It is not difficult to make a tasty Thanksgiving meal while having it semi-healthy. Thanksgiving meals are often high in fats, sodium and sugars. A few substitutions here and there can help provide a healthier alternative to a Thanksgiving meal as well as give you and your guests all your favorite food items!
Let’s start with the biggest part of the meal, the turkey. Buying a turkey breast instead of the whole bird can help cut down on calories as the breast has more white meat. However, the turkey is the center piece to the whole meal. If you want the whole bird, try sticking to the white meat or if you want the dark meat, make it half the portion you normally would have. This way cuts down on some of the sodium and calories that come from the darker parts of the meat. Keep the seasoning simple with salt and pepper and use olive oil or spray oil instead of butter.
Everyone loves stuffing! Try stuffing the bird with:
- lemon or apples
- thyme, rosemary, sage and other fresh herbs
Then bake the rest of the stuffing (i.e. the bread pieces, sausage and celery) in the oven. This way the stuffing doesn’t absorb the extra fats from the turkey and you can make a slightly smaller serving.
Gravy is a must a have! But instead of using the turkey drippings, use vegetable oil. This will cut down on the saturated fats and make the gravy cholesterol free. You can also look for low-fat broth based gravy or even vegetarian gravy. All these taste great and are slightly healthier options to the original gravy.
Don’t forget the mashed potatoes. Instead of using butter or cream to add to make a creamy texture to the potatoes, save the boiled water from boiling the potatoes or add chicken brother or fat-free sour cream. These substitutions can help cut down on fats and calories and still make the mashed potatoes taste great.
Now time for arguably the best part of the whole day, dessert. Pies are a huge part of the Thanksgiving. Most of the fat and sugar in pie come from the crust. Try a reduced fat graham cracker crust or go crust free. These are delicious alternatives to our traditional and loved pies.
These are just some of the substitutions that you can use in your Thanksgiving Day meal preparation. Check here for full recipes and more ideas on how to put a creative and healthy spin on your Thanksgiving Day meal.
Feature photo by David McSpadden
Fall is upon us, which means we have officially entered into football and tailgating season! Tailgating is a great time to catch up with friends, eat snacks and have fun before and during the game. However, just because you are in the middle of a parking lot or near the football stadium with your friends does not mean your food choices have to become unhealthy! It just means you have to become a little bit more creative. Not only does healthier snacks at a tailgate fuel your energy more but it will also make your snacks more original and “gourmet”.
Everybody loves dip during any event. The traditional Five Layer Dip is delicious but can be unhealthy especially if you buy it from the store. But if you switch out the ground beef layer in the traditional Five Layer Dip with some whole kernel corn, the dip becomes low fat and low calorie! This dip is easier to make and is just as tasty the well-loved Five Layer Dip! Want to try it? Click here for the recipe. Sour cream and onion dip is also a crowd favorite. The crowd might love you more if you offer them a fresher and healthier version of it. Mix together a yellow onion, fresh garlic, reduced-fat sour cream, plain Greek yogurt (instead of mayonnaise) and seasoning and create your favorite dip within in your kitchen! See the full recipe here.
Eating out or picking up packaged food will increase your sodium intake by almost two thirds of what your sodium intake would be if you made your food at home. Home cooked meals on average have less calories than meals that are purchased outside of the home. When you eat at home, you are more likely to eat less than you would out. This is because restaurants tend to go over the recommended portion sizes. This may appear to be the better deal, ”more for your money”, but it’s not! Home cooked snacks and meals give you more control over your food which can allow you to create healthier versions of your favorite foods.
Want healthier tailgate snack recipes? Click here.
Feature photo by Shari’s Berries
Do you sometimes feel forgetful? There could be a number of factors causing forgetfulness, but according to a recent study, certain food choices might improve brain function. A healthy diet may lead to a sharper brain by improving cognitive function, alertness and memory.
Strengthen your brain by adding more of these foods to your diet
More vegetables please: Vegetables, especially broccoli, cabbage and dark leafy greens can help improve your memory. If you struggle finding ideas to increase vegetable intake, these suggestions might work for you.
- Stir fry – add onions, broccoli or any other vegetable of your choosing. Make it fun and celebrate “Stir-Fryday” with the entire family!
- Get rid of the bun – choose to eat your favorite sandwich wrapped in collard greens, cabbage or kale.
- Dip it – hummus and veggies can be quick, easy and delicious. Some popular choices include broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and cucumbers.
Don’t forget to be sweet: Berries contain high amounts of flavonoids and other potential brain boosters. Darker berries, like blackberries, blue berries and cherries, are high in flavonoids. Add berries to your cereal, or yogurt for a little extra. If that doesn’t work, a handful of berries on the fly might be just what you need.
Fishing for answers: Omega-3 fatty acids may help improve memory as well. To increase your omega-3, look for seafood including salmon, bluefin tuna, herring and sardines. If you find it difficult to get seafood in the mix, try to replace a few meat dishes with a seafood alternative. Fish tacos and tuna fish can be a good option when pressed for time.
Go nuts: Walnuts are known for making a positive impact on health. Keep a sandwich bag full at work, and enjoy an easy snack while refueling your brain. If you are looking for a little extra, add chopped walnuts to your morning oatmeal.
For the full article, please click Here
Feature photo by NIH Image Gallery
This past Tuesday, July 23, the First Lady spoke to over 1,800 attendees at the National Council of La Raza’s Annual Conference and shared her thoughts on food and how intimately intertwined it is in our culture. I’ve taken a few of her statements for us to take a closer look below. She states:
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Southern-Style Oven Fried Chicken
In celebration of Super Bowl this weekend, I thought I would share a lighter version of an all-American favorite. And the best part, it’s a healthy recipe from Weight Watchers! Only 5 PointsPlus! For those who prefer counting calories, I have also included the nutrition label at the end of this post. We will be having this in my house on Sunday. If you make this, let me know how it turned out in the comments below.
This month, Chef Nicole Sandleban and Dietitian Marci Reed took recipe submissions and converted the traditional holiday recipes to make them healthier while including special cancer protective foods. They focused on using fresh, natural ingredients rather than the canned and artificially sweetened norm of holiday treats. Although the holidays are almost over, many of these recipes are healthy enough to try in the New Year. I plan to make them as part of my New Year’s resolution to eat more natural foods. See the recipes below. Read More
This week we kicked off our FREE Meals That Heal series with Legacy Health at The Portland Farmer’s Market, Shemanski Park. The series is focused on cancer fighting foods to help you learn to create healthy, delicious meals. There are three more events in the coming months so register today! Call 503-335-3500 or register online, click on add to my events list and continue registration. Read More