Thanksgiving typifies the American holiday. There is an abundance of food, plenty of gossip, and lots of sports on the TV. Trouble is, when the holidays roll around, usually our diet gets compromised. Either some things look too good to pass up, or we allow certain ingredients to slide by in order to make others happy. But with a little careful planning you can eat natural, healthy, delicious food this holiday season that everyone will be satisfied with.
Here is how to eat naturally and healthfully this Thanksgiving:
- First, the central player does not have to be changed. Actually, there is a lot to like about turkey, if you are an omnivore.Turkey has more protein than sirloin beef and chicken breast. It also contains selenium, which has in some studies been shown to help prevent heart disease and certain kinds of cancer. Select a free-range, hormone free bird. There is also natural or wild turkey, though they tend to be more gamey.
- If not an omnivore, perhaps have aTofurkey side-by-side. They aren’t that difficult to prepare. In fact, you can cook it and bring it to wherever the holiday is being held.
- The second important part of the main course is how the turkey is prepared. Try an herb roasted turkey. If one of your relatives tries to deep fry it, convince them otherwise.
- Avoid making the heavy, carbohydrate and fat laden side dishes, or limit them. Mashed potatoes and stuffing are both often laden with butter and salt, and depending upon how they are made, preservatives and other chemicals as well.
- Have a variety of salads instead. Why not prepare stir fried vegetables? Instead of the heavy cream and salt stuffed string bean casserole, replace this with a light white raisin, string bean salad. A pasta salad with an olive oil base, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, and artichoke hearts is both fancy and delicious. Curry based vegetarian sides are hardy, delicious, exotic and nutritious.
- Instead of mashed potatoes, try a healthy yet hearty yam recipe. If your family will bemoan their loss, you can make the traditional sides but put the potato skins in the mashed potatoes, and use a butter substitute that has an olive oil or flaxseed oil as a base.
- Instead of a cheese plate, why not start with a hardy soup course? Winter squash soup or a pumpkin soup is hardy and scrumptious.
- Add a fruit and nut plate to the dessert menu to give guests healthier options.
- Portion control is also an important part of the holidays.
With a little bit of forethought and planning, everyone can enjoy the holiday season while being healthy and still maintaining their lifestyle choices.