A ‘healthy-ish’ Thanksgiving
By Sonia Cervantes
Thanksgiving is about family gatherings, friends and giving thanks for the wonderful things in our lives. It is also about enjoying delicious food!
Whether you are hosting a feast, dining-in or traveling to see family; there are a few things you can do to make it special.
The Thanks. Start with a grateful heart. Having an attitude of gratitude is very important during these challenging times. It is good for your health, increases happiness, improves sleep, boosts your immune system and makes people feel appreciated. Make it a grateful gathering at your dinner table by adding a blank card on each place setting and asking your guests to write what they are thankful for. Sharing is caring!
The giving. During this season of giving, volunteer to serve food or donate to help provide life-changing meals to less fortunate families in our communities. Every year, organizations all over San Diego serve hundreds of Thanksgiving meals to those in need.
The Feast. You don’t have to sacrifice tradition or compromise taste by making a healthier Thanksgiving dinner. There are plenty of creative recipe swaps that can make your dinner “healthy-ish.” A few delicious swaps include baking the turkey instead of frying it, and choosing skinless, white or dark meat. Replacing mashed potatoes with a cauliflower mash made with olive oil and cauliflower, is very nutritious. Replacing the bacon in the caramelized brussels sprouts with roasted grapes gives it a bitter-sweet deliciousness. Making quinoa stuffing with apples and cranberries instead of bread stuffing adds fiber and protein into your diet. Serving a hearty mushroom gravy instead of creamy gravy is less fatty and has more nutrients.
Natural fruit is a great option for a light dessert. Baked pears stuffed with oats, walnuts and cranberries, drizzled with maple syrup and a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg is a perfect dish for a Thanksgiving sweet treat!
San Diego is filled with fun things to do with family, friends, or to enjoy in solitude. From turkey trots to holiday parades, from the beaches to the hiking trails, take a moment to reflect on the things you are grateful for this Thanksgiving, and make this holiday special for you and your loved ones!
Sonia Cervantes is a certified health coach, certified nutritionist, master herbalist and founder of Sonia’s Healthy Corner. She helps individuals, families and organizations take care of their health through simple everyday lifestyle changes. She describes herself as a “foodie with a passion for health.”