Thursday, November 28, 2013

Healthy Holiday Eating Tips for Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to You and Yours!!

(Photo) A Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving

( Do you know that the average Thanksgiving dinner has over 2000 calories? It can be a real challenge if you are watching your waistline. The following are some eating tips so that you can still look good and be healthy after the Thanksgiving dinner without having to deprive yourself.

Healthy Holiday Eating Tips for Thanksgiving

If you are a guest of a Thanksgiving dinner:

  • Don't go to the Thanksgiving dinner hungry: we often eat faster and more when we are hungry - therefore eat a wholesome breakfast and lunch on the day to avoid overeating at dinner time.
  • Thanksgiving dinner is not an all-you-can-eat buffet: Fill your plate half with vegetables, one quarter with a lean meat and the rest with a starch of your choice. Eat slowly and stop when you are full.
  • Turkey - go skinless: choose your 4-oz turkey portion skinless to slash away some fat and cholesterol. Save your appetite for the side dishes and desserts.
  • Side Dishes - watch your portion size: go for smaller portions. This way you can sample all the different foods. Moderation is always the key.
  • Make a conscious choice to limit high fat items: high fat food items can be found in fried and creamy dishes as well as cheese-filled casseroles in a traditional Thanksgiving meal . For instance, mashed potatoes are usually made with butter and milk; green bean casseroles are often prepared with cream of mushroom soup, cheese and milk and topped with fried onions; candied yams are loaded with cream, sugar and marshmallows. If you cannot control the ingredients that go in to a dish, simply limit yourself to a smaller helping size. Again moderation is the key.
  • Drink plenty of water: alcohol and coffee can dehydrate your body. Drink calorie-free water to help fill up your stomach and keep you hydrated.

If you are the honorable chef of a Thanksgiving dinner:

  • Substitute high fat ingredients with lower-fat or fat-free ingredients. Learn about the 5 easy steps to recipe substitutions or see table below.
  • Leftover Turkey? Instead of turkey sandwiches, use the leftover turkey to make a pot of soup with fresh chunky vegetables.
  • Experiment with new recipes: we did a search on Google and found numerous delicious yet healthy low-fat contemporary Thanksgiving recipes. Experiment!

Healthy Thanksgiving Recipe Substitution Tips

Recipe calls for...    Substitution Sugestions

1 whole egg…    2 egg whites

sour cream…   low fat plain yogurt or low fat sour cream

milk…  skim or 1% milk

ice cream…  frozen yogurt

heavy cream (not for whipping)…   1:1 ratio of flour whisked into non fat milk (e.g. 1 cup of flour + 1 cup of non fat milk)

whipped cream…  chilled evaporated skim milk or other low fat whipped products such as Nutriwhip

cheese…  low-fat cheese (please note: non-fat cheese does not melt well if use in cooking or baking)

butter…  light butter

cream of mushroom…  fat-free cream of mushroom

Healthy Recipe for the furkids from JOMP:


Thanksgiving Pet Recipe of the Day

Simple Roasted Organs

(This is a great recipe to make up for Thanksgiving to feed your canine friends… you can substitute chicken for the turkey and add a few turkey scraps at carving time, or just bake the liver and giblets and add the warm turkey as you carve… just go easy on the skin and watch for bones.)

This dish can actually double up as a treat, or healthy topping to your pet’s usual meal. Turkey giblets (hearts, livers and kidneys) are available from butcher shops and many natural food markets – and also come included with most Thanksgiving turkeys!

This recipe is super-simple and just about all pets love it! Turkey necks should not be used.


Up to 1 lb Turkey scraps, organs/giblets (don’t include bones)

6 tbsp Olive Oil

½ tsp Dried or Fresh Rosemary

1 Clove Garlic, crushed or finely diced (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Arrange the organs on a baking sheet. Slowly pour on the olive and gently shake the pan so that the oil is evenly distributed. Sprinkle on the rosemary and crushed garlic. Place in the oven and cook for about 35 minutes, until golden brown. Cool before serving and refrigerate any leftovers for up to 3 days.

For cats, dice the organs finely with a sharp knife before serving. This technique also works well to create bite-sized training treats that are a little bit different. 

The “Not So Safe” or No-No Pet Food List

How to keep your dog safe during Thanksgiving holidays

A Dogs Special Thanksgiving Day

Wishing you all a safe happy and Blessed Thanksgiving!!

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