upwave is Turner Broadcasting's new lifestyle brand designed to entertain the health into you! Visit upwave.com for more information and follow upwave on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram (@upwave). Keri Glassman MS, RD, CDN is a nationally recognized nutrition expert and published author.
Many people can relate to the nostalgia of Thanksgiving. There is something so wonderful and comforting about having the same meal, in the same home, at the same table, off of the same plates, year after year. If you are a die-hard sentimentalist, it is really challenging to have even the smallest disruption to the celebration.
If, on the other hand, you are ready to make your Thanksgiving a little more contemporary and a little more modern, I have recommendations to honor your grandmother’s Thanksgiving, but with a healthy twist.
Keep the meal, keep the home, keep the plates, keep the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, football games and family gathering, but make some delicious shifts and you’ll hardly miss a thing.
Let’s talk turkey
If you can avoid the gravy and go for a tablespoon of jus you’ll continue to cut the fat and calories by one third. For those of you who like the numbers: 6 ounces of dark meat turkey with skin is 354 calories, while 6 ounces of white turkey breast meat is 176 calories.
Clean the greens
I’ll remind you that you should load up on the vegetables. For munching, you should choose the crudités over the cheese and crackers before the meal. If the meal is not going to be for a while, have one small serving of cheese or nuts to curb the hunger, but be deliberate and exercise control with portioning.
Vegetables fill you up and have the most nutrition. You won’t kick yourself for having an extra serving of Brussels sprouts.
Making nice with starchy vegetables
If you have to choose between sweet potato casserole or mashed potatoes, go for the mashed; 236 calories in a cup is less than half of what you’ll find under the marshmallow topping. Your baked sweet potato averages 103 calories, and even with a spoonful of gravy or a little pat of butter this choice will still be under 150 calories.
Stuffing, cornbread, biscuits galore
If you are a cornbread lover, one piece typically has 173 calories. That's not so very different from a buttermilk biscuit, which averages 150 calories.
I recommend choosing only one of the carb-delicious choices that are in front of you. Do not go back for seconds and make each bite last. Even if the meal is not completely modern, your approach will be, and that counts big-time.
When it comes to dessert, choose the one that looks like it has the most fruit, the least crust and have one satisfying piece. For example, go for the apple crisp at 227 calories, instead of the apple pie. Remember to say yes to the host and have a cup of tea with dessert. It will help you to slow down, be in the moment and savor your crumbs.
Have one with your meal, or before your meal and stick to sparkling water the rest of the day. If you usually have three glasses of wine, and instead only have one, you will save 250 calories. Well worth it, no?
Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you are able to satisfy your sentimental and modern selves with a delicious and slimmed down version of the holiday. Cheers!
This article was originally published on upwave.com.
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