4 Tips for a Healthier Thanksgiving Weekend

Food has an amazing way of bringing people together. Every single holiday is an opportunity for extravagant feasts, themed treats, or celebratory drinks. I’m certainly not complaining, either. Food is delicious, and friends are fun, so why not combine the two as often as possible? While I love nothing more than enjoying a slice of my grandmother’s pumpkin pie with my rambunctious cousins, it can certainly add up over a very long holiday season. Thanksgiving weekend has the potential to derail much of your hard work, mentally and physically.

If you’re trying to stay on track through the holidays, check out these tips to avoid rolling into December with a food belly, but still get the quality friend and food time you look forward to.

1. Stick to one “cheat” meal

Chances are that between family thanksgiving, friends-giving, and maybe even works-giving, you’ve got more than one delicious feast lined up. Think ahead, and choose just one meal that you allow yourself to try everything and anything you want. Have 3 servings of stuffing if you want, and seconds of dessert. If you get excited about binging at thanksgiving  (let’s be honest, that’s most of us), get it out of your system and then move on. You don’t have to ignore your favourite dishes at other dinners, but hold yourself to a moderate portion, knowing that you’ve already had your fun!

2. Don’t take home the tempting leftovers

A slice of pumpkin pie for breakfast alongside your cup of coffee sounds glorious, I know. However, you’ll probably feel a sugar crash soon after, and find yourself hungry much too early. If you’re fortunate enough to be given a doggy-bag to take home, fill up on turkey and veggie dishes, that you can use for leftovers at work.

3. The early bird gets the … burn!

Failing to plan is planning to fail, right? If you’re traveling and out of your usual routine, your workouts could also fall by the wayside. Take matters into your own hands and check out gyms and fitness classes in the area. Try and book a workout for morning, before festivities begin and you become tied to the couch with your great-Aunt. Better yet- bring a friend or family member with you!

OFFER ALERT: BRING A FRIEND FREE
Staying in NYC over the weekend? Come on in for a group class and bring a friend, on us! Email us here and refer to this blog post to bring a friend or family member free (space permitting)! Offer valid Friday-Sunday 11/24-11/26. *Friend must be first time visitor.

4. BYO healthier alternatives

When heading to a potluck-style thanksgiving, make one or two dishes that are on the lighter side. If you run into a plethora of unhealthy options at the feast, you can rest assured that you’ll be able to fill your plate with your own better-for-you creations! Some simple swaps like Greek yogurt for heavy cream, and spices for sugar and fat-laden sauces will keep flavor without adding unnecessary calories. Bonus- it’ll spark a little more creativity in the kitchen, and I bet your taste-testers won’t even tell the difference!

Click Picture for Healthy Thanksgiving Stuffing

 

-BSF Brand Ambassador Nicole Bunyan

Garlic Chili-Maple Roasted Butternut Squash & Brussels Sprouts

Thanksgiving is a week away and we are already getting hungry for those quintessential Turkey Day recipes! We made this roasted squash and veggie side dish for our Friendsgiving meal on Sunday and to say it was a fan favorite would be a serious understatement. Swap out the traditional sweet-as-dessert yams for this better-for-you (and tastier!) recipe from Ambitious Kitchen.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of brussels sprouts, halved, stems and yellow outer leaves removed
  • 4 cups cubed butternut squash (about 12 ounces)
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (regular chili powder will work just fine)
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/4 cup gorgonzola crumbles
  • OPTIONAL: 1/4 cup chopped pecans

 

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Add butternut squash and brussels sprouts to a large bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, maple syrup, garlic, chili powder and cinnamon. Pour over squash and sprouts and toss to evenly distribute. Pour on a baking sheet and spread out evenly.
  3. Roast in oven for 25-30 minutes or until squash is fork tender and sprouts are slightly crispy and caramelized.
  4. Remove from oven, cool for a few minutes then immediately transfer to a large bowl.
  5. Top with pomegranate seeds, gorgonzola crumbles and pecans, if desired. Serve immediately.

 

Image & recipe source: Ambitious Kitchen (www.ambitiouskitchen.com)