Are you headed to Thanksgiving dinner and in charge of bringing a side dish or dessert? Are you tasked with creating a whole Thanksgiving meal – turkey and the trimmings? With a little pre-planning and setting an intention for a clean eating holiday, you can pull it off without adding tons of calories and fat too.
I say make a healthy shopping list, get to the store before the crowds (I’ve waited until the day before far too many times in the past – those days are over!) and ease into your healthy cooking feeling relaxed, no last minute scrambling necessary.
Here are a few simple tips to get your clean eating juices flowing:
1. Skip the marshmallows in your sweet potatoes! So many sweet potato dishes are needlessly loaded with sugar but the truth is that sweet potatoes are naturally sweet, and roasting them brings that out. Instead of dousing your sweet potatoes in marshmallows, use more natural sweeteners like pure maple syrup, if you need any at all.
2. Forego the butter and try olive oil instead. Saute or roast your favorite vegetables in heart healthy olive oil instead of butter.
3. Reach for the pumpkin puree. Making a pumpkin pie for dessert? Instead of buying pumpkin pie filling loaded with sugar, go for pure pumpkin to which you can add your favorite spices and a natural sweetener. Your waistline will thank you!
4. Go for the green veggies! Focus more on healthy vegetable side dishes like green beans, Brussels sprouts or collard greens and less on calorie and carb-rich dishes like stuffing made with white bread.
5. Use whole grain bread. Whether serving stuffing or dinner rolls, increase the health factor by using whole wheat bread instead of white. I bet your guests won’t even be able to tell the difference.
What will you do to help create a clean eating Thanksgiving meal for your family? What’s your favorite holiday dish that you’ve made healthier over the years? Do tell!