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Lighten Up Your Thanksgiving Dinner
Nutrition

Why You Shouldn’t Lighten Up Your Thanksgiving Dinner

A recent search on how to “lighten” up your Thanksgiving dinner had some interesting options. For your stuffing, they suggested you use rice, barley or quinoa instead of bread crumbs. That would be okay if you were going for gluten free – certainly not for taste. To lighten up your sweet potatoes, get rid of those tiny little marshmallows or pecans and add grated ginger and lightly sautéed garlic. Yum, right? Or how about substituting butter and milk in your mashed potatoes with Greek yogurt and chicken broth? Doesn’t all that sound delicious? No? You don’t think so? Neither do we.

How about instead of decimating all those wonderful dishes your family has been enjoying for generations, you prepare them with the ingredients just as the recipes call for.

If butter, cream, cheese and bread were all that bad for us, the French would be fat and dying early deaths, which they aren’t. What the French aren’t eating is a lot of processed foods. Perhaps you should find a better recipe for that old standby, green bean casserole, mainly because it calls for processed foods. Even if you use fresh or frozen green beans, you are still adding a can of cream of mushroom soup and French fried onion rings which are truly bad for you. If you absolutely must have a green bean casserole, try this homemade version.

Another thing the French do is take time to enjoy their meals and savor all the flavors in the food. They also eat much smaller portions than we do. It is amazing how full you will feel with less food if you eat slowly and pay more attention to the conversation than whatever is on your plate. So have all the Thanksgiving dishes you love, just less of them and save room for a small dessert. DON’T stuff yourself and decide to have your dessert later. You will eat a much bigger piece of pie or other dessert once your stomach has had time to empty. And speaking of desserts, you might try this recipe for lemon goat cheese tart as an alternative to pecan and pumpkin. It is fabulous.

At Prime Women, we believe that enjoying good food is one of the pleasures of life and one we don’t want to sacrifice with age. That is why we are launching our own weight management program this January. It is called PLATE, an acronym for portion control, lifestyle, accountability, timing and exercise. You will be hearing more about PLATE in the coming weeks, but for now, enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings and don’t feel the least bit guilty in doing so. Just remember to eat smaller portions, send the leftovers home with the kids or guests (save the turkey breast meat for yourself) and take a nice, long walk. Happy Thanksgiving!

This article is for informational purposes only, is not intended to override any dietary restrictions you may have, and is not a substitute for medical advice.

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