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Nutrition on Thanksgiving

Nutritious Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is the beginning of the delicious holiday season known for packing pounds and breaking healthy diet habits.    However, not all festive foods are bad for you.  Cranberries in cranberry sauce are packed with phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals.  It is also good for the kidneys, bladder (most known in helping fight urinary tract infections), and skin.   Pumpkin is also commonly used during this holiday and is very high in carotenoids and is a good source of fiber.  Carotenoids are a class of phytochemicals that protect the eyes, heart, and have anti-cancer properties.    Try making your own pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce and reducing calories by substituting sugar for a combination of SweetLeaf stevia and raw honey.  You can also try making the pumpkin pie minus the crust and serve it like a mouse using canned coconut milk.


Don’t forget to spice up your foods!  Those spices and other potent flavor adding foods have tremendous health promoting properties.  See below to see the present your holiday spices are packing for you:

Helps digestion- cinnamon, ginger, clove, anise, fennel, oregano, rosemary

Anti-inflammatory- rosemary, tumeric, cinnamon, ginger

Anti-cancer- cayenne, turmeric, garlic, oregano

Lower blood sugar- cinnamon, clove, oregano, sage, garlic

Lower blood pressure- cinnamon, garlic, oregano, cardamom, onion

Antioxidant- clove, cinnamon, oregano, tumeric


Garlic supports the immune system and helps with bloods sugar control and cardiovascular health.  Allicin is one of the powerful phytonutrients in garlic.  In order to have the highest concentration of allicin in your food it is best to chop/crush fresh garlic and let it sit for 20-45 minutes before using.


The turkey is our middle man.   He is high in protein and will help fill us up, so instead of having three servings of stuffing we can be satisfied with just one.   Try substituting the bread in the stuffing with quinoa or wild rice to make it a good source of fiber and other nutrients.


Try and remember, there will be plenty of leftovers so you don’t have to try and get it all in at once and gorge yourself.  Eat slow and you will get full with less food.  Pack a delicious lunch of leftovers for the following day.  Fill up on salad and non-starchy veggies.  Have sensible amounts of protein.  Use coconut oil and coconut milk products for healthy fats which give flavor and fill you up.  When it comes to carbs its all about moderation.   Do your best.  Most importantly….


ENJOY! Enjoy the food!   Enjoy the time with the family!

Give THANKS for all you have, and remember to be GIVING!


Pumpkin Mouse  

This is a great substitue for pumkin pie.  It takes out the processed sugar and flour and adds good fats that fill you up.



▪                1 14 oz can pumpkin puree

▪                1/3 cup coconut milk

▪                2 tsp vanilla extract

▪                1 3/4 tsp pumpkin spice

▪                1 tsp liquid stevia*

▪                1/4 cup coconut oil or butter

Just blend and enjoy!


Cranberry Sauce

Take in less calories by substituting some of the sweetener for stevia.  Below is a great recipe!

▪                12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries

▪                1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

▪                zest of 1 orange

▪                1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

▪                1 teaspoon cinnamon

▪                1/4 to 1/3 cup raw honey, to taste

▪                several drops SweetLeaf stevia

Add orange juice and honey to a saucepan, bring to a boil. Add cranberries and boil until burst, stirring often (about 5 minutes). Reduce heat and simmer over low heat for 10 m inutes. Add spices, orange zest, and drops of stevia if needed (to taste); stirring to combine. Place cranberry sauce in a heat-proof container, cover and let set for 2 to 3 hours at room temperature. Place in refrigerator until chilled/ready to serve.

Adapted from: http://www.cookinggodsway.com/homemade-cranberry-sauce/


Healthy Stuffing Alternative

Using whole grains instead of flour products for your stuffing is a great way to increase fiber and other nutrients.  The fiber makes you feel fuller faster so you will be satisfied with less.

Healthy Quinoa Stuffing

Serves 8


▪                4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

▪                1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

▪                1/2 teaspoon Mrs. Dash or other low-sodium seasoning

▪                1/2 teaspoon dried parsley

▪                dash dried cloves

▪                2 cups quinoa

▪                2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

▪                2 cloves garlic, minced

▪                1 small onion, diced

▪                1 cup celery, chopped

▪                pinch of salt, to taste, if needed


In a medium saucepan bring chicken broth and spices to a boil. Add quinoa, cover, and reduce to a simmer. Continue cooking until all the liquid is absorbed, approximately 15–20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a separate skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic, onion, and celery and sauté 5–10 minutes until onion is slightly browned. Reduce heat to low, cover, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until quinoa is done cooking.

When quinoa has finished cooking, combine all ingredients and stir well. Add a pinch of salt if needed to taste. Serve immediately.

Note: Mushrooms, squash, and zucchini make nice vegetable additions to this stuffing. If the mixture is too dry, toss in a little olive oil before serving.

Per Serving: 213 Calories; 7g Fat; 11g Protein; 32g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 43mg Sodium.

From: http://www.drwhitaker.com/works-for-me-quinoa-stuffing



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