Having a Leaner Thanksgiving

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Don’t drink the whole gravy boat, fun as it sounds.

Thanksgiving is undoubtedly one of the most delicious holidays, at least in terms of proper meals (Halloween candy doesn’t count). It is also, however, one of the highest in caloric intake. Traditional Thanksgiving staples like roast turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie are awesome, of this there can be no doubt, but they ain’t exactly the healthiest for you. I know, it’s only one day a year, but considering your Thanksgiving dinner is probably going to be a bit smaller in scale this year, why not take the opportunity to tinker a bit with the menu?

Starting with the most obvious, how do we improve the turkey? If it hasn’t been completely hammered into you yet, here it is again: go organic. Some commercial turkeys are pumped up with chemicals and preservatives, and you really don’t need that stuff in your life. Not only is organic, locally-sourced turkey more natural, it tends to taste better, too. When preparing the turkey, consider a simpler coat of herbs, salt, pepper, and some grass-fed butter. Don’t worry, a little fat is fine. Olive or avocado oil are also attractive options if you’re not into butter.

Aside from turkey, have some hearty, leafy greens as your sides. Things like arugula, spinach, and collard greens will give you a little extra fiber and vitamin B, which will help you resist the temptation to overeat. Leafy veggies also help to stimulate your digestive system, which you’ll definitely want after dinner while you’re falling asleep on the couch watching football.

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Finally, for dessert, consider a baked treat made with nut flour. Compared to grain-based flours, nut flour is lower in carbs and higher in nutrients, not to mention naturally sweet, eliminating the need for additional sugar in recipes. Maybe it’s not as traditional as pumpkin pie, but who’s gonna say no to a nut flour cookies?

If you’re not having the whole family over for dinner (and you shouldn’t be), you’ve got some more wiggle room. Who knows, maybe next year you can try out your new menu on a packed house?