The countdown to Thanksgiving is on and you’ve got one huge feast ahead of you. It can be a little daunting though if you’ve been working hard all year to hit your fitness goals and you don’t want end up feeling guilty at the end of your Thanksgiving meal. Thankfully, with a few recipe swap outs you can make the classics just as tasty but not as unhealthy!
But wait…what if you aren’t the head chef on Thanksgiving Day? You might get stuck in a situation where you didn’t have the chance to let your host know that mashed cauliflower with almond milk is a much healthier (and tastier!) option than mashed potatoes with sour cream. If that’s the case, you might need to consider opting for one dish over the other in order to avoid overindulging.
Choose Your Alcoholic Beverage of Choice, NOT the Dinner Rolls
Do. Not. Touch. The. Rolls. It’s not worth it! It’s not even a classic Thanksgiving dish! It’s a cruel joke that your host even put them out with sides of soft, herbed butter. Keep your hands busy instead with a glass of wine or your favorite craft beer. You’ll still be taking in some empty calories but at least you’ll be getting a nice buzz out of it!
Choose Light Meat, NOT Dark Meat
Be the first in line for the turkey to make sure you’re getting a portion of the lighter meat. It’s lower in calories than dark meat and contains less saturated fat per serving. Also, make sure to go skinless – that crispy buttery skin is just a side of extra saturated fat that you can definitely live without.
Choose Mashed Potatoes, NOT Candied Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are usually a great staple in a healthy diet, but covered in brown sugar and butter this tasty side dish loses its nutritional edge. Some recipes even call for the addition of marshmallows so you definitely want to make sure to avoid this dish. Opt instead for the mashed potatoes. Even with some milk and a little butter, it’s a clear winner in this fight.
Choose Glazed Carrots, NOT Green Bean Casserole
There’s an obvious winner here, but you might not want to hear it. Glazed carrots might have a topping of calorific butter and brown sugar but at least they’re not swimming in a can of CREAMED soup, topped with FRIED onions. It might be heartbreaking to skip over the traditional Green Bean Casserole but your body will definitely thank you for it the next day.
Choose Pumpkin Pie, NOT Pecan Pie
Pecans might be filled with healthy, unsaturated fats but more isn’t always better. A slice of pecan pie can be as high as 700 calories and it doesn’t help that the recipe often includes corn syrup. Go for the traditional slice of pumpkin pie and you’ll be taking in way fewer calories. Plus, is it really Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie?!
There is no competition here because stuffing is always a must. Load up your plate and enjoy!
At the end of the day, Thanksgiving is really about surrounding yourself with those you love and being thankful for all that you have. So, if you can’t resist a side of green bean casserole, don’t sweat it! Just make sure to join us for our Holiday Bootcamp at 9am on Friday morning or consider going on a cleanse for a fresh start.
Photo Cred: Food Network