Tis the season of indulging. Thanksgiving starts the beginning of the holiday season and eating seems to be the focus of the holidays. Reports of the total caloric intake of Thanksgiving range from 3000 to 4500 which is a lot higher than the recommended caloric intake of 2000 calories or less per day. This is the time of year when people gain those added pounds that they then spend the rest of the year trying to get rid of. Yet, it does not have to be an unhealthy or toxic meal. There are ways to make this Thanksgiving a healthy one.
First, lets talk about the turkey. If you are the one purchasing and cooking the turkey, I know its tempting to use a coupon to help lower the cost of one of the store bought turkeys. Some stores even offer FREE turkeys in exchange for shopping in their store. These turkeys are NOT free of antibiotics, they are treated poorly and fed GMO feed. Many of these turkeys were also given growth enhancing hormones. There is one called Ractopamine that is fed to turkeys to make them bigger so they can look perfect on a Thanksgiving table. This drug also known as Topmax has been found to cause death in animals. For a healthier Thanksgiving it is best to buy a Certified Organic Turkey. GMO's, drugs and antibiotics are not allowed in certified organic turkeys.
Fresh Cranberry Sauce
Cranberries are very healthy for you. They have infection fighting properties and are known to help with yeast infections and ulcers. They are a great source of vitamin C too. Canned cranberry sauce usually has these benefits but it is typically made with high fructose corn syrup. With homemade cranberry sauce you can control the ingredients. You can use an organic sugar or try a sugar alternative like coconut sugar or maple syrup while adding seasonings that are antioxidant rich such as orange juice, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.
Of course if you are making stuffing out of a box buy certified Organic stuffing. That way you know that there are no GMOs which many of the corn based stuffing mixes have. There are many yummy and easy to make Stuffing Recipes that you can make at home and control the ingredients, making sure that all ingredients are organic and what kind and the amount of salt you use.
Whether you are making sweet potatoes or white potatoes, most ways of preparation require unhealthy ingredients. If you are making sweet potatoes candied or topped with marshmallows you will get unnecessary amounts of sugar. Sweet potatoes have a natural sweetness already. If you want to add a sweetener try maple syrup. For mashed potatoes , leave on their skin for a fiber boost helping your digestion. You can add a vegetable broth for added vitamins, organic milk or a milk alternative like rice milk, grass fed butter and other ingredients such as garlic powder, rosemary, and healthy salts.
Pecan Pie and Pumpkin Pie are the most common dessert pies that are consumed on Thanksgiving. Pecans are good for your health but the Pecan Pie is made with a lot of sugar usually in the form of corn syrup (GMO) raising your sugar levels which will end up making you crash out. It is a healthier choice to eat a slice of pumpkin pie. There is a lot of fiber and beta carotene in pumpkin. Ideally making your own pumpkin pie is the healthiest option. Using Organic pumpkin puree, substituting Coconut Sugar for conventional Sugar and Coconut Cream for milk while adding antioxidant rich spices like cinnamon and cloves. Or make an apple pie.
I wish you all a healthy Thanksgiving!