friday and whip up a smoothie, chia pudding, upgraded oatmeal or another fabulous breakfast and move on with your day – no guilt attached.
Holiday Recipe Roundup
Roasted Turnips n’ Thyme
Turnips are SO underrated. They are sweet and delicious when roasted, our favorite way to eat them. They also carry far less carbs than potatoes, and boast good amounts of vitamin C, potassium and fiber. Additionally, they are part of the cancer-busting cruciferous family, whose famous cousins include broccoli, kale, and cabbage.
- 5 large turnips
- 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ground pepper to taste
- 1 – 1.5 teaspoons dried thyme or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
Peel and cut turnips into small – medium chunks and put in bowl. Toss with olive oil, saltl and pepper. Roast at 375 for 40 minutes or until nice and tender but not mushy. Season with thyme.
Wow your guests with this colorful rainbow harvest salad, which is packed with multiple vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants.
- 8 cups mixed greens
- 1 cup roasted butternut squash, diced*
- 1-2 cups finely sliced red cabbage
- 2-3 green onions, sliced (optional)
- 1 firm pear or apple, diced
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup raw hazelnuts, walnuts, or slivered almonds, lightly toasted
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
To prepare squash, toss 2 cups raw cubed squash in a bowl with 1 tablespoon olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper. Bake at 400 degrees F for 30-40 minutes until tender. Place into a large bowl with the chopped cabbage, diced pear, currants, squash, walnut and pumpkin seeds. Toss lightly. Prepare the dressing by placing ingredients into a jar with tight fitting lid, shake well. To serve pour dressing over salad, gently toss and serve immediately.
Balsamic Glazed Asparagus
Put a holiday twist on asparagus with this delicious glaze.
- 1.5 tablespoons grass fed butter or ghee, melted
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons raw honey
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients except asparagus. Line asparagus on a baking sheet and drizzle glaze over the top. Bake for 15 minutes, keep an eye on it because it can get crispy and burn easily.
Most sauces are loaded with sugar , which outweighs the nutritional benefits. This recipe allows for a modest amount of raw honey wihout overpowering the tartness and healthy benefits of the vitamin C and antioxidant-rich cranberries. Makes 2.5 cups
- 10 ounces cranberries fresh/frozen
- 2 apples, peeled and chopped
- 1-2 tsp minced ginger (1/2 tsp dried)
- Juice from one orange
- dash celtic sea salt
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons honey
- one small squeeze of lime juice
Combine all ingredients except lime juice in a medium pot. Cook over medium low heat for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries start to break
down and the liquid has mostly evaporated. Add the lime juice. Using the back of a spoon, lightly mash the cranberries; cook a few minutes longer. Cool and serve!
Gingerbread Pear Crisp
Enjoy this “dessert” which is so healthy you could eat it for leftovers at breakfast.
- 7 cups peeled sliced pears
- 1 cup fresh cranberries, sliced
- ½ cup almond flour
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup chopped pecans
Place sliced apples/pears and cranberries in a 2 quart baking dish . Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine almond flour, flax, salt, spices. Mix in coconut oil, honey (or maple syrup) and vanilla. Work mixture with your hands until it forms a dough. Gently work in chopped pecans with your hands. Sprinkle dough over fruit. Bake covered at 350° for 60-75 minutes. Allow to cool uncovered.