We are just over a week away from one of the great food holidays, Thanksgiving. Yes, every holiday has its own delicious food traditions, but this one is centered on family and friends gathering around a table to give thanks and share a meal… and what a good meal it always is! In honor of this fast-approaching food-a-thon, here are some of our favorite ingredients you might be cozying up with at the table. We’ve also included some reasons why you may want to give an extra little thanks before you start devouring these foods, because not only do they taste good, but they can be your secret weapon to sticking to a healthy diet and maybe even avoiding a second (or third) slice of pie:
Turkey – This gobbler is generally the star of the feast. Not only is he succulent and juicy, making for a mean sandwich the next day, but he also is a lean protein that can help with your weight loss efforts. Lean protein is a must for building those muscles and keeping you satisfied, both of which are important if you’re going to keep up in the after dinner family football game. If you’re laughing at the thought of that football game, maybe a game of Twister with the cousins? A walk around the block? Your pick, but just know that Turkey’s got you covered.
Sweet Potatoes – You may remember this jewel-colored beauty from her Food Friendzy feature last spring. She can be a good choice for weight loss when she’s simply prepared, thanks to her fiber and ability to keep blood sugar steady. She’d rather skip the marshmallows and brown sugar, anyway; she doesn’t need them to shine on your table. She gets bonus points for the fact that she’s sweet and can help satisfy your sweet tooth before the pumpkin pie puts in an appearance.
Green Beans – Really any veggie that graces the table at your Thanksgiving feast is your ally in the battle of the bulge. All vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber that can help fill you up in a much better way than those overflowing baskets of bread rolls. Word to the wise: sneaky sauces can add loads of fat and calories to otherwise healthy veggies. Fill half your plate with fresh Green Beans and other veggies that don’t include those extra sauces.
Pumpkin Pie – No, Pumpkin Pie will not help you lose weight. Don’t start eating it as part of a new Pumpkin Pie diet fad. We invited Pumpkin Pie to the party today because, honestly, what would Thanksgiving be without this classic dessert? If you love it, have a small slice with your after dinner coffee; enjoy it, make the most of it, and know that when you make healthier choices in recommended serving sizes (3 ounces of lean protein, half your plate fruits and veggies, etc.) during dinner, you’ll have room for this tasty and decadent dessert. What’s the one dish you look forward to at Thanksgiving every year? How do you make the holiday a healthier and diet-friendly event for you?