Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and per usual, I am staying in NYC and hosting dinner at my apartment with my sister and Susan. Our menu is going to be fairly traditional:
- Roasted turkey breast (we’ll probably do a rosemary rub of some sort)
- Sweet potato mash with honey and cinnamon
- Asparagus and snap pea salad with lemon
- Orange cranberry relish (from Trader Joe’s)
- Roasted Brussels sprouts with quinoa and cranberry
- French silk pie (made by Susan)
My sister found the Brussels sprouts recipe from Thug Kitchen, which is now my new favorite and most hilarious cooking/food blog. When she proposed we make it instead of stuffing for Thanksgiving, my first reaction was something like “wait whaaaat?” Stuffing is one of my favorite Thanksgiving side dishes. “But it’s healthier!” my sister said, and I (grudgingly) acquiesced.
last year’s Thanksgiving dinner + stuffing
A few people have asked if my Thanksgiving was “super healthy” or if I only make “healthy” things for the holiday since I’m an RD. My answer is usually something like “oh hmm, I guess so?” and judging by our menu above, it’s pretty well-balanced and maybe even healthier than some other Thanksgiving menus. But I’m not necessarily trying to be “healthy,” these are just the foods that myself and my guests like, and believe you me I would have been down with some delicious buttery stuffing instead of quinoa.
I firmly believe the holidays are about enjoyment – family, friends and food – and worrying too much about not eating certain things during this time of year can be so stressful it takes away from all of the fun. Just reading and hearing all of those “tips” for “avoiding the extra lbs/temptation/fat/etc.” on TV and the internet can make your head spin and sounds so negative. Dreading holiday parties or get togethers because of all the “bad” foods or fear of gaining weight isn’t worth it. I know it’s easier said than done, but using moderation during these times is my favorite way to enjoy everything special about the holidays (in my case, cookies) without feeling like it was too much.
Again, sometimes this is easier said than done, and I understand that not everyone has the (semi) fast metabolism of a runner. Holidays can be a challenge for anyone who struggles with their weight, but I think it’s totally possibly to maintain or continue losing weight and enjoy those special holiday treats without too much stress. One simple rule that I also tell a lot of my patients to do is fill half of your plate with vegetables (assuming they are not fried, creamed or heavily buttered/oiled).
The other two quarters are for lean protein and starch. Veggies are full of fiber and water (and vitamins/minerals/antioxidants!) that help fill you up enough so indulging too much in other dishes isn’t as possible, but not so much that you can’t still enjoy them in moderation.
I hope everyone has the best Thanksgiving
I’m curious – what are your thoughts on holiday eating? Favorite dish?