Updated: Nov 24, 2021
The holidays can definitely wreak havoc on our waistline, our gut and our psyche. Food is usually the center of all the parties and gatherings and many people fall victim to the pressures of making sure not to offend any family member by piling high all the food onto the plate
We are still in a pandemic that hits those with compromised immune systems the hardest. Our gut houses 70-80% of our immune system so we definitely want to ensure that we don’t go into dysbiosis over this holiday.
It doesn’t have to be this way, and if you are hosting the party or gathering, you have a way to keep yourself and your guests happy by making healthy alternatives that will taste so good no one will notice it is good for them (and you)!
Alternative #1: Trade the Jennie-O frozen turkey from the super market for a fresh turkey from your local farmer
These turkeys are loaded with hormones, antibiotics and are fed with GMO corn and soy. These are the very things that cause most of the diseases in this country. When buying a turkey (at any time of the year), make sure it is free-range or pasture-raised which means they feed on grass and are able to roam around.
Alternative #2 Instead of mashed potatoes try mashed sweet potatoes or yams
Swapping out the starchy while potatoes for the better alternative sweet potato not only will you have a sweeter version on your plate but you can avoid the heavy gravy that mashed potatoes usually comes with. Avoid wanting to make the overly sugary recipe of candied yams, boil the sweet potatoes/yams in water until they are soft. Mix them with melted coconut oil and top with cinnamon and Himalayan Pink Sea Salt.
Bonus: For a lower carb version use cauliflower - pull the florettes off and put them in boiling water until soft when forking them. Put in a blender with melted coconut oil, salt and pepper and mix. Voila – easy peasy and delicious!
Alternative #3: Swap green bean casserole with Roasted Brussel Sprouts
You would think because it has a vegetable in it that green bean casserole is a safe side dish. Well not when it is made with canned onions, milk and cream of mushroom soup. All ingredients are not only full of processed crap but will also cause a host of gut issues. Instead, toss brussel sprouts in olive oil, salt and pepper and roast them in the oven. You can add chopped sugar free bacon with it as well
Alternative #4: Trade in the traditional stuffing with gluten free bread and healthier ingredients
Instead of using bread and ingredients that are loaded with sugar, hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup and a host of other chemicals that you don’t want, start with using gluten free bread (or even a mild sourdough bread will do the trick) cut them in cubes, use grass-fed or pasture raised butter and low sodium turkey or chicken broth. Be careful with the broth and make sure to look at the ingredients as some contain added flavors and sugars.
Alternative #5: Swap the old version of pumpkin pie with a healthier one using gluten free crust
Only 3 ingredients needed for this crust…yes I said 3! Bob’s Mill gluten free flour, Salted grass-fed butter or Palm Oil shortening for dairy free and cold water. Voila!! Add healthier pumpkin filling and you have yourself one tasty and definitely healthier version of pumpkin pie. OR you can also use Almond Flour instead
Bonus: Full recipe at the end
There you have it, 5 healthier alternatives to traditional Thanksgiving meal
It is not imperative that you make any of these alternatives to still be healthier this holiday.
Tip #1: Make sure to drink water throughout the day, hydrate as much as possible – especially if you are drinking alcohol. Limit alcohol or add water/seltzer water whenever possible. Staying hydrated will help you stave away from overeating
Tip #2: Everything in moderation…
Instead of piling on a full serving of each food, take small bites of each and still leave a little room left on the plate. You don’t need to gorge yourself to full capacity, taste each one until satisfied.
Tip #3: Have fun!