Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of the year. Family and friends coming together to enjoy one another’s company and great food.
While Thanksgiving is certainly one of the most enjoyable holidays of the year, it certainly is not the most healthy. The traditional Thanksgiving meal is packed with butter, carbs, cream and fat… and that is just the main course, don’t even get started on all the pies!
Fortunately, there are measures you can take to have your cake and eat it too, so to speak. There are ways for you to enjoy the traditional Thanksgiving feast we all love while reducing or eliminating the things that make Thanksgiving so unforgiving to your figure.
Use fat-free chicken broth for the turkey and gravy
Basting your Thanksgiving turkey is 101 kind of information for holiday hosts who want the best tasting turkeys. Basting the turkey keeps it moist while it cooks and helps inject a little bit of extra flavor too. However, basting a turkey with it’s own juices can be on the unhealthy side as these juices are full of oils and fats.
A great way to keep your turkey moist and delicious while reducing the fat is to use fat-free chicken broth to baste your turkey in place of it’s natural juices. Fat-free broths are available at your local store and are a terrific substitute.
Many chefs also like to use the turkey’s juices as a base for their gravy. Using the fat-free broth in this regard also helps make the gravy healthier too!
Try some new, healthy dishes
It is hard to convince people to break the mold when it comes to popular and traditional Thanksgiving dishes. However, there are ways to preserve the dishes you know and love while preparing them with a new, healthier twist.
We recently did a blog on just the subject! We rounded up several of our own – a couple we stumbled upon – recipes that deliver on taste but lighten the unhealthy load. Even pecan pie, green bean casserole and mashed potatoes can be easily made to be healthy and just as delicious!
Include fruit for dessert
Pies and cobblers are a Thanksgiving staple. Try and take those off the dinner table and you may lose an arm! But, you can do some smaller things to help make the dessert round a little better by presenting some alternatives.
Serve up some fruits alongside your pies and cobblers! Fresh strawberries, blueberries, bananas and raspberries are sweet, delicious, light and a terrific pairing with dessert. Encourage your guest to have some or, if you are serving up plates yourself, use them as a garnish. Even just indulging in a couple pieces of fruit will help take up space in your stomach and maybe turn you off of that second piece of pie.
Save some for leftovers
The good news when it comes to Thanksgiving dinner is that it tastes just as good the next day. Turkey sandwiches, Manhattans and soups are all great ways to repurpose your Thanksgiving leftovers. So, don’t try and let none go to waste and don’t be afraid to leave some for leftovers.
The food is so good that you may be compelled to go back for seconds – and maybe even thirds – but don’t let your eyes be bigger than your stomach. A good rule of thumb for big meals is to wait 20 minutes after you finish your plate. In that time, your stomach will be all caught up and you will accurately be able to tell how full you are. If you must insist on more, try getting a plate with smaller or limited portions.
Get active before and after the meal
Taking some time to be active before and after the meal will help your digestion and burn off some calories you have or will pick up.
Take the time to toss around the football with family in the backyard or go for a little jog around the neighborhood. It can be as little or as much as you want, just as long as you do something to get active. Every little bit counts.
Also, make sure Randall Beans are on the menu this Thanksgiving! Full of protein, great flavor and extremely versatile, Randall Beans are a great addition to any feast. If you can’t find us in a store near you, you can always find us online! Happy Thanksgiving!