It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away. I wasn’t convinced it was really November until I saw a touch of snow this morning and some crazy holiday shoppers. I mean, I’m not one to holiday shop this early, but more power to you if you do!
Speaking of holiday shopping, I will be releasing my gift guides next week so stay tuned on some great ideas for yourself and others. Until then, let’s get to talking about the next holiday, Thanksgiving. It is probably one of my favorite holidays because of the food. I wasn’t always keen on the food but now I can’t get enough of stuffing, cranberry sauce, and of course, pumpkin pie.
The funny thing is, that as I was writing this post, I realized how many of the recipes for Thanksgiving I have already made before. While I’m obviously biased, I think that cooking food from scratch is always the way to go. Read on to find my favorite holiday dishes for Thanksgiving.
Don’t Worry, Be Happy
You might be coming to this post thinking I’m going to tell you to “eat this, not that” and while you may think you want that, that’s not what I’m all about. I’d much rather you eat your cake and enjoy it then eat a non-fat, artificially sweetened, chemical-laden piece of fake low-calorie cake. Food is SO much more than calories.
That being said, I still want you to eat healthily! So I want to show you some of my favorite recipes for Thanksgiving that are made with real food ingredients. It’s something you can feel good about inside and out AND enjoy because it actually tastes good. I don’t know about you but I’m not about eating food that doesn’t taste good.
We’re going to call this year’s Thanksgiving, don’t worry, be happy as a stuffed turkey.
That all being said. I’m happy if you’re happy. However, what I’m not happy about is when we self-sabotage ourselves around holidays. We go into holiday parties thinking we are under control. Then our aunt brings our favorite sweet potato casserole and all bets are off. Not only are all bets off today, but now they are off for the rest of the weekend and then through the rest of the holidays because F it.
That’s not how your diet/lifestyle should work. Instead, you should aim to get to a place where you can eat the casserole, enjoy it, and then start the next day as you’ve done every other day of the year, real food and lifestyle habits in moderation as they fit your goals. You are in control of your situation, so wake up, go for a walk, make yourself a normal breakfast and get on with your life, you’ll feel better and you’ll be able to enjoy Thanksgiving for years and years to come without the worry that your waistline is going to rule your mind, body, and soul…because it shouldn’t.
Healthy Thanksgiving Swaps
Alright, so I decided to give you insight into what I would recommend as far as healthy thanksgiving swaps. I recognize that you may not be in control of every dish at the party, but maybe you can ask the hostess if you can chip in and bring one, or a few of the dishes!
Instead of frying your turkey (I know, tempting) or buying turkey already pre-made, make your own in the oven! Baste it in some butter and stuff it with onions, garlic, lemons, oranges, limes, etc. instead of stuffing. Check out this recipe here.
Swap the canned cranberry sauce, for homemade cranberry sauce. After all, do you really want your cranberry sauce to look like a can? I guess some might just for the nostalgia of it, but I prefer the real deal. It tastes better and makes the whole house smell better! Not to mention, a lot of that jarred stuff has high fructose corn syrup, hard pass.
Swap the bagged stuff for your own, it will taste better and will be lower in sodium and likely other processed crap. The good news? It will be richer in flavor. I recommend making the stuffing outside of the turkey and stuffing the turkey with garlic, onion, lemons, limes, oranges, etc. Check out my favorite stuffing here.
Swap the jarred gravy for your own made from the drippings of the turkey. Saves on processed food items and reduces food waste. Check out this delicious recipe for inspiration.
Green Bean Casserole
Sweet Potato/Yam Casserole
Swap the marshmallow-laden sweet potato casserole for roasted sweet potatoes or a sweet potato souffle. Marshmallows are fun, but so not necessary, save them for another day!
Pumpkin Pie &/or Apple Crisp.
I’m not going to tell you to skip the pie or crisp that would just be silly. What I will recommend is skipping out on the whipped cream and making it yourself. You then get full control of the ingredients AND most likely will have fresh fruit/veggies involved.
Instead of opting for one of those sugary mixes, make your own using fresh fruit and seltzer water/club soda. You can even opt for an alcohol free drink as needed. Here are my recipes for you to enjoy: Holiday Punch, Red Wine Sangria, and White Wine Sangria
What are your favorite dishes on Thanksgiving? Let me know 🙂
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