If you’re hosting Thanksgiving at your house this year, make it a healthier meal for all of your guest. Traditional Thanksgiving dishes are high in calories, fat, carbohydrates and sugar. Piling your dinner plate can easily get out of hand leaving you in that Thanksgiving “food coma” and setting you back on your healthy dietary goals. But with a little effort, you can reduce the fat and carbohydrates and increase the quality protein, vitamins and minerals in your holiday feast.
Start by choosing a fresh, organic, free-range turkey. Organic turkeys are raised with regular access to the outdoors and get to eat grubs, worms and grass instead of genetically modified corn based grain mash and are delivered fresh, not frozen. They are better tasting than traditional turkeys, more nutritious and lower in overall fat, with 30% less saturated fat, higher in Omega 3 fatty acids, Vitamin A, and more than 25% fewer calories per serving. You’ll be serving a delicious, high density protein without any of the harmful growth hormones, antibiotics or artificial additives.
Reducing the butter or using low or non-fat milk in traditional stuffing , mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes and other side dishes can significantly reduce the calories without sacrificing the taste. Skim the fat as much as possible from the gravy and replace high calorie casseroles with a variety of organic grilled, steamed or raw vegetables and fresh fruit plus a mixed green salad with olive and vinegar dressing.
These simple alternatives can help you build a 40-30-30 balanced plate and stick to your dietary goals of healthier eating.
Building Balanced 40-30-30 Thanksgiving Plate
Fill one fourth of your plate with 4 to 6 ounces of turkey, only one fourth or less with a small serving of high glycemic stuffing or potatoes and gravy, and the remaining half of your plate with a variety of low glycemic vegetables, fruit and green salad. If you skip the stuffing or potatoes all together, you haven’t eaten enough carbohydrates. You can enjoy a small slice of pumpkin pie with whipped cream.
Don’t forget to start your day with a balanced breakfast and try to fit a cardiovascular workout in. You’ll be thankful you kept your diet balanced and proud you provided a nutrient packed, delicious meal for your family and friends.
Joyce Daoust is a Certified Nutritionist and national best selling co-author of:
THE FORMULA, A Personalized 40-30-30 Weight Loss Program.