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5 Healthy Foods to Add to Your Thanksgiving Meal

By Brandi Swieter

Thanksgiving brings families together over a hot meal. While the time may be enjoyable and the food delicious. many people are often unaware of just how many calories they’re truly consuming. Typical Thanksgiving dishes like mashed potatoes with gravy and stuffing are not as healthy as they should be. Rather than eating these common sides, there are at least five healthy alternatives to add to make a Thanksgiving dinner more rewarding for the mind and body.

Salad

While some households may incorporate the appetizer, not everyone adds salad to their list of offered foods for the holidays. Some people skip the salad so they can fill up on the main course and delicious side dishes, but it should really be added to the list to help appease the appetite. Salad is one of the healthiest options and there are many varieties to be tried.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potato casserole may seem like a great dish, but it actually acts as more of a dessert than anything. With pie already at the table, there is no need for having a casserole topped with marshmallows. Instead, offer roasted sweet potatoes. To still keep the sweet taste, honey and cinnamon can be added.

Vegan Stuffing

Stuffing mainly consists of bread and broth, making it a high calorie, high sodium side that shouldn’t get eaten often. To make it a healthier option, turn the stuffing vegan. Use green tea instead of broth or stock to replace the sodium and give it a more earthy flavor. Whole grain bread is also a better solution over white or even wheat. Add in the herbs and a similar taste to the traditional recipe can be experienced.

Healthier Green Bean Casserole

Many people love green bean casserole during the holidays, but the soup and milk that's added can give the dish a high amount of calories. To knock them down a few, a healthier casserole solution should get utilized. Create a homemade sauce instead of using soup, incorporating mushrooms, low-fat milk, flour, and some seasonings to create the perfect blend. Use pan-fried shallots on top of the dish rather than store-bought fried onions for even more of a calorie saving solution.

Brussel Sprouts

While not everyone enjoys the taste of cooked Brussels sprouts, there are better ways to cook the vegetable that make them more worthwhile. Brown butter and sage work well to flavor up this food. Use a low-fat butter and melt it until it browns. Afterward, add sage, pepper, and salt, and the sprouts to the mix until everything is well-coated.

Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be filled with fatty foods. Incorporate some healthy recipes into the mix for an enjoyable yet smart meal choice that the whole family can benefit from in the long run.

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