Menu Makeover: Healthy Thanksgiving Dishes
By Lynn Langway
Menu make-over: Healthy Thanksgiving dishes. Let’s talk turkey about overstuffing — and we don’t just mean your Thanksgiving bird. America’s harvest holiday has become an excuse to gorge on everything from chips and dip to towering slices of pumpkin pie.
“It’s common for many people to eat 2,000-plus calories in one sitting,” says Marjorie Nolan Cohn, RD, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. (That’s the amount that a sedentary 30-year-old woman needs in a day, according to the National Institutes of Health.)
The fault’s not entirely due to wobbly willpower; research at Cornell University and elsewhere shows that we’re encouraged to overeat by the abundant variety and tempting aromas of dishes and the heaping serving bowls — not to mention the urgings of well-meaning relatives. But you don’t have to give in to gluttony. Whether you’re cooking or going to Grandma’s house, try these healthier takes on Thanksgiving dishes and other calorie-busting tips:
Don’t go hungry.
Be sure to begin the day with a stick-with-you breakfast, like oatmeal with raisins and apples. If dinner doesn’t start till late, eat a light lunch that includes protein, such as a tuna sandwich or scrambled egg whites. “It’s nearly impossible for people to choose wisely when they’re starving,” says Cohn, the author of Overcoming Binge Eating for Dummies.