Make Your Thanksgiving Meal Healthier

      It's possible to make your Thanksgiving meal a little healthier without sacrificing your favorite foods. "Healthy Grocery Girl" Megan Roosevelt, RD, LD, joined us to share her secrets to making the foods you love healthier:

      • Cranberry Sauce: Most commercially prepared & canned cranberry sauce contains High Fructose Corn Syrup. Choose an organic canned cranberry sauce if you like it by the can or, simply make your own! (See my homemade cranberry sauce recipe on my website.)

      • Brussels Sprouts: Many people do not like Brussels sprouts because they were prepared for them as a child boiled or steamed, which makes them mushy, slimy and unappealing. Instead, bake your Brussels sprouts with olive oil, and a little salt and pepper in the oven so they become crispy and delicious. (See my favorite ways to make Brussels sprouts on my website)

      • Pumpkin Pie & Holiday Desserts: It's pretty well known that dessert is not a health food. But with everything we eat, we should strive to use the healthiest ingredients possible. This way we are nourishing our body, even when we indulge. Try baking with coconut butter instead of shortening, butter or lard. Use maple syrup or coconut sugar instead of white granulated sugar. Coconut sugar is actually considered a low glycemic food, making it a better sugar substitute for those who are diabetic or watching their weight and overall health.

      • Dessert Toppings: Does your pie just look too naked without a dollop of whip cream or ice-cream? Try almond or coconut ice-cream instead of cow's milk ice-cream. A plant based diet is healthier for you, even when it comes to your dessert choices.

      • Holiday Stuffing: Stuffing should satisfy, not stuff you! Avoid boxed stuffing, which is commonly packed with preservatives, and artificial ingredients such as High Fructose Corn Syrup. Making your own stuffing is really quite simple, and tastes a whole lot better. The main ingredients to stuffing are herbs, spices, vegetable or chicken stalk, chopped vegetables and a really good bread. I have a super yummy Dave's Killer Bread stuffing recipe, in which you can use any of your favorite Dave's Killer Bread varieties. (The full recipe and instructions are on my website.)

      • The Turkey: It is best to buy your holiday turkey organic, if you can. Organic meat means you will avoid the potential growth hormones, antibiotics and excess sodium used to "plump" the birds up. Many grocery stores are aware of this dietary preference and offer both organic and non-organic turkeys.

      Suggestions to Avoid Over Indulging So You Can Enjoy the Holiday Season Even More

      • Remember, Thanksgiving is not the last supper. There is not a shortage of pie in the world. You can have seconds, and you can have leftovers tomorrow.

      • Eat slowly.

      • Thanksgiving is not a day to deprive yourself. If you feel like a piece of pie, eat it. And don't feel bad about it. It's Thanksgiving. Holidays are supposed to be enjoyable and that includes spending time with family as well as enjoying your meal.

      • Fill half your plate with greens. Filling up on vegetables side dishes, which tend to be lower in calories, can help you keep your health and waist line in check.

      • At parties or before the meal, don't hover by the buffet. You will end up nibbling on more as you talk with people. Instead dish up what you want to eat, on a small plate, and then go and be social, away from the food.

      • Breath. It's the Holiday's! Enjoy it :)

      For great recipes and more information on eating healthy, visit Megan's website.