Friday, November 20, 2009

A Happy Thanksgiving without Looking Like a Turkey

The Holidays. A time filled with the joy and pain of seeing relatives, spending too much money and buying wonderful, thoughtful presents and eating and drinking way too much. Is there any wonder that a top New Year's Eve resolution is to lose weight? Not really. But it is possible to eat a delicious meal and maintain a healthy eating pattern (I know, it sounds boring and like no fun, but I have faith that you can do it!). Why am I so focused on healthy eating? Maybe it is because during nursing school a block of cheese seems like a reasonable breakfast choice. Or maybe it is going to my school gym and seeing all the perky, pretty young college students (just to be clear, I am not the "all cute and chipper working out student"); either way, I feel compelled to at least try to live a bit healthier.

Last year I actually had a Dominican feast for Thanksgiving. You can read about that (mis)adventure here and here. I realized as I was falling asleep, that for the first time in my life, I hadn't eaten myself to the point of nausea. Carb coma? Nope. Meat sweats? None. Vague chest pain that should concern me more but I helped myself to the wine to help myself deal my family (just kidding, I love you guys)? Not a single palpitation! It occurred to me that maybe I didn't need to eat and eat and eat to enjoy myself on Thanksgiving and Christmas. In addition to physical exertion (shoveling snow off the walk), emotional strain (arguing with relatives) and exposure to cold (November weather in much of the country), eating a big meal temporarily strains your heart. People have heart attacks on Thanksgiving. The weekend before Thanksgiving, at one hospital there were so many critically ill patients that doctors ran out of a key heart-pumping machine and had to rent two extras

Tomorrow I will post a healthy turkey main course, as well as a homemade cranberry dish that puts the cylindrical cranberry sauce to shame.

From WHfoods:

"Turkey is a very good source of protein, providing 65.1% of the DV in a four ounce portion. Along with protein, turkey is a very good source of selenium. In addition, it is a good source of niacin, vitamin B6 and phosphorus.

Cranberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, a very good source of dietary fiber, and a good source of manganese and vitamin K."

Sunday I will post healthy and delicious recipes for mashed potatoes and a fun alternative to traditional stuffing.

"Potatoes are a very good source of vitamin C. They are also a good source of vitamin B6, copper, potassium, manganese, and dietary fiber.

Check back Tuesday to find out so-delicious-they-must-be-bad-for-you ideas for your perfect dessert.

What do you think guys, is it possible to enjoy a healthy Thanksgiving? What do you do to make the holidays a bit healthier?


  1. I love Thanksgiving foods. I can eat them all year round :) If you can make them healthy without losing flavor, I'm all for it. I look forward to your homemade cranberry side dish!

  2. Good wisdom and good advice. I definitely agree you shouldn't make yourself sick on thanksgiving. You don't want to feel sick and regretful the next few days.

  3. Thks again for the interesting post!

  4. Looking forward to your cranberry dish recipe!


Tried my recipe? Please let me know how it turned out for you! Be honest (and kind!)