Thanksgiving is one of those days we’re allowed to eat whatever we want. It’s tradition and we feel responsible for keeping it alive!
Sometimes, though we don’t feel so good at the end of the day and even the day after.
Here are a few tips to help you feel your best on Thanksgiving and to help you stay on track after the feast.
#1-Exercise Before You Eat– Start the day right by getting out for a run or power walk or enjoying your favorite fitness class before the feast. You’ll feel energized and invigorated for the rest of the day. If weather permits go for a nice leisurely walk with your family or friends after the meal. This not only helps with digestion but also helps you connect more closely with those you might have missed in all the confusion.
#2-Enjoy The Foods You love-Go ahead and enjoy the Thanksgiving day dishes that you look forward to and that you really love. Don’t waste energy on feeling guilty about eating these once-in-a-while foods. But be sure to get back on track the next day. The biggest mistake people make at the holidays is making Thanksgiving a week-long feast instead of a one-day indulgence.
#2-Be Creative With Leftovers Instead of indulging over and over…..and over again with the same leftovers why not put a healthy spin on your traditional Thanksgiving leftovers this year? Be creative! Check out the recipe ideas below to see how you can turn your leftovers into healthful, delicious meals.
Spice up your leftover turkey by creating these fajitas that everyone will love!
4 (8-inch) whole wheat tortillas
8 tablespoons sweet potato hummus (recipe below)
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
1 cup caramelized corn
¼ cup chopped red onion
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 cups shredded roasted turkey breast (approximately 7 oz.)
2 cups chopped baby spinach
1 medium ripe avocado, mashed
4 teaspoons fresh cilantro
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 teaspoon chile powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
In a medium saucepan heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Saute onion and tomatoes for 2-3 minutes. Then added the turkey, chili powder, cumin and salt and continue cooking for another minute, stirring to coat. Add the spinach to the pot and cook just until slightly wilted, about one minute. Set aside to cool slightly.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet. Add the corn and cook over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes, stirring often, until corn is golden brown.
Meanwhile, mix the yogurt and spices together in a small bowl.
Spread the tortillas evenly with sweet potato hummus to 1/2″ of edge. Divide turkey and vegetable mixture evenly among tortillas and top with mashed avocado and chopped cilantro. Serve with a dollop of the spiced yogurt if desired.
Sweet Potato Hummus
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (save liquid)
1/3 cup tahini
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon salt
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cup cooked sweet potato cubes
Combine all ingredients except sweet potatoes in food processor and process until smooth. Add bean liquid or water if mixture is too thick. Add sweet potatoes and continue to process until desired consistency is reached. Taste and add salt if desired.
Turkey and Brussels Sprouts Frittata
Here’s a great idea for a post-Thanksgiving breakfast. Frittatas can be cooked ahead of time and are a great, super-nutritious meal for any time of the day..including lunch and dinner!
8 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium shallots, finely chopped
3 cups chopped fresh Brussels sprouts-use leftover cooked if you have on hand
Pinch sea salt
1 cup chopped roasted turkey breast
1/2 avocado, cubed
Preheat oven to broil.
Combine eggs and salt, pepper and parsley in a medium mixing bowl; whisk to blend. Add avocado to egg mixture.Set aside.
Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick oven safe skillet over medium-low heat.
Add shallots and Brussels sprouts; cook, stirring frequently, 4 to 5 minutes, or until shallots are translucent.
Pour egg mixture and turkey into skillet with vegetables; cook, stirring frequently with rubber spatula, 4 to 5 minutes, or until egg mixture has set on the bottom and begins to set on top.
Place skillet in oven. Broil for 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned and fluffy. Watch carefully!
Cut into 6 servings. Enjoy with your favorite fruit!
A Warm Salad For Cooler Days
The best way to lighten up a meal and get more nutrition bang for your buck is to add your favorite vegetables, including greens. Naturally, we don’t always feel like eating cooling salads on cold days but adding warm vegetables and vinaigrette to a big green salad creates an easy, nutritionally dense satisfying winter meal. Here’s another great idea for your Thanksgiving leftovers but you can make this salad with chicken or chicken sausage anytime!
6-8 cups mixed greens
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved and roasted
8-10 thin slices red onion
2 cups 1/2″ cubes butternut squash, roasted
1/2 cup chopped dried figs
2 cups leftover turkey cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup oven-roasted walnuts
1/2 avocado, cut into small chunks
Sea salt and pepper
2 tablespoons cup goat cheese crumbles, optional
3-4 tablespoons sherry vinaigrette
Preheat oven to 425º. Peel and cut butternut squash into 1/2″ chunks. Place in medium bowl with 1 tablespoon olive oil and mix to coat. Put squash on a baking sheet and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Roast for 15 minutes then turn the squash with a spatula, to be sure it browns evenly. Continue cooking for 10 more minutes until golden brown and slightly crispy. Remove from oven.
At the same time the squash is cooking, add the halved cherry tomatoes to a glass pie dish. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Roast in oven for 15-20 minutes until soft. Remove from oven and set aside.
Turn heat to 350º. Place walnuts in a single layer in a small oven-proof dish and roast in oven for 5-10 minutes, tossing the nuts around occasionally to ensure even cooking. Nuts are done when they appear a shade darker and smell toasty. Remove from oven and set aside.
Assemble the salad: Put the greens in a large bowl. Add the turkey, figs, squash, tomatoes and onions. Top with walnuts, avocado and goat cheese if desired. Season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Add vinaigrette and toss to coat all ingredients evenly. Serve with warm whole grain bread.
Turkey and Squash Chili
This recipe combines the best of your Thanksgiving leftovers to make a delicious meal for a cold winter night!
1 sweet onion, chopped
2 red bell peppers, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons cumin
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 cans twenty eight-ounce crushed tomatoes (I prefer Cento)
2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups butternut squash, cubed into 1/2″ pieces and roasted
2 cups cooked turkey
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon lime zest
Salted plain yogurt
Heat the oven to 425. Peel and cut the squash into 1/2″ pieces. Place 2 cups of the squash in a bowl and mix with 1 tablespoon olive oil to coat. Arrange squash on a baking try in a single layer and season with a generous pinch of salt. Roast for 15 minutes then turn the squash with a spatula, to be sure it browns evenly. Continue cooking for 10 more minutes until golden brown and slightly crispy. Remove from oven.
In a large pot or Dutch oven heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes until softened. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper and cook for 1 minute. Turn the heat down to low and pour in the 2 cans of tomatoes. Stir in about 1 cup of broth to reach desired thickness. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and cook for 30 minutes at a low boil.
Add turkey, beans and squash and continue cooking for at least 30 more minutes, covered on low heat. Cook longer if possible.
Serve with lime zest and salted yogurt.