All Entries For thanksgiving

Get Fit before You Feast: A November Challenge!


Halloween is just around the corner, and we all know what that means—the holiday season will be upon us before we know it. Unfortunately, the "most wonderful time of the year" also tends to be the most stressful time of the year for a lot of people; especially for those who are striving to lose weight or get fit. How do you avoid falling off the wagon during such a busy time full of food, friends and family obligations? 
Posted 10/27/2014  12:00:00 AM By: Melinda Hershey : 212 comments   76,118 views
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10 Ways to Eat Pumpkin (That Aren't Pie)


Whipped cream-laden Thanksgiving pie notwithstanding, pumpkin has a healthy nutritional profile, with more than 200% of our RDA of Vitamin A, plus about one-third of our daily Vitamin C and nearly one-quarter of our fiber requirements. And it has just 40 calories per serving. (Without that whipped cream, of course.)
 
Canned pumpkin is widely available in grocery stores during the fall/winter holiday season. (Note: Be sure to grab plain pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie mix in a can, which includes sweeteners, spices and other ingredients to make a pie.) One can of pumpkin contains about 1 3/4 cup. Some canned pumpkin can have a slightly bitter taste, so it’s best suited for sweet recipes. For pumpkin-based dips or sauces, try making your own pumpkin puree; it’s super easy.
Posted 11/14/2013  6:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 33 comments   88,174 views
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A Dozen Trim Thanksgiving Recipes


Are you ready for some new, healthy recipes to liven up your Thanksgiving Day table? I've created five new recipes that celebrate the season of giving thanks. No doubt about it, pumpkin takes center stage this year, along with squash of all kinds.


Whole Wheat Couscous with Spinach and Squash

228 calories, 2 g fat

Each one cup portion has a serving each of whole grains and vegetables.
Posted 11/13/2013  3:00:00 PM By: Meg Galvin : 61 comments   104,507 views
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7 Easy, Delicious Ways to Eat Leftover Turkey


Ahhh, roast turkey: that centerpiece of the Thanksgiving table. How frequently do we prepare turkey throughout the rest of the year? Not as often as we might; turkey can be very straightforward to cook and, thanks to its high-quality protein and low levels of fat (particularly lean turkey breast) can be a healthful option, too.
 
If you find yourself with a pile of turkey leftovers this holiday season, we have a few clever ways to make next-day use of the Thanksgiving bird. And if you’re looking for good year-round turkey recipes, we’ve got you covered there as well.
Posted 11/23/2012  6:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 26 comments   24,702 views
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Thanksgiving Tips and Trivia


Happy Thanksgiving! Let's celebrate with some trivia and tips related to the holiday.
Posted 11/22/2012  2:00:00 PM By: Denise Tausig : 35 comments   20,715 views
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14 Last-Minute Thanksgiving Side Dishes


Are you still looking for Thanksgiving meal plan ideas? Don’t panic. Instead, use these simple recipes to give your Thanksgiving dinner the special touch you're looking for. These recipes utilize ingredients you may already have on-hand and are healthier versions of the traditional full-fat calorie laden side dishes. Happy Thanksgiving! 
Posted 11/20/2012  6:00:00 PM By: Samantha Donohue : 8 comments   11,372 views
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12 Mashed Potato Makeovers


As you start to plan your Thanksgiving menu, think about this historical tidbit: Sarah Josepha Hale, an influential 19th-century editor who also wrote "Mary Had a Little Lamb," is to thank for your traditional Thanksgiving meal. Not only did she pitch the idea of making Thanksgiving a national holiday to President Lincoln but she also suggested that home cooks make food that was popular at the time rather than what the Pilgrims and American Indians ate at their first feast.

While Hale's holiday stuck, her push for us to cook modern food faded. The roast poultry, stuffing/dressing, and yes mashed potatoes stuck around. Why? My guess is that it’s because we know what we like and most people, my dad especially do not like change.  I have news for my family (actually I may not tell them!) that I am taking a stand. I'm going to start with a mashed potato makeover.  I plan to swap out some of the traditional white potatoes with other tubers or vegetables that might boost fiber and add nutrients or flavor. 

