Healthy Thanksgiving Day Meal Planning
I have said how much I LOVE this time of the year! Crisp, cool air and the celebration of family and friends! For many years we have looked at Thanksgiving as a “free pass” to over-indulge in high fat, high-calorie foods and somehow it has just become a “free for all” with food!
I think it’s important to get a really solid plan together this year if you have been dieting or putting out a great deal of effort to become healthier! There is no reason to throw caution to the wind for a holiday!
I am going to give you some healthy and delicious alternatives for the traditional Thanksgiving Dinner meal that you will love. These will help you make new traditions that you will be proud to serve and love to eat!
As I have said the average American consumes 3000-3800 calories just on the day of Thanksgiving in the sit-down meal. That is not counting breakfast, appetizers, snacks or alcohol.
[bctt tweet="The average American consumes 3000-3800 calories just on the day of Thanksgiving" username="weightstyle"]
Think about this, you could have family in town or at someone else's home and you get up on Thanksgiving day. Most of my clients tell me that they see the ENTIRE day as a time to celebrate with family and friends. A lot of times this can include the typical yummy breakfast casserole, cinnamon rolls or maybe eggs and bacon, sausage and biscuits with gravy, etc.
What if you had some great alternatives that were healthy and would support your weight loss goals? Here is my favorite breakfast recipe that will surely please a crowd!
Holiday Breakfast Casserole
- 10 eggs, scrambled in a bowl
- 20 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 1 bag fresh baby spinach, chopped
- ½ onion, chopped
- 1 pint fresh mushrooms, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded, and chopped
- 1 Tbsp cajun seasoning
- Fresh ground pepper to taste
- 1 container reduced fat crescent rolls
- Additional 8 ounces of reduced fat shredded cheese
Mix all the ingredients except crent rolls in a bowl and then pour into a 9X13 glass dish sprayed with Pam spray. Bake at 350’ for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and unroll the crescents and place over the mixture. Sprinkle the top of the casserole with additional cheese and bake another 15 minutes. Let cool and serve.
Serves 4-6 YUM!
Pumpkin Pie Morning Coffee Shake
- 1 packet vanilla protein shake mix
- ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 3 drops vanilla extract
- 4-6 ice cubes
- 6 ounces prepared coffee
- 1 tsp brown sugar Splenda
Place all ingredients in a blender or similar (such as a ninja or juicer). Blend until smooth. This is a great, filling way to start the day and even add a fruit bowl for more volume.
Most people will eat breakfast in the am so if they plan to have their thanksgiving meal around lunch or early afternoon always remember that “sight and smell” are the two triggers for overeating.
When that delicious turkey has been in the oven for an hour, the house will begin to smell amazing! One of the lower calorie things I love to make is deviled eggs. Easy to make and everyone loves them! I like to put a little twist on mine:
Thanksgiving deviled eggs
- 18 eggs, hard-boiled
- ¼ cup light mayo
- 3 Tbsp dijon mustard
- 3 Tbsp dill relish
- 1 tsp cayenne powder
Cut eggs in half and remove yolks and place in a bowl with the rest of the ingredients.Mix well and spoon equal portions of the yolk mixture back into the eggs. Chill for 1 hour and serve!
Let's move on to the main event if you will! The loved Thanksgiving Turkey!!
This is one of my very favorite low calorie and delicious recipes that I want to share with you!
Turkey with Cranberry Glaze and Yummy Stuffing
- 2-3 pound boneless skinless turkey breast
- 2 tablespoons "I can't believe It's Not Butter" spray
- 1/4 cup onion, chopped fine
- 1/4 cup celery, chopped fine
- 1/4 cup carrot, grated
- 1/2 cup low fat chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 1/8 teaspoon salt & pepper
- 2 cups dry whole wheat bread cubes
- 1 6-ounce can whole cranberry sauce
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar Splenda
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- Make the stuffing and glaze prior to taking out the turkey.
