Healthy Holiday Habits

The holidays are upon us! During this traditional time of  culinary indulgence, I wanted to take a post to highlight some healthy cooking, eating, and other habits so that you can – hopefully – look back on your holidays and not cringe.

If you’re in the kitchen, there are a veritable TON of Thanksgiving recipes that hit the Thanksgiving trifecta:

“Thanksgiving trifecta” © 2012 Irina Zeylikovich CC BY-NC 3.0

A few of my favorite listings/sources are:

  • Whole Foods Market healthy holiday recipes 
  • Eating Well’s Thanksgiving recipe collection
  • Cooking Light’s holiday entertaining guide
  • Mayo Clinic’s holiday recipes (not to mention some interesting info on nutrition in general)

We’re all aware that it isn’t just what’s on the table that impacts those notorious holiday pounds, it’s also what we choose and how much of it we eat. I love food far too much to ever suggest that you go without your own favorites, but there are some general guidelines that can be handy:

“Thanksgiving Turkey” © 2009 by WishUponACupcake CC BY 2.0
  • WebMD’s tips for a healthier Thanksgiving recommend going for white meat, plain vegetables (I’ll chime in that roasted veggies are a great – not to mention delicious – filler and don’t need a ton of fatty sauces and flavoring), roasted sweet potatoes (ditto! This is basically the Thanksgiving superfood in my book), and somewhat surprisingly, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. I’ll throw in a caveat on those last two because I think those really depend on how they’re prepared.
  • Whole Foods recommends focusing on veggies and whole grains, taking just a spoonful/slice of everything (bonus points: you get to try everything), and taking a smaller plate so you trick your eyes and brain into thinking you’ve eaten more than you actually have.

There’s more to it than what you eat (or don’t eat) – you should make it an active holiday season too. Take advantage of this unseasonable heat wave we’re having in Michigan if you’re staying local and see if there is a turkey trot in your vicinity. Detroit has a 10K, 5K, and Mashed Potato Mile – something for everyone! You can find a range of activities in whatever area you’ll happen to be in at

If you have sources to recommend (more recipes, more eating suggestions, activity ideas, you name it!) feel free to add them in the comments section or send me an update and I’ll include them in future posts, or as an amendment to this one.

For the holidays, the THL News Blog will be on a brief hiatus on Thursday, November 22 and Friday, November 23rd. We’ll return with regularly scheduled blogging on Monday, November 25th.

Have a happy Thanksgiving readers!

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