Tag Archives: Thanksgiving menu

Healthy holiday sides – Tufts

This Thanksgiving don’t abandon healthy habits…celebrate them. Whether you are getting together virtually or in person, seasonal produce brings color, flavor, variety, and nutrition to your table. What better way to carry on the Thanksgiving tradition than to celebrate with a table laden with seasonal plant-based foods—as we give thanks for the Earth’s nourishing and delicious bounty.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Focus on Fall Flavor: Autumn’s array of produce—like winter squashes, apples, root vegetables, cranberries, and pomegranates—are packed with nutrients, fiber, and other health-promoting bioactive compounds. “When you bring in variety from plant foods, you satisfy the desire for flavor without excessive calories, and you feel very satisfied,” says Susan B. Roberts, PhD, director of the Energy Metabolism Laboratory at the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging.

Many traditional Thanksgiving sides—like sweet potatoes with marshmallows and creamy green bean casserole—have lots of added sugars and saturated fat. “Most things taste good with sugar and butter,” Roberts says, “but you can also prepare many tasty things without, and enjoy something a little different, or even completely new.”

If nothing says “celebration” like sweet, add fruit to vegetable dishes for sweetness without added sugar. Richly colored, naturally sweet, and packed with nutrients, seasonal fruit is a crowd-pleaser. Apple makes a great compliment to sweet potatoes; dried apricots or prunes add earthy sweetness to roasted root vegetables; pears, berries, and persimmons make a delicious addition to salads; and pomegranate arils are gorgeous sprinkled over most any dish before serving. A dash of cinnamon or nutmeg adds depth and fall flavor.

Cooking method influences flavor as well. Roasting vegetables, for example, causes caramelization, intensifying their natural sweetness (see below for Dr. Lichtenstein’s veggie roasting instructions).

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Loving the Bite – Holiday Menu 2014 – Guest Post Kelli Jennings

Regular readers know that I am a nearly daily bike rider here in Chicago. As such I read some cycling blogs, too. One of my faves is Loving the Bike.

And, one of that blog’s regular contributors is Kelli Jennings, an Expert Sports Nutritionist who writes Ask the Sports Nutritionist.

Kelli is not only a world class athlete, but also a first rate nutritionist who writes clearly and accurately about her healthy and intelligent eating.

She recently wrote an item Holiday Menu for 2014 that I thought would interest you. Most importantly, you do not have to be a cyclist to benefit from Kelli’s information. This menu should benefit you, too, whether you ride a bike or not.
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Loving the Bite Holiday Menu 2014:

Roasted Turkey in an Oven Bag from food.com. I’m actually just learning this technique as well for a moist, delicious turkey. Use olive oil or avocado oil rather than canola oil, and enjoy this for dinner and leftovers!

Vegetarian Main Dish: Roasted Acorn Squash Stuffed with Wild Rice Salad from Beard & Bonnet.  Whether eating vegetarian or you want a flavorful side dish, look no further than roasted, stuffed acorn squash. Yum!

Roasted Beet Winter Salad from Cooking Light.  Cooking Light is one of my favorite go-to sites for recipes and always comes through with delicious dishes.

Spicy Broccoli Soup from Loving the Bike.  Quite simply, you won’t be disappointed with this soup.  It’s refreshing, healthy, easy, and satisfying.

Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes from Food Network. In a word, these are simply delicious.  To make them a bit healthier, omit sugar and use 3 Tbsp organic honey.  Replace butter with coconut oil (or if using butter, try to used butter from organic fed or grazed cattle).

Roasted Cauliflower from Food Network.  Good for you and Delish!

Crustless Maple Pumpkin Pie and No-Bake Pecan Pie Squares from the Detoxinista. Both are grain-less, gluten-free, and dairy free.  While they are light and nourishing, they still taste divine. Enjoy!

Spiced Wine from Lush Wine Mix.  These wine cocktail mixes are packed with organic and real-food goodness.  They use freeze-dried fruits and organic spices (which means antioxidants from the mix and the wine!), and contain 50% less sugar than traditional mulled wine. They taste A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Saves you time and money since you don’t have to track down all the spices yourself. (Lush is offering coupon code holidays2014 for 25% off 3 and 6-packs – US shipping only).

Just like last year, these dishes and beverages are colorful, use a variety of vegetables, nuts, and spices, and are oh-so-deliciously-whole-food. Enjoy the food, enjoy the company, and reflect on all you have to be thankful for this year.

Menu’s set. Done and done. While sticking to healthy foods, it is possible to feel a bit stuffed, still. If this happens to you, try our anti-junk food smoothie or go for the full Apex Nutrition Smoothie Cleanse (use code lovingthebike for 25% off) …you’ll feel good as new.

This year, we wish a nutritious, active, peaceful, and wonderful Holiday for you and yours. Enjoy the food, enjoy friends and family, and reflect on all you have to be thankful for this year. Cheers.

Fuel Your Holiday.  Fuel Your Ride.  Nourish Your Body.

Kelli

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