It’s the time of year where you’ll be overloaded with holiday parties, family gatherings, and FOOD. Now, indulging here and there is 100% okay and encouraged. But, if you need some ideas on ways to lighten up your plate, here are some simple tricks to keep you & your waistline on track with your goals this holiday season!
Choose White Meat Over Dark – Whether your family roasts or bakes a turkey, choose white meat over dark to save on fats & calories. Not a turkey fan? Some other great lean meats to enjoy include chicken, pork tenderloin, and fish. There are lots of great plant-based proteins to serve as well – think tofu, garbanzo beans or lentils.
Choose Roasted Veggies Over Casseroles – There are so many holiday vegetable dishes out there, so I challenge you to try a new one this season. When in doubt… search Pinterest! Opt for a recipe without added creams, butter, creamy sauces, and extra oils. Instead, roast or grill veggies to serve with your meal. Some great roasting combos include brussels sprouts & carrots, broccoli & cauliflower, any seasonal squash & mushrooms, and sweet potato & greens beans. Lastly, fresh herbs bring a vegetable dish to the next level – so bust out the cilantro, mint, basil, or parsley for that extra boost.
Indulge in Fresh Salads – As I’ve said before, not all salads are created equally! To create a delicious and nutrient-dense side dish, build your salads with some roasted squash, dried and fresh fruit, extra veggies, nuts or seeds, and a protein source like egg, lentils, edamame, or beans. Have fun with it and serve your salad with a homemade oil-vinegar dressing.
Choose Mashed Cauliflower Over Potatoes – Nothing is wrong with a scoop of taters, but if you are looking to lighten up your plate, swapping the potatoes… or even just some of the potatoes with cauliflower is a simple way to cut the calories. Better yet, season the mash with fresh herbs & a scoop of plain nonfat Greek yogurt instead of butter or cream to save on more fats without sacrificing flavor.
Choose Whole Wheat Bread Over White – There’s always plenty of carbs on Turkey Day, so if you are looking for a piece of bread to scoop up some gravy with, opt for a whole wheat version. Also, if you are making homemade stuffing, definitely use whole wheat bread instead of white… and as an added bonus, add extra chopped veggies into the stuffing recipe too.
As Thanksgiving approaches next week, make sure to enjoy time with family & friends! And when dining and eating at holiday parties, remember – get satisfied, not stuffed! A smaller portion & “sample” goes a long way for your taste buds!
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