Written by: Danielle Maina

WHOA! It’s ALREADY that time of the year! Thanksgiving is officially here and it seems everywhere you look there are mashed potatoes, yams smothered in butter and marshmallows and healthy eating’s arch-nemesis, pumpkin pie. Progressively over the last decade what we think of as the “traditional Thanksgiving foods have many people worried about their caloric intake on Thanksgiving Day. Thankfully (see what I did there?), we have some equally delectable morsels of knowledge to help you incorporate healthier alternatives into your Thanksgiving feast.

  • Use sugar substitutes or fruit purees instead of oil when making baked goods.
  • When making gravy, use fat-free chicken stock.
  • Use plain yogurt or fat-free sour cream when making mashed potatoes, casseroles or any creamy dips.
  • Be active. Plan a post Thanksgiving feast walk with family and friends instead of posting up on the couch.
  • Eat during the day of Thanksgiving. Eat a well-balanced breakfast and small lunch to prevent your self from overeating when it comes time to feast.
  • Portion control! You’ve been dying to have the pumpkin pie all year round and you know that pie is obviously loaded with sugar. Doesn’t mean you can’t have any. The last thing you want to do is deprive yourself. Instead, grab a slice of pie enjoy a smaller portion of it.
  • Be a conscious eater, enjoy the flavors of the meal and eat slowly instead of rushing and ending up with a terrible stomachache.
  • Fill your plate with colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats/poultry (without the skin) and leafy green salads.
  • Avoid added salt and added fat when making your bird. Instead of using butter before roasting, use herbs, garlic and olive oil for a healthier yet flavorful turkey.
  • Do you like mashed sweet potatoes but want to avoid the marshmallows and added brown sugar? Sweet potatoes are already naturally sweet, so just add a dollop of maple syrup or agave to get the perfect amount of sweet in each bite.
  • Alcohol calories add up quick. Watch your alcohol consumption by drinking a glass of water between each glass of wine, or spiked apple cider. 😉

If you are anything like me, you are worried about picking up the holiday spare tire that goes hand in hand with family style meals. Following these tips will serve as the perfect counter-balance and allow you to stay focused on what matters, family & friends.

Everyone with Fit 4 The Cause wishes everyone a happy and of course, healthy Thanksgiving!