The holiday season is right around the corner — a thought for which many of us sends waves of panic through our bodies. With Thanksgiving comes quality (or not so quality) time with friends and family, a day to reflect on all you’re thankful for, and a chance to pig out on gravy, stuffing, rolls, and pie.
You don’t have to surrender to the five-pound weight gain most of us experience this Thanksgiving, though. With a little pre-planning and a handful of creativity, this turkey day can be both fun and fitness-friendly.
Dinner Menu Suggestions
The best way to keep your Thanksgiving dinner menu lean is by cutting down on the butter, eliminating processed carbs, amping up the color with some superfoods, and choosing naturally sweet options instead of sugar-topped goodies. Here are a few menu suggestions to get you started.
Menu 1: Real Food Thanksgiving
This menu eliminates all ingredients that don’t come directly from nature. Goodbye butter rolls, canned cranberry sauce, and boxed stuffing. Hello whole grain baguettes, slowly simmered cranberries, and a dressing made from scratch.
On The Menu
- Olive Oil and Rosemary Roast Turkey
- Chestnut Dressing with Apples and Dates
- Baked Potatoes With Greek Yogurt, Chives, Parmesan, and Sea Salt
- Cranberry Chutney flavored with Cinnamon and Honey
- Roasted Green Beans with Water Chestnuts and Bacon Pieces
Menu 2: Power Plate Thanksgiving
If you don’t mind moving away from the traditional cuisine, prepare yourself to adorn your table with more colorful dishes. Power foods make delicious appetizers, sides, and desserts that are crammed full of good-for-you nutrients.
On The Menu
- Seasoned Turkey Breast with Pomegranate Glaze
- Avocado Cucumber Shrimp Appetizers
- Massaged Kale Cranberry Apple Pecan Salad
- Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes
- Pumpkin Pudding
Menu 3: Healthy Fats Thanksgiving
Fat gets a bad rap, but the right kind is essential for healthy living. Make plenty of space for healthy fats on your table this Thanksgiving. Go light on the butter, cream, soft cheeses, and greasy meats. Fill your plate with nuts, avocado, hard cheese, eggs, and seeds.
On The Menu
- Smoked Turkey Breast
- Greek Yogurt Mashed Potatoes
- Mini Avocado Toasts
- Spinach Pecan Apple Salad with Chia and Pumpkin Seeds
- Roasted Parmesan Brussel Sprouts
Whether you choose to cut out the bad fats, take it easy on the processed carbs, or add more color to your plate, a few healthy Thanksgiving recipes will help you enjoy the day stress-free.