Tips For a Healthy Thanksgiving


Ok, guys…just like every other holiday…this IS NOT an excuse to eat whatever you want! Control yourselves!! With a few simple strategies, you can still enjoy all your favorites and not return back to work next week with an extra 5lbs, muffin top or food hangover. Also, try to fit in some exercise. I always do the 10k Turkey Trot here in Houston Thanksgiving morning. A race or even just a long walk is a great way to start your Turkey Day and get your metabolism revved up.

If you are cooking yourself, it’s a lot easier to make healthier choices. Or, if you are going to a friend’s home, offer to bring a side dish that is healthy. Just try not to go crazy with portion sizes. I think when you eat at home or your family’s home, it’s easier to get away with acting like a hog. Really. It’s not so disturbing to see your family members go back for seconds or thirds but if you were at a restaurant would you really order 3 entrees?

If you are eating out, try to avoid the Buffets!’s very tempting to go back and fill your plate up over and over while not realizing you are increasing the size of your thighs with each plate-full. If you do go for the buffet, try to make your first trip all about salad, greens and fruit. Then, by the time you go back for the “good stuff” you will already be full from healthier things.

Regardless of where you are eating this Thanksgiving, try to stick with the healthier options:

The Good:


-Turkey (Quorn or Tofurkey!)
-Sweet potatoes/yams (limit butter and marshmallows)
-Butternut squash or other winter veggie – grilled, roasted or baked
-Cranberries or Cranberry Sauce (watch sugar)
-Wild Rice
-Grilled Corn
-Other greens (asparagus, spinach, etc) or Salad with limited dressing (no ranch!!)
-Fruit (See Recipe of the Month) or Pumpkin Pie for dessert

The Bad:


-Mashed potatoes (not so bad if they aren’t smothered in gravy and butter)
-Too much gravy
-Green bean casserole that’s loaded with the fried onions and cheese (try plain green beans with almonds)
-Other creamy casseroles made with too much cream or cheese
-Apple pie
-Cider (try low-sugar or plain apple juice “mulled” with spices)

The Ugly:


-Pecan Pie (avoid eye contact)
-White rolls with butter (one is ok, but who eats one?)
-Whipped cream on anything
-Stuffing (’s good but just have a bite)
-Other cakes, cookies, pies or anything you already KNOW is bad for you.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

yoga turkey

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One comment

  • Cody Burleson November 29, 2009  

    Thanks for the pre-Thanksgiving inspiration that came in my inbox. Just a little nudge of awareness was all I needed. Thanks to you (bringing it to the forefront of my conscious), I controlled myself better than usual. I didn’t do great, but… I did better than usual.

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