Creating a healthy Thanksgiving dinner can be easy to do. Wouldn’t you like to enjoy your family, that football game you’ve been anticipating, or pull out the Christmas decorations (as we do in my house) without feeling like you have magnets in your pants, keeping you glued to the couch after the loads of food you just ate?
It’s possible! I hate to say it, but the turkey isn’t the one to blame anymore for putting you into a food coma because of the tryptophan (which actually acts as an anti-depressant). It’s the loads of other stuff; the albeit delicious, but starchy (heavy carbs) mashed potatoes, the puff pastry filled with cheese and sausage and of course, the desserts designed to fill in every last crack so you can’t move for at least 2 hours or until your kids are screaming wildly as they polish off the pumpkin cream cheese roll and chase the cat around the couch.
Let’s take a look at some nutritional facts and explore some healthy alternatives.
Did you know that organic/pasture raised turkey has emerged as a food associated with reducing the risk of pancreatic cancer? Turkey is also high in protein which helps keep your post-meal insulin levels in a normal range.
How about trading in the buttery mashed white potatoes for sweet potatoes? They are much higher in nutrients and although they are a starchy root veggie, sweet potatoes land a whopping 22,000 IU of Vitamin A versus a mere 14 IU in white potatoes. We love Vitamin A because of its antioxidant facets and how it helps our immune systems.
Now to tackle everyone’s favorite…the dessert! In my family we never once had a pumpkin pie. That’s right. Not that we ate something healthier, but because no one liked pumpkin (until this year when I made them all try the various pumpkin recipes that I tested for this blog!). If you are reading this, then you have access to the internet and I can’t begin to tell you the huge amount of really awesome chefs out there sharing some fabulous healthy dessert recipes. Try one or 12 this year. Your body will thank you!
Be sure to add in a green salad and a side of veggies to your meal. In my house we are having 2 veggie side dishes, a spinach/artichoke casserole and green beans in shallot dressing.
So, good luck to you. I hope you find a way to squeeze in more “health” this year. If you can’t persuade your family to eat more veggies, then add some extra celery and onion into the stuffing and be sure to make a real cranberry relish with lovely grated apples and pecans instead of a can of red sugar with some cranberry in it.