Ah Thanksgiving – one of the few times we give ourselves a free pass to eat whatever we desire. But after all the turkey and cranberry sauce have been stuffed down our gullets, the regret and guilt quickly set in. For many people the days following the big meal are spent in recovery. The more motivated spin the calories away at Soul Cycle, while the rest of us take a relaxed approach – lazing the pounds away; a.k.a. lounging on the couch Netflix marathoning Property Brothers. Luckily, certified nutritionist Tara Zamani of ContentChecked is here to help us indulge without the bulge with tips that will lessen the effects of the gut-busting Thanksgiving binge. If you’re working on any stories focusing on tips, tricks, or healthier recipes to keep you feeling great during Thanksgiving, I’ve provided some of Tara’s commentary below and I’d be happy to share healthy recipes to integrate into your holiday meal plan if interested.
Avoid using canned and packaged foods when possible. As much as canned and pre-packaged foods seem like a wonderful solution when you’re in a crunch these foods are highly processed and usually contain high amounts of sodium and preservatives that can lead to dehydration and increased food cravings. If possible, take some time to properly plan out your meal and prep items the night before to avoid canned foods. You’ll have fresher ingredients and your body won’t suffer the consequences of over-indulging those cravings. Reduce or eliminate caffeine. When preparing to indulge in that delicious meal, cut back on your caffeine intake a day or two prior. The ups and downs of caffeine which include dehydration and blood sugar swings will stabilize, reducing cravings associated with dehydration and blood sugar swings. You’ll naturally eat less and won’t even notice! Eat more sweet vegetables and fruits. Indulging in these foods will satisfy sweet cravings and will prevent you from indulging in pies and treats that will leave you feeling heavy and bloated. Adding in sweet vegetables helps to crowd out less healthy foods in the diet and will leave you less likely to reach for that extra piece of pie. Experiment with spices. Coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, saffron and cardamom all naturally add flavor to your foods, increase serotonin (love hormone) and reduce cravings. Sprinkling these spices over your foods will naturally suppress cravings without having to give up the foods you love.
I love partnering with people dedicated to helping others live healthier. Tara Zamani also provided us three delicious recipes that you’ll feel good about serving and all will enjoy this Thanksgiving.
Holiday Spiced Nuts & Seeds
1 egg white
1 teaspoon pink salt
3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (mix of cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ cup coconut palm sugar
4 cups raw unsalted nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans and cashews)
2 cups raw pumpkin seeds
Preheat oven to 250 degrees
Place egg white in a bowl and whip until frothy
Stir in sugar, salt and spices & combine it with the nuts and seeds coating them evenly
Use a large baking pan and line it with parchment paper and place nuts in one layer on top of it
Bake for 45 min to 1 hour and let the nuts cool down for few minutes
Store the extra in an airtight container in the fridge
*If you are vegan you can omit the egg white and use maple syrup or coconut nectar instead of coconut palm sugar and add 1 tablespoon coconut oil. If you are allergic to nuts, you can use all seeds like pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.
Mashed Cauliflower & Turnips
1 medium sized cauliflower chopped up
3 turnips chopped and peeled
1 tbsp grass fed butter
1/2 cup coconut milk or another nut milk
7 chives chopped
2 tbsp organic sour cream
pink salt and black pepper for taste
Bring water to a boil and add the chopped cauliflower and turnips and cook for 20 min
Once tender, drain the pot and add the vegetables, nut milk, sour cream to a blender
Blend until it’s smooth and cream. Garnish with chopped chives & add salt-pepper for flavor
Lemon Garlic Brussel Sprouts
1 large brussel sprout bulb- cut each in half
3 garlic bulbs- chop up the cloves of each
3 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1 tsp pink salt and black pepper
Preheat oven to 450 and toss the chopped brussels sprouts and garlic in coconut oil
Use parchment paper over a large baking sheet and place the brussel sprouts on top
Let it roast for 20-30 min. and stir and roast for another 15-20 minutes
Toss the brussel sprouts with lemon juice, chili pepper, salt and black pepper and serve
I’m Lois Trader and I’m dedicated to my family, my six beautiful talented grandchildren and groups, people or apps that provide all of us healthier ways to live. Learn more about ContentChecked here.