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Have a Not So Traditional (Healthy) Holiday

Joanna Dogloff of the Huffington Post says that the typical Thanksgiving dinner has a whopping 2,796 calories. That might even sound a bit conservative, if Thanksgiving happens to be your favorite holiday. Fit Sugar alleges that the typical Thanksgiving meal actually comes in at 4,500, a number that truly puts the “gob” in gobble.

We know we have a tendency to overdo on Thanksgiving, but our typical holiday staples are actually quite healthy. Turkey meat is a low fat, high protein food, and favorite sides like sweet potatoes, pumpkin and carrots are fat-free, cholesterol-free, and high in vitamins and fiber. Thanksgiving is not inherently fattening and nutritionally void – it’s the appetizers, gravy, caloric drinks and choices like forgoing the greens for some extra potatoes that kill our calorie count. So how easy is it to get out of the Thanksgiving fat trap? Actually, pretty easy.

And now is the time to do it. It’s the year to fashion a not-so-traditional holiday meal – one that takes your principles of healthful eating that are in play the rest of the year into account. True healthy eaters think health 24/7. It’s part of their life. Higher fruit and veggie content, and lower fats and sugars become a way of eating, not a diet or a struggle. Just because it’s November 24, that shouldn’t obliterate your healthy habits. This year, it just stands to reason that the traditional holiday meal has evolved from artery-clogging carb fest to a bounty of fruits, veggies, healthy proteins, and portions that are in perspective.

Make Health Your Tradition

  • Fruit & Veggies More Matters has done some of the hard work of re-aligning your Norman Rockwell portrait and airbrushing in a more contemporary version of head of household – a healthy, vibrant you. They suggest 5 Ways to Take Fat & Calories Out of Your Holiday Menu. Can’t wait for those Garlic Mashed Potatoes? Go for it, they say! Use low-fat or non-fat milk instead of heavy cream and trade butter for low-fat sour cream.
  • New York Times blogger Tara Parker-Pope weighs in with Holiday Main Courses for Vegans – it begins with Curried Lentil, Squash and Apple Stew and ends with Pumpkin Tiramisù. Top that.
  • Finally, if you’re seeking a way to fill up on fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, taste, and one of the most powerful nutrition-per-calorie foods, misson accomplished: add wild blueberries to your holiday spread – they’ve got the color, taste, and tradition that is worthy of your best holiday table. Enjoy!

Got a favorite tip for a healthy Thanksgiving? Tell us!

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