Here's how you can make over your mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving Day or any other night they're on the menu.
Posted 11/19/2012  10:00:00 AM By: Meg Galvin : 18 comments   19,644 views
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7 Ways to Eat Mindfully on Thanksgiving or Any Day


My mother is the most mindful eater I know.  She is 90 years old, and I have never known her to rush through a meal, eat in a car, dine in front of the TV, or consume food out of a box or bag.   While she is showing signs of dementia, my mom is still fully aware of the food she is consuming at all times.  She eats when she is hungry and stops when she is full.

An avid gardener, canner and freezer for most of her life, she treats food with respect, values the labor needed to bring it to the table, appreciates how it nourishes the body, and cherishes the variety of flavors and texture that come from quality food and impeccable preparation.  When I take her out for lunch, I know I need to be prepared for a meal that will last at least 75 minutes… and it’s not because of slow service. My mother will correctly set the table at a restaurant where the silverware is all wrapped in the napkin.  She will carefully place the napkin in her lap and talk about the need for cloth napkins.  

On a recent fried chicken adventure, we discussed the coating and frying technique, the homemade mashed potatoes with just a few tiny lumps, the tangy coleslaw, and the cinnamon-sugar sweetened acorn squash.  I am sure you will understand why I had to giggle as I recently read how one can now dine with Buddhist brothers for a “day of mindful eating” at the Blue Cliff Monastery.  Trust me: These monks have nothing over my mother. 

This Thanksgiving season may be the perfect time to start dedicating a little time daily to increase your appreciation and focus on the foods you select, prepare and eat. 

Start with small, simple steps.  Implement techniques and easy acts to eat more slowly, experience the flavors of food more intensely, and to seek pleasure in the complete eating process.  I share these ideas as a starting point:
Posted 11/16/2012  10:00:00 AM By: Becky Hand : 31 comments   12,218 views
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Quick Tips for a Trimmer Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving is a time for family, gratitude, and, of course, food. According to the Calorie Control Council, the average American eats more than 4,500 calories and 229 grams of fat on Thanksgiving Day.  This includes nearly 1,500 calories consumed from appetizers, chips and dip, and drinks before sitting down to the dinner table for the annual feast.
 
If you're trying to lead a healthier lifestyle during this time of year, those statistics can be a little hard to swallow.  But don't panic! We have plenty of holiday survival strategies to keep you on track with your health goals.  Here are some useful tips and ideas to help you enjoy a full Thanksgiving that's trim--but not missing any of the trimmings.
Posted 11/15/2012  10:00:00 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 3 comments   9,413 views
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Torch Calories with the Turkey Burner Workout!


I created this simple, five-exercise workout circuit to get your heart pumping and your muscles moving so you can torch some serious post-Thanksgiving calories. It doesn't use any equipment, and it can be done anywhere, even in a small hotel/guest room! The quicker you move and the more times you repeat the circuit, the higher your calorie burn will be.
 
Are you up for the challenge? Try it today and then comment below to tell us how you did!
Posted 11/14/2012  6:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 134 comments   158,066 views
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Better Butternut Squash Recipes


Butternut squash is my favorite fall vegetable. I tell my kids that it's like vegetable candy, because roasting brings out its natural sweetness and reduces the need for sugar in our favorite fall deserts.
 
Consuming butternut squash adds fiber, potassium, magnesium, vitamins A and C to your diet. Here's an easy way to pick the perfect one at most stores. For maximum efficiency, roast extra squashes and freeze the extra flesh for later use. If you're short on time, just pick up some pre-cut Butternut Squash in the freezer section at your market. Another fun tip is to grind the seeds in a coffee or spice grinder and use as a natural thickening agent in soups and stews. 
 
