Overindulgence is a common Thanksgiving theme. With plates full of carbs, sugars, and gravy, it is easy to veer off your normal diet and overeat. The good news is, you don’t have to fall victim this year. Instead, follow our tips about how to keep it healthy on Thanksgiving.
Instead of the bird bathed in butter …
This herb-roasted turkey comes highly rated and doesn’t call for any butter in the recipe. Or, if you prefer a vegetarian option, make these wild-rice-stuffed butternut squash. With ingredients like cinnamon powder, dried cherries, and fresh sage, this recipe may make the holiday a vegetarian feast every year.
Instead of sweet potato casserole …
Make these roasted sweet potatoes with honey and cinnamon. You’ll get the same flavor without the calories. You can top the dish with chopped pecans to give a crunch that resembles the typical topping of a sweet potato casserole.
Instead of mashed potatoes …
Swap the butter for olive oil, put down the potato masher, and forget about having to add boiled potatoes to your Thanksgiving to-do list. Before baking, these red potatoes are diced up and placed on a baking sheet with rosemary, garlic, and salt.
Instead of canned cranberry sauce …
Make your own. Cranberry sauce is really easy to make. Plus, the sauce will turn out flavorful and fresh instead of … wiggly. An added bonus: you can make this side the night before.
Instead of high-calorie stuffing …
Try subbing out the carbs for cauliflower. This recipe is made on the stove, so it’s one less item to have to worry about juggling the cooking time along with the turkey in the oven. With the additions of carrots, onions, and mushrooms — the concoction is a vegetable medley that tastes more like stuffing, which we call a win-win.
Instead of creamed green beans …
Get a whole bunch of fresh green beans to make this recipe. Chop up some mushrooms and red onion. Toss in some olive oil and place in the oven for 15 minutes. While it’s cooking, sauté up some bread crumbs with oregano. Add in parmesan and the zest of a lemon. Top the green beans with the breadcrumb mixture, and serve!
Instead of a regular pumpkin pie …
This savvy baker manages to add delights like whipped cream to her pumpkin pie while still offering a recipe with less fat and calories and the addition of some protein. For best results, make the night before; it will be one less thing to have to add to the oven the day of and you’ll achieve much cleaner cuts.
Think about the plate
Sure, those potatoes look good, and cranberry sauce is one of those things you can only have during the holidays, but if you’re really trying to have a healthy Thanksgiving, you need to know what a healthy Thanksgiving plate looks like. A good rule of thumb is to think about your plate this way:
- ½ of the plate should have veggies
- ¼ of the plate is for protein
- ¼ of the place is for starches
For the remaining bits, like cranberry sauce and gravy — which we think should be enjoyed full-calorie — you should have very small servings. Think of them as garnishes.
8 tips for a healthier Thanksgiving!
Tip #1: Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated, as many Thanksgiving meals are loaded with sodium.
Tip #2: Pick 1-2 dishes to indulge in. Eyeing the pumpkin pie? Enjoy a slice, make sure it’s in moderation.
Tip #3: Get outside. Enjoy the beautiful Arizona weather with your friends and family. Try a new hiking trail, walk around your neighborhood, or even a local Turkey Trot!
Tip #4: Beat the post-Thanksgiving meal lull with a cup of coffee or hot green tea. Both options have been shown to help increase metabolism.
Tip #5: Try a lighter, healthier option on your holiday favorites. Pinterest is full of unique, fun, and healthy recipe alternatives.
Tip #6: Begin your day with breakfast. Eat a hearty and healthy breakfast like rolled oats, a veggie scramble, or rye bread to kick start the day.
Tip #7: Steer clear of the appetizer table. It’s hard to resist when there’s lots of finger food right before you. Instead, try sitting in the living room and enjoying conversation with your friends and family.
Tip #8: Schedule a fat-burning workout for the day after Thanksgiving. It’s a great way to jumpstart your long holiday weekend.
We hope you now know how to stay healthy on Thanksgiving. If you find that pain is getting in the way of enjoying your holiday, let’s fix that. Schedule an appointment with our physical therapy clinic today.