- For the stuffing: Melt butter spray in a skillet on medium.Saute the veggies (onion, celery, and carrots) until soft and add the broth and the poultry seasoning.
- Add the bread cubes. Mix and let cool.
- For the Glaze: Mix the ingredients well in a bowl and split the glaze into two bowls so you have some to serve one the turkey is done
- Heat the oven to 325’. Take out the turkey and place the breast on a cutting board and slice parallel to cutting board. Try to leave last inch or so intact. Cover turkey with plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet.
Place the stuffing onto one side of the breast and fold over. You will need to secure with toothpicks. Spray your roasting pan with Pam butter flavored nonstick spray and pour half the cranberry glaze over stuffed turkey spreading it out over top of the breast. Bake for about 1- 1/2 hours, until juices aren't when you slice into the meat. Let it rest for about 5 minutes to lock in the moisture
Per Serving: 371 Calories; 4g Fat (9.9% calories from fat); 1g Saturated Fat; 58g Protein; 23g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 141mg Cholesterol; 301mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Grain (Starch); 7 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1/2 Fat; 1 Other Carbohydrates.
Susan’s Easy Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- 8 large baking potatoes (I like Yukon Gold)
- 1 can fat-free evaporated skim milk
- ½ cup “I can’t believe it's not butter” spray
- 1 Tbsp garlic powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
I like to bake the potatoes in a 350’ oven for about an hour (or until tender). Some people boil them but I like my mashed potatoes with the skin on. So once they are soft, I remove them and place in a mixture. I add the rest of the ingredients and mix until super creamy and smooth!!
Thanksgiving Apple Cider Brussels Sprouts
- 1 pound fresh brussels sprouts, cleaned and trimmed.
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 3/4 cup of low sodium vegetable broth or low sodium chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons Splenda
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat the oil in a sauté’ pan over medium heat. When hot, add the brussels sprouts and salt. Sauté, stirring occasionally until the sprouts become golden – 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the size.
- Cut each brussels sprout in half.
- Boil half of the stock and then turn down the heat to a simmer (cover) and simmer until the sprouts are almost tender,
- Add the last of the stock, Splenda, and the apple cider vinegar. Place pot over medium-high heat, and stir occasionally, The liquid should reduce after about 5-6 minutes. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
Per Serving: 96 Calories;2g Fat 6g Protein; 16g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 125mg Sodium.
Thanksgiving Day Meal Planning: Desserts
Now it's time for the long-awaited desserts! Most Americans love the Pies that can only add to the regular disaster of caloric intake that has just happened with the typical meal! I say let's try something new that has great taste but also is pleasing to the waistline!
Here is one of my favorite Thanksgiving dessert recipes!
Baked Apples Stuffed with Cranberries
- 4 tart apples
- 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar Splenda
- 1 tablespoon agave or honey
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Core and peel the apples, cut the tops leaving about a ¾ of the apple. Hollow out and place them in a baking dish, and fill with as many cranberries as you can place in the center of the apple.
- Put the water, brown sugar Splenda and honey in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally Make sure the mixture is dissolved and then pour over the cranberry mixture and apples.
- Preheat the oven and bake the apples for about 1 hour but make sure that occasionally you baste the apples. I like to top with some fat-free cool whip and a sprinkle of apple pie spice!
Per Serving: 156 Calories trace Saturated Fat; 1g Protein; 46g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 13mg Sodium.
[bctt tweet="Control what goes in your mouth and you can still enjoy the food!" username="weightstyle"]
Remember during this holiday that you can ABSOLUTELY control what goes into your mouth and still enjoy the food if you make some preparations ahead of time! I hope you try some of these recipes and they can be enjoyed and made year after year in your home to create New traditions!
I would be happy to guide you through this entire Holiday season including Christmas and New Years to help you reach your weight goals whether that is weight loss or even weight maintenance. It is possible!!