Thanksgiving is a time to come together around a delicious meal, with the people you love, and celebrate all that you are grateful for. But, for many of us this meal can be a source of stress and anxiety. Not because of the family dynamics, or the stress of hosting a large meal, but because of the volume of food set out on the table.
Have no fear, we are here to share with you some tools to help you tackle this Thanksgiving meal with confidence and kick off your holiday season on a positive note. At MiniNutrition we believe that there is a time and a place to enjoy all foods and Thanksgiving dinner is the meal to do so.
MiniTips for Enjoying a Happy & Healthy Thanksgiving
1 Eat breakfast: Many people hold back and save all of their calories for the “big meal.” Research has shown, more often than not, that skipping breakfast can lead to consumption of more calories than if you had eaten breakfast that morning. So have a breakfast consisting of protein, fruits or vegetables, and a tall glass of water.
2 Make time for movement: Carving out a little time to stay active will help to boost your mood and also your appetite and enables you tackle a day that traditionally consists of sitting and eating with confidence.
If you’re on Nantucket the Nantucket Cycling and Fitness Studio also has a great class line-up on Thanksgiving Morning.
3 ENJOY! Cast away the feelings of anxiety for this one day and allow yourself free reign over the Thanksgiving buffet. After all carbohydrates, fat, and protein are essential and not something to be dreaded. Food is meant to provide us with nourishment AND pleasure, not calories and guilt. Try not to punish yourself or feel remorseful for choosing to feast on foods you would not typically eat, instead grant yourself permission. This is not a typical day and the foods you choose on this day do not define you. So celebrate, enjoy, and get back to your routine the following day.
4 Trade up: Volume is important, especially on Thanksgiving. No one likes to leave the table feeling hungry, which is why it’s important to add volume without adding calories. If you have control over the menu on Thanksgiving Day consider replacing a few dishes with a healthier alternative. For example, swap the mashed potatoes for sweet potatoes or roasted squash, choose a whole grain to stuff your bird with rather than the traditional breadcrumbs, and trade in the green bean casserole and roast the beans with some garlic, salt & pepper.
For a few recipe options see the bottom of this post.
5 Fill up on the good stuff: And by good stuff we mean vegetables. A fool proof method is to fill half your plate with vegetables. By focusing on vegetables first you will reduce the number of calories you consume, fill up on fiber, and ensure you’re getting plenty of vitamins and minerals.
6 There will be leftovers: Take small portions, eat slowly, and stop BEFORE you’re full. After all, we all know there will be leftovers and you will have the option of finishing what you started at a later time. If by chance you do eat to the point of being over full, don’t sweat it. Beating yourself up for eating too much will not benefit you at all. Instead brush it off and start fresh tomorrow.
Happy Thanksgiving and we hope it is fill with family, friends, and delicious food!
Roasted Humanly Raised Turkey with Sage Pesto rub
Kale & apple salad with Roasted Delicate squash and a lemon juice white balsamic dressing
Roasted carrots, onion, and Brussels sprouts
Cranberry Apple Farro Stuffing
Mashed Turnip & Sweet potato with sage butter
Cranberry Apple Farro Stuffing
1 Cup pearled farro
1 Cup Fresh Cranberries Chopped
3 Stalks celery chopped
1 cup shitake mushrooms chopped
1 medium onion diced
¾ cup chopped walnuts
5 sprigs fresh thyme
1 Tbs salted butter
2 cloves garlic diced
2 Tbs sage pesto
Salt and Pepper to taste
1. Sautée onion in butter over medium heat 5 minutes.
2. While sautéing the onion cook the farro following the directions on the package
3. After 5 minutes, add celery, cranberry, mushrooms, garlic, apple to the pan and sautée for additional 5 minutes and then remove from heat.
4. Once farro is cooked, drain off any additional liquid and stir in sautéed ingredients, sage pesto, walnuts, salt & pepper, and fresh thyme.
For use as seasoning under the skin of the turkey & as flavoring for the farro stuffing.
1 large bunch fresh sage leaves
¼ cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic
Pinch of sea salt
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until it is well mixed