Lisa Perry
Health & Wellness

Healthful holiday meal hacks

The holiday season is upon us. Yes, it started with Halloween and massive amounts of candy. Next up, Thanksgiving – a day where one meal can be 3,000 calories! Here are a few tips to make your holiday meal more nutritious.

  • Enjoy dips with crunchy veggies such as julienned jicama, carrots, broccoli, and cucumber, instead of crackers and chips, for added nutrients, fiber and less calories!
  • Dressing and stuffing
    Use less bread. Add more onions, celery, garlic and vegetables for flavor, added fiber and nutrients. Chopped apples, cranberries, toasted nuts will add extra flavor, fiber and nutrients, too.
  • Green bean casserole
    Skip the condensed cream soup. Try sautéing the green beans with garlic and mushrooms. Top with caramelized onions and toasted nuts, like sliced almonds.
  • Sweet potato casserole
    Sweet potatoes are naturally sweet. Skip the marshmallows and added sugars. Trying mashing with warming spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom. Top with toasted pecans.
  • Desserts 
    Top cakes or ice cream with fresh berries or other fruit compote instead of frosting. Pumpkin pie gets a bit of a pass (well, pumpkins are a squash), if made from real ingredients – no partially hydrogenated oils, nor high fructose corn-syrup. Finally, skip the artificial non-dairy topping, which is full of trans fat, corn syrup, and artificial ingredients. Enjoy real whipped cream instead!

After the meal is finished, get your entire party out for a walk after the meal, even if it’s cold. It will burn calories some calories, provide mental and physical stimulation, and help counteract the urge to sleep after the meal. 

Lisa Perry
Registered dietitian nutritionist who believes proper nutrition has the power to transform health. Loves dark chocolate.