Healthy Thanksgiving Tips

thanksgiving dinnerEveryone knows the holidays are coming up and that comes with fat-filled and carbohydrate-filled foods followed by an immense food coma. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to cut calories as well as introduce healthier options for your upcoming Thanksgiving meal! Along with healthy meals, make sure to find time to exercise on the big day. Take time out of the kitchen and go for a hike with friends or family! It’s a great way to be active before one of the most anticipated meals of the year and show how thankful you are to those around you. Below I have listed a few great alternatives for what still can be a delicious and healthy meal! I have included total cooking time, calories per serving and ingredients. Not all of the food ideas provided calorie breakdown, however. The recipe ideas I have below are easily found on the Food Network website in their Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes. Who knows – you may find a new family tradition!

Main Dishes
Herb-Roasted Turkey Breast
Total Time: Depending on size of turkey
Turkey Roulade with Apple-Cider Gravy
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Calories: 398 per serving
Ingredients: skinless turkey breast, dried cranberries, canola oil, onion, garlic, whole wheat bread, chopped pecans, sage, low-sodium chicken broth, apple cider, apple cider vinegar, cornstarch, salt and freshly ground pepper

Side Dishes
Butternut Squash Soup
Total Time: 1 hour
Calories: 125 calories per serving
Ingredients: butternut squash, unsalted butter, onion, chicken stock (use low sodium to decrease salt intake), nutmeg, salt, and freshly ground pepper

Green Bean Casserole
Total Time: 1.5 hours
Calories: 186 calories per serving
Ingredients: olive oil, shallots, string beans, button mushrooms, garlic, thyme, milk, flour, parmesan cheese, parsley, nutmeg, olive oil cooking spray, salt and freshly ground pepper

Quinoa with garlic, pine nuts, and raisins
Total Time: 25 minutes
Ingredients: quinoa, pine nuts, extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, parsley, raisins lemon juice, salt and freshly ground pepper

Chipotle Smashed Sweet Potatoes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Calories: 152 per serving
Ingredients: sweet potatoes, unsalted butter, salt, chipotle chili pepper in adobo sauce, adobo sauce

Honey Glazed Carrots
Total Time: 15 minutes
Calories: 139 per serving
Ingredients: carrots, butter, honey, lemon juice, black pepper, flat-leaf parsley

Herb and Apple Stuffing
Total Time: 2 hours and 50 minutes
Calories: 370 per serving
Ingredients: whole wheat, unsalted butter, onion, celery, Granny Smith apples, flat-leaf parsley, fresh rosemary, low-sodium chicken stock, blanched almonds, salt and freshly ground pepper

Apple Crisp
Total Time: 1 hour
Calories: 305 per serving
Ingredients: (Filling) Granny Smith apples, pecans, flour, sugar, maple syrup, lemon juice; (Topping) flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, butter, pecans;

Pumpkin Brulee Cheesecake
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Calories: 228 per serving
Ingredients: honey graham crackers, unsalted butter, 1/3 less fat cream cheese, brown sugar, granulated sugar, kosher salt, Greek-style plain yogurt, eggs, egg whites, pumpkin puree, flour, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract


Food Network

About the Author: 

Christine Emery                                                                                                                   A native to the Bay Area, Christine graduated on the dean’s list with a B.S. degree in Health and Human Sciences from Loyola Marymount University in 2013. Soon after, she moved back up north from Los Angeles and joined the BaySport Preventive Medical team. She really appreciates BaySport’s dedication to detail in making every patient’s experience as enjoyable as possible while also educating them on ways to improve their lifestyle. As a current graduate student at San Francisco State University, she is now working on her thesis to determine if there is a trend within the Bay Area for certain ethnicities to have higher lipid profile (cholesterol, triglycerides, and glucose) values along with other measurements such as body mass index and blood pressure. During her off-time, Christine is an avid supporter and fan of Bay Area sports and she loves to play golf with her family when she can. She also likes to travel down to Los Angeles frequently to visit friends.


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