Monday, November 18, 2013

Pros/Cons of a Healthier Turkey Day by Melinda Curtis

Let's face it.  Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks and binge eat.  Tradition is often a mixed bag, isn't it?

For years, I've been hosting our family's holiday celebrations (more a function of the size of my kitchen and living room than a function of my desire/ability to cook).  And in the past five years, I've been cutting out the fat and calories from our family meal.

Wheat rolls instead of white butter-top?  Yes!

Steamed vegetables instead of green bean casserole?  Yes!

Crock pot turkey instead of baked (no crispy skin)?  Yes!

If only I could entice my clan to eat low sugar pies!  As it was, my purchase of low fat whipped cream one year nearly met with rebellion!  It's to the point where the family starts grilling me at Halloween as to what changes I'm planning for the big day.

This year, instead of five different pies, I'm only going to provide two - one traditional (pumpkin) and one I can't seem to wrench the men in the family away from (banana cream).  There will be no blueberry, no apple, no pecan. 

So where do you stand on Thanksgiving food?  Is it a one-day indulgence (anything goes)?  Or a battle of wills with your family?  Would love to hear about it.
Mel

11 comments:

  1. Mel, I love all of the holiday traditions that come with Thanksgiving. But over the years most in my family who manage to get together have made changes like you mentioned. I haven't seen the green bean casserole in several years. And while we have the traditional turkey, I've noticed everyone removes the skin on the meat they eat. We changed to light cool whip, but we have some folks who insist on pecan pie (they were raised in the south) We've gone to only baked sweet potatoes and often no gravy. And where our gatherings used to kick off with meat, cheese and cracker platters as the cooks fixed dinner, now we have veggie trays with light dip. I've also noticed people don't pile their plates high with food like they once did. And most let one plate filled with food do them. It's really about the getting together and spending the day catching up and just enjoying the camaraderie. You keep up the calorie attack. One day everyone will thank you.

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  2. Since I'm currently on a successful weight loss journey T-day is all about making healthy choices and portion control. Will I have a bite (or two) of my absolute favorites? You bet. But I will take my time, savor it and appreciate it all the more because of that. I'll be in your neck of the woods, having dinner at my daughter's house. But I'll certainly bring some things that I feel confident I can eat without sabotaging myself. I'll enjoy my family and be thankful for all I have.

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  3. Hi Mel!
    As someone who worked in Weight loss for a long time-part of the job was working to help people on a weight loss journey through the holidays where food temptations are everywhere. As a clinic advisor we also reminded people that their success in their weight loss was about a lifestyle change so of course they could enjoy some of their favorites, but it was about choosing the right things and portion control...instead of eating the whole piece of pie-be satisfied with a bit:) That sort of thing.
    Hope your dinner is wonderful and it really is all about time spent together!

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  4. Since Ron is diabetic, we're always relatively careful about what we eat without being obsessive. But he LOVES his turkey, and especially the skin, and the dressing and cranberries. I bake the sweet potatoes like you'd bake a russet, and we have rutabaga mixed with carrots (I think that's an old New England thing) and Brussels sprouts with pearl onions. I'm not that wild about turkey, so I can eat my dressing (made with Portuguese sausage) and a veggie and be happy. We do overindulge, but since we're usually careful most of the time, I don't worry about it too much. Lately, it's just Ron and me because the kids are far-flung, but we get together between Thanksgiving and Christmas. And we have so much to be grateful for every moment that the holiday is rich for us, even if it's just Ron and me.

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  5. Mel, we do the crock pot turkey, too! :) It's our new staple for turkey day. And we've started using smaller plates--and only ONE starchy side--we have to decide between potatoes or stuffing. Sometimes it comes down to rock, paper, scissors to see who wins. Happy almost Thanksgiving!

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  6. Ok, I'll admit it. It's a one day indulgence for us. We usually go to my mom's house. I don't know what I'd do without an over roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, buttered rolls, and green bean casserole! I am thinking about making taffy apple salad this year too. As for dessert, we usually have pumpkin and french silk pies on hand, but sometimes we have brownie turkeys for the kids as well! One day isn't going to set us back that much hopefully!!

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    1. Whoops, I meant OVEN roasted. I think I offended my mother. LOL

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    2. Well, I was relating. Over-roasting is how I do it.

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  7. Thanksgiving is the only day of the year I eat gravy. And my apple pie is loaded with butter. And it wouldn't be Thanksgiving without at least a few black olives eaten off my fingers.

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  8. head hung in shame... I'm the one who brings the green bean casserole. I mean, it's something I can cook! Green beans, cream of chicken soup, and onion strings on top. Hey, I volunteer.

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    1. It's one of my favorite things. And now that they make cheesy onion strings, it's even better!

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