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5 “Eat This – Not That” Ideas for Thanksgiving

1600 Calories? Let's Rethink This...
1600 Calories? Let's Rethink This...

I stumbled across this very scary infographic tonight that illustrates how much we tend to eat at Thanksgiving dinner and how long you will need to workout in the gym to burn off the calories. I generally like to live in ignorant bliss about such things but being told that the typical diner on Thanksgiving will eat more than 1600 calories is a bit sobering.  Although, historically my boyfriend and his brother have competed to make the most absurdly packed platter of food and then proceeded to lick the plate clean so really I shouldn’t be surprised.

I love pie, mashed potatoes, and turkey as much as the next girl but perhaps we might want to consider switching out a few of those classic dinner dishes with a slightly more healthy alternative?

A heaping bowl of cranberry sauce is a must-have for most people. I grew up eating the crazy stuff that comes out of a can and then graduated to making my own, but most homemade recipes call for at least a cup of sugar to balance out the tartness of the ruby red berries. This recipe for Raw Cranberry Sauce from Elena’s Pantry uses a blend of fresh orange, lemon, and dates to naturally sweeten the dish. Very intriguing!

I’m the very bad (or good depending upon how you look at it) guest who brings the super addictive cheese laden artichoke dip to all the holiday parties. But I think I may have to try this Edamame Guacamole and see if miss all of that feta and parmesan or not.

One of my favorite thanksgiving dishes is sweet potato casserole. It might as well be dessert though, what with all of the mini-marshmallows and brown sugar piled onto the poor vegetables. But I really love sweet potatoes. They’re an absolute must for me on holidays. Perhaps a roasted version with savory mushrooms and a sprinkling of pretty parsley would be a better option though?

Stuffing is yet another side dish that I can wax poetically about for paragraphs. Sure, there are vegetables in there but I have pretty vivid memories of helping my grandmother toast and cut loaves and loaves of bread into bite sized pieces back in the day. After all of these early bootcamp mornings I don’t really want to overdo it completely. So I might be persuaded to exchange my stuffing for a few scoops of this dazzlingly colored Red Quinoa with Butternut Squash, Cranberries, and Pecans.

Confession time: I don’t even like pumpkin pie. There I said it. So this low-calorie Frozen Pumpkin Mousse kills two birds with one stone.

In reality, we will all probably eat and drink a little too much next Thursday, but I hope the above ideas inspire your cooking a bit and if you do have three slices of pie and half the turkey don’t worry — the new session of bootcamp starts the following Monday.