This Thanksgiving, we’re thankful for health, happiness and community. We wanted to give back to our followers by launching our #GivingThanks contest, which is all about being thankful for Thanksgiving’s indulgent cuisine — while also staying on track with health goals.
We asked you, our followers, to share with us how you’re making your family’s Thanksgiving meal healthier this year. We received an overwhelming amount of contributions, and we loved seeing your healthy meal alternatives!
After the contest’s close on November 15 at 11:59 p.m., five winners were randomly chosen. To inspire your healthy Thanksgiving meal alternatives, we’re sharing the contest winners’ healthy meal ideas:
Winner #1: Mary R.
“Use olive and coconut oils and bone broth instead of butter for basting on the turkey, and gravy made with low-sodium bone broth and my homegrown fresh herbs. … No stuffing! No white potatoes! None of that nasty canned green bean/soup/fried onion mess! No humongously fatty, sugary desserts.”
Winner #2: Rhonda G.
“We will be having more fresh vegetables and having a fruit tray in place of some desserts.”
Winner #3: Caro O.
“Making things as simple from scratch, natural ingredients right down to no additives, preservatives from the color of a cookie to the smell of a pie to the honey in the drinks. No plastic or boxed packaging this holiday. Like most days in our year. Farm to table or ranch to table in our case.”
Winner #4: Kay Z.
“We try to limit the ‘naughty’ foods to dessert. I do not add sugar and marshmallows to the sweet potatoes and use little butter in preparing the other vegetables.”
Winner #5: Kimberly S.
“Trying to incorporate a heart healthy diet by replacing refined sugars with fruits & natural sweeteners, replacing oil in recipes with avocado or applesauce, and tweaking some of those family recipes to be a little more health/heart friendly.”
Why is it important to eat heart-healthy meals?
Indulging in creamy, fatty, and sugary sides and sweets during Thanksgiving is almost inevitable. But eating too much of this kind of food can put stress on your body — especially if you eat mostly healthy foods every other day of the year. This season, we’re inspiring you to add a little balance into your Thanksgiving menu.
1. Buy a fresh bird: There are many benefits of going with a fresh turkey. First of all, thawing a frozen turkey can take hours. But a frozen turkey might also have added salt, sugar and preservatives. Go fresh, and look at the ingredients before you buy.
2. Use a small plate: One great way to keep from overindulging is by tricking your eyes. By using a smaller plate, you’ll likely feel full before a Thanksgiving food hangover kicks in.
3. Get some fresh air: Thanksgiving is the perfect time of year to put your feet up and rest with loved ones. But it’s also a great opportunity to get outside together. Walk off your turkey and stuffing after dinner, or gather everyone for a game of touch football before dessert.
Ready to take on this tasty challenge? Read more tips for a heart-healthy Thanksgiving feast.
This article is for general educational purposes only and is not intended to be used as or substituted for medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified health care provider with any questions about your health or a medical condition. Never disregard or delay seeking medical advice because of something you have read on the internet.