Healthy Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup + Top Tips To Savor The Feast

POSTED IN: Food + Nutrition

Happy Thanksgiving Week!

Let’s talk about the feast.

I’m a huge believer in the feast! Just because I’m a Health Coach doesn’t mean that I don’t throw down and participate in the feast. I just make sure to do it in a mindful way. Your health is all encompassing of your mind, body and spirit, including what you eat, how you interact in your relationships, how you serve, worship, and celebrate, and everything else that contributes to how you feel.

From a body perspective, one meal–the feast–will not cause you to gain weight or do a 180 to your health. It’s what you do before and after that counts the most. For example, leftovers for three meals a day for a week after the feast might have negative side effects. Honor the feast in a way that feels good to you, then make good decisions after.

And… just because it’s a feast doesn’t mean that it has to be unhealthy.

Here are a few of my favorite healthy Thanksgiving tips and recipes that are still traditional and still delicious. When you add a few healthful dishes to your Thanksgiving table you’ll feel a little less guilty about that second helping.

Top Tips For Indulging In The Celebration Without Sacrificing Your Health:

#1 Enjoy your food.

As I mentioned above, one meal one time per year will not make you gain weight. Don’t shun food at the feast that you really want to enjoy just because you normally avoid it (provided you’re not allergic, of course). One of my yoga teachers always tells me what her yoga teacher in India told her, “it’s not really the one piece of cake that gets people, it’s what they do to themselves [mentally] about the piece of cake that causes the problems.” Negative self-talk or guilt after eating creates a toxic environment in your body. Decide that you will enjoy and savor what is on your plate.

#2 Along with #1, don’t eat food that you don’t enjoy just because it’s on the table!

This is a big one. If you really don’t like green bean casserole, don’t eat it just because it’s Thanksgiving. Just skip it. If you don’t love pumpkin pie, then don’t eat it.

For me it’s yams or sweet potato casserole. I’ve just never loved them, no matter the recipe. I used to put some on my plate and force it down, creating a really unenjoyable experience. Now I just politely pass and feel better for not eating something that probably isn’t great for me that I don’t even like. (Phew.)

Often times at large meals we just eat what’s in front of us. Before you add something to your plate, ask yourself, do I really enjoy the taste of this?

#3 Choose recipes made from real, whole foods.

Balance tradition with creating and finding new recipes that your family will love. One of the reasons Thanksgiving dinner is so unhealthy is because a lot of traditional Thanksgiving recipes are made out of highly processed foods (I’m looking at you, mushroom soup in a can.) Create as many real food dishes as possible while still enjoying your favorites.

#4 Two supplements can really help you on Thanksgiving Day:

  1. Digestive Enzymes: Consider taking some digestive enzymes 15 minutes before you eat, and a few more halfway through. You really can’t take too many, and they really help your body break up your food. I take the digestive enzymes from USANA, and you can also find other brands at health food stores.
  2. Activated Charcoal: Another supplement to consider is Activated Charcoal; it’s been used for thousands of years as a detoxing remedy. It can absorb up to 100 times its weight and it binds to toxins in your digestive tract, then pulls them out as you normally pass waste. When I use it, I take it an hour after I eat.This supplement comes with a few warnings: It’s safe, although since it pulls (absorbs) toxins in your digestive tract it also takes nutrients (and potentially medications) with it. So, don’t take any other medicines or supplements that you want to absorb within 8 hours of it. Also, taking too much too often can cause constipation, so I’d advise to take only once every week or two. Activated Charcoal is great if you know you’re going to eat anything on the less healthy side, or consume more than one alcoholic drink. I use one called Bulletproof Upgraded™ Coconut Charcoal that I get online. Take it right after your meal. As always, with all supplements, quality is of the utmost importance and you get what you pay for. Always do your research and only buy supplements from reputable companies that you trust.

#5 Remember to turn your turkey bones into ultra nourishing bone broth.

One of the most exciting parts about making that huge Thanksgiving bird is the beautiful bone broth (stock) that is waiting to be made after the feast is over. When consuming animal products a healthy rule of thumb is to eat “nose to tail,” meaning utilize as much of the animal as possible. In a spiritual sense, this honors the life of the animal. From a health perspective, your body will benefit from all of the amazing collagen in your turkey. Homemade bone broth is incredibly healing, and fancy this: really aids digestion.

Bone broth can sometimes be a pricy recipe to make from scratch, so definitely do not let those leftover turkey bones and parts go to waste. Make a huge pot of bone broth overnight after your meal and sip on it all week long (recipe below).

Healthy Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup

Tip: Take note of how many servings each recipe yields; you may need to double or triple these recipes for a large crowd.

Wishing you and your loved ones a beautiful holiday!

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