Celebrate fall with these butternut squash recipes. 
Posted 11/13/2012  6:00:00 PM By: Samantha Donohue : 15 comments   16,718 views
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Healthy Family Fun for Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving is a time to follow family traditions, from baking Grandma's classic pie recipe to watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Unfortunately though, those traditions often revolve a lot around food--and not at all around being active. I know that was the case for me as I grew up, and I've seen the same trend with other families as well. Over the years, I have tossed out some of those old and unhealthy traditions that I grew up with and have started up healthier traditions with my own family. It's completely possible to still be festive while making healthier choices—plus, I don't regret my decisions later!

One of my favorite traditions that I have adopted in recent years is Coach Nicole's idea of ''moving my feet before I eat.'' Whether it is getting out for a walk or playing with my dogs, I make sure to get some physical activity in during the big day. This is not only a great way for me to stay on track with my fitness goals during the holiday, but it's also a wonderful way to spend time with my family--and include them in my healthy lifestyle!

This year, I encourage you to take the spotlight off the fattening feast, and focus on what really matters--bonding with your family. Create your own healthier holiday traditions with these ideas.
 
Posted 11/13/2012  10:00:00 AM By: Denise Tausig : 19 comments   16,294 views
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Family Circle's Healthy Thanksgiving Menu


Sacrifice neither your diet nor the traditional Thanksgiving experience with this menu. Each serving of these classic dishes contains less than 500 calories, less than 18 grams of fat and less than 800 mg of sodium.
 
Roasted Cauliflower Soup
Makes: 8 servings
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Roast: 30 mins
Get recipe 
Posted 11/13/2012  6:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 9 comments   9,212 views
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The Apple Pie You Gotta Wrap Your Hands Around


This Thanksgiving, you can put away the pie server, the pie plate, and even those forks because the pie you'll be serving up is of the grab-and-go variety--though it's so delicious you'll want to sit and linger over it!
 
Just like petite pies in mini muffin tins were popular last year, this year it's all about hand pies. These tasty, versatile treats are perfect as a dessert after a holiday meal, in a lunch box or as after school treat. They're also a great single-serving dessert for all the holiday open house parties. If you remember the personal size fruit pies from your youth, fear not: I've cut more than half the calories and fat. 
 
Chef Meg's Apple Hand Pie National Brand Apple Hand Pie
161 calories 470 calories
9 grams fat 20 grams fat
 
 
In addition to traditional fruit pies, you can turn these into portable lunches, too. Savory or sweet, these pies are easy to make and easier to eat! And they only take eight minutes to bake and 15 to prep. Let's get started!
Posted 11/12/2012  10:00:00 AM By: Meg Galvin : 18 comments   11,935 views
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How Well Do You Know Your Thanksgiving Portions?


Thanksgiving is coming, and let's be real: You're probably going to eat more than you normally would, and you may or may not track it. Different people take different approaches to the Thanksgiving meal. Some take a little of everything, while others just pick a few favorites to indulge in. But which is the best strategy when you're watching your weight? Here's a scenario comparing two different Thanksgiving plates.

Uncle Bob loves Thanksgiving food and wants to taste it all at least once, so he takes some of everything: Turkey, gravy, stuffing, two types of potatoes, and, of course, green bean casserole. He even saves room for a little bit of Grandma Mildred's famous pumpkin pie for dessert. Here's what Bob's plate looks like:

6 ounces turkey (white meat, with skin)
1 cup mashed potatoes
1/2 cup green bean casserole
1 cup sweet potato casserole
1/2 cup turkey gravy
1 dinner roll
2 pats butter
1/2 cup stuffing
1/4 cup cranberry sauce
½ a slice pumpkin pie

Grandpa George, on the other hand, is a no-frills kind of guy and likes to stick with the basics. Since he's watching his weight, he skips the butter and gravy. He even passes up on dessert! Here's what George's plate looks like:

6 ounces turkey (dark meat, with skin)
1.5 cups mashed potatoes
2 dinner rolls
1 cup stuffing
1 cup cranberry sauce
1 cup green bean casserole
 
Between Bob and George, who consumed the least amount of calories during the Thanksgiving feast? (No cheating by checking your Food Tracker—Make your best guess!)
Posted 11/10/2012  10:00:00 AM By: Melinda Hershey : 55 comments   36,330 views
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