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Thanksgiving Advice

Posted in Uncategorized on Nov 26,2014

thanksfulforhealth

I wish everyone a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

I’d like to share some advice as we we enter into the holiday season:

Remember, this is the time of year we are supposed to show gratitude for the people and things that we have in our lives. The food on our table is there to bring us together, encourage conversation and time spent together. The food is also there to warm not just our bellies but also our souls. I want each and every one of you to indulge in your favorite treats tomorrow, but do so with mindfulness and intention. Enjoy and savor each delicious bite rather than scarfing it down quickly, it takes days to prepare a full Thanksgiving feast and usually we finish our plates within 5-10 minutes. Try to extend your meal, slow down and really take notice of every scent, texture and flavor.

The average person will gain between 5-8lbs from now until New Years. Don’t be that person. Think about how much work you’ve put in so far and make the decision not to un-do it. Life is about balance, and so I’d like to remind you that Thanksgiving is just two meals, dinner and usually Friday morning leftovers. For the meals leading up to and preceding, aim to eat especially “clean”, avoid excess sugars, flours, unhealthy fats, and processed foods. If you balance your holidays with days of light and healthful foods, you will not gain the weight.

I urge you to look at the next month as a time to maintain your current weight, if the scale stays where it is at today, you have succeeded, focus on continued weight loss in the months following.

Use the weekend after Thanksgiving as a weekend to detox and reset your cravings. A simple example of a “detox” day looks as follows: start your day with egg whites and a green smoothie, make a fresh salad with leftover turkey for lunch or warm turkey and vegetable soup, snack on some raw vegetables, raw nuts, a piece of fresh fruit, and cook fish with leftover vegetables for dinner. Drink at least 60oz of water, have some green tea, and make sure you add in some sweaty, calorie burning exercise. If you follow this plan this coming weekend, by the time Monday rolls around you will be the same weight as you are today, even after indulging in Thanksgiving treats, how great is that!? Even better, your cravings for high fat foods and sugar will be gone and it will be much easier to get right back on track.

Check out some healthy ways to use your Thanksgiving leftovers!

sweetpotatopancakesturkeysandwichturkeysoup

Sweet Potato Breakfast Pancakes

1 cup Mashed Sweet Potatoes

2 cups Almond Meal

2 Eggs

4 Tbl Almond Milk

½ tsp Baking Powder

½ tsp Vanilla Extract

½ tsp Ground Nutmeg

½ tsp Ground Cinnamon

Whisk all the wet ingredients together (including mashed sweet potatoes).

In a separate bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together Add the dry ingredients to the wet in 3 batches and stir well.

On a hot skillet (or frying pan), add a little coconut oil so that the pancakes don’t stick. Or, if you’re using a non-stick pan, you can cook without any additional oil.

Note: the batter will be thick and paste-like. Unlike normal pancakes that pour nicely, you may have to spread it into a pancake form on the skillet.

Cook over medium/high heat for 2.5 minutes

Using a large spatula, flip the pancakes.

Next, press down on top of the cake with the back of your spatula – this will cause the excess batter to ooze out of the dough ball forcing it to now have the thickness and shape of a pancake.

Cook the pancakes for about 1.5 more minutes on this side.

Flip the pancake once more, press down with the spatula, and cook for 30 more seconds.

Plate with an extra sprinkle of cinnamon and honey then enjoy!
Turkey Salad with Cranberries & Pecans

4 cups chopped, cooked turkey breast*
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup low-fat Greek yogurt**
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1-1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves (or 1-1/2 teaspoons dried)

In large bowl, stir together all ingredients until well combined. Serve in a sandwich or on top of a bed of lettuce. Put a dollop on crackers for an easy appetizer. MAKE AHEAD TIP: Will hold a day or two in fridge, but yogurt gets absorbed into turkey when it sits overnight. Stir in additional yogurt to restore the creamy consistency if eaten the next day.

EASY VARIATIONS:
Plain turkey salad — omit the cranberries and pecans.
Swap out the fruit — in place of the cranberries, try grapes or apples.
Swap out the nuts — in place of pecans, try sliced almonds, walnuts or pine nuts.

Turkey & wild rice Soup

2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 ½ cups reduced sodium chicken broth
3t Tbsp flour
1 cup long grain wild rice, uncooked
1 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
2 cups turkey breast, cooked & shredded
1 cup coconut milk
salt and pepper to taste

Place the carrots, celery, onion and garlic into a large stock pot along with 1/2 c. of the chicken broth.
Sauté over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until the onion is translucent and the vegetables are tender.
Sprinkle in the flour and continue to stir for about 3 minutes.
Add in the rest of the broth, along with the wild rice, thyme, and bay leaf. Bring the pot to a boil. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 25-30 minutes.When the rice is tender, add in the turkey. Cook for 10 minutes. Add in the coconut milk and cook for another 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, remove the bay leaf.
Slow Cooker Turkey, Sweet Potato and Kale Soup

Ingredients:
1 large onion, chopped fairly small
1 cup chopped celery
6 cups turkey or chicken broth
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 tsp. dried thyme
fresh ground black pepper to taste
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes (about 3 cups sweet potato cubes, although a little more or less won’t hurt)
2-3 cups chopped cooked turkey or chicken
4 cups finely chopped kale (packed into measuring cup)
2-3 T balsamic vinegar

Peel and chop the onion and chop enough celery to make one cup chopped celery; add onion and celery to the slow cooker. Add the poultry seasoning, dried thyme, turkey or chicken stock, and fresh ground black pepper, turn on the slow cooker and let it start to cook while you chop the sweet potatoes.

Peel sweet potatoes and cut into 3/4 inch cubes. Add to the slow cooker and cook for 4 hours on high or 8-9 hours on low.

Chop up enough turkey or chicken to make 2-3 cups bite-sized pieces. Cut away the ribs from the kale leaves and finely chop enough kale to make 4 cups packed kale. Add the turkey and kale to the slow cooker, and turn to high if you’ve been cooking on low. Cook for 1-2 hours more on high, or until the kale is done to your liking. Add balsamic vinegar and stir into the soup. (I would start with 2 tablespoons and taste to see if you want to add more.) Serve hot.

 

Happy & Healthy Thanksgiving!

Your Dietitian,

Rachel

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