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How to Take the Calories Out of Thanksgiving Meal Without Losing the Taste

David Kirsch’s Thanksgiving Makeover

The following post was written by New York-based trainer David Kirsch.

Thanksgiving is just two weeks away, and if you’re like me, you’ve started to plan the holiday festivities. You are probably debating about how much food to make-- and possibly wondering whether or not to pull those elastic-waist pants out from the closet! Indeed, for some, consuming 2 days worth of calories in one sitting is an annual tradition. But it doesn’t have to be that way . . .

On the day where we celebrate what we’re thankful for, your health should be at the top of the list. So why not make it a healthy Thanksgiving dinner? You heard me correctly. Undoubtedly, there will be your favorite dishes — including the turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes — but without the butter, sugar, and added fat. Your heart, waist, and arteries will be externally grateful.

  • Check out David's eating tip when you


    Here are my fat-saving tips for the Thanksgiving Day feast that will be good for your body and soul:

    • Appetizer: Instead of cheese and crackers, try low fat hummus with vegetable wedges or sweet potato chips.
    • Entree: For the main attraction — the bird — think brine. The technique ensures that you end up with a moist, seasoned and tasty bird. Instead of bathing the bird in butter, slow roast and baste it with a mixture of turkey stock, white wine, celery, carrots, onion, parsnips, and apples. For the finishing touches, I brush the turkey with olive oil when there is about 30 to 45 minutes of roasting to go.
    • Cranberry: Instead of a high-calorie, sugar-loaded canned sauce, follow a recipe using fresh or frozen cranberries. My favorite cranberry relish uses red wine and anise to balance out the intensity of fresh cranberries.
    • Stuffing: I opt for a rice-based stuffing instead of using high-carb breads. With olive oil, herbs, nuts and a little egg to help bind, this recipe will appease the stuffing addicts in your family.
    • Sides: My favorite sides are all healthier options than some of the standard fare. Roasted Brussels sprouts, green beans with lemon zest and almonds, and mashed sweet potatoes with cinnamon and balsamic vinegar are all deliciously nutritious.
    • Dessert: Try to minimize sugar consumption. For dessert, I would try things like dark chocolate and berries. But if you’re like me and you love your pecan pie, remember my adage: if some is good more is not necessarily better!

    To find out my exclusive recipes, I’ll be featuring Thanksgiving recipes each day this week on my blog. And later this week, you’ll get a few side dishes right here on FitSugar!

    For more tips, recipes, and workouts, be sure to check out all of David's posts here on FitSugar.

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    Join The Conversation
    SaraNoH SaraNoH 5 years
    I've definatly never had green bean casserole. it looks kinda gross actually xD
    wren1 wren1 5 years
    I will make those green beans he mentioned for sure. I'm really liking his guest posts on Fit :)
    Fitness Fitness 5 years
    Tivo, do you make with cream of mushroom soup?
    TiVo TiVo 5 years
    I like the cranberry suggestions, but I'm not giving up my green bean casserole!!!
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