For many families, when the holidays roll around, their diet goes out the window. But you don’t have to give up eating clean this Thanksgiving, or even this holiday season. Favorites and even family recipes can be altered slightly so that they are clean, delicious, and satisfying. Easy changes like switching refined grains for whole ones, selecting low-fat over high-fat dairy, and choosing better sweeteners such as honey, and dehydrated cane juice over brown and white sugar, can make your holiday healthy and delicious.
Even if you are lead astray on one or two items, you can still stay in control and avoid overindulgence. It’s can be difficult to find the right balance, and often during the holidays our food choices leave us feeling either deprived or guilty.
Here’s some advice on how to eat clean this Thanksgiving and all season long, feel good about it, and still make dishes that are fancy and delectable:
First, look at the produce. If you can, make sure all the fruits and vegetables used are organic. It’s even better if you can source them all locally. But this may not be possible, particularly for those living in a cooler locale. Look at the dips and salad dressings and choose healthful, robust, homemade, low-fat varieties.
Think about portions. A little low-fat cheese isn’t so bad as long as you remember to consume one to two ounces. This is about the size of a nine volt battery. If you want a clean meal, prepare as many homemade dishes as possible. Elicit the help of the other chefs involved too. This may take some convincing. But it also means working together as a family, deciding together on the menu and ingredients. If there are certain family favorites that must inhabit the table, come up with suggestions to make them cleaner or healthier. Choose things that you can prepare ahead of time. Cooking Light suggests this Apple Cranberry Turkey Roulade for any holiday: myrecipes.com. For stuffing, be sure to use whole grain bread such as whole wheat or stone ground cornbread. For rice stuffing, use wild or brown rice over white. You can even try different grains like bulgur or quinoa. There are so many ways to cook and eat clean this holiday season, and yet prepare dishes that every family member can enjoy.