Plan the Perfect, Healthy Holiday Meal

Plan the Perfect, Healthy Holiday Meal

If you’ve recently stopped by your local supermarket, you’ve no doubt seen all the staple, packaged holiday meals make their way to the front of the store. From Betty Crocker™ Loaded Mashed Potatoes to Kraft® Stove Top Stuffing Mix to Ocean Spray® Jellied Cranberry Sauce (one of my family’s favorites ) it’s an inflammation, insulin-spiking catastrophe waiting to happen. However, living a fast-paced modern life, most individuals have become accustomed to these foods and are unaware of the harm these foods have been causing over the years. The time to start thinking about your health and the health of your loved ones has never been more paramount, and you can begin by preparing the best, most nutrient-rich meal for your family this Thanksgiving! 

I know what you’re thinking: “There’s no way I can swing healthy food to my family for Thanksgiving.” Well, the first step in this is to eliminate the word “healthy,” because all you’ll do is scare everyone away from your holiday party. So don’t tell anyone! Plus I’ll have you know from experience that preparing a healthy holiday meal isn’t as dreadful and boring as it sounds—on the contrary, it’s quite the tasty adventure! With a little meal planning, and open mind—and some awareness—you’ll ditch the junk and create the best Thanksgiving meal yet!    

Start by looking at the ingredient list on any of the above food items. In most cases, you’ll find a recipe for diabetes, chronic inflammation, and weight gain; the second ingredient in the cranberry sauce alone is high fructose corn syrup. What you may find even more surprising is how simple it is to make your own cranberry sauce using natural sugars and real cranberries (just check out the recipe below). Quick, packaged meals not only harm your health, but they also take away from quality time, which is what traditional Thanksgiving meals should encompass.  It’s time to bring back holidays with your family circled around the kitchen, chopping fresh vegetables and sharing memories. 

This year let’s start doing things differently by incorporating some simple tips…  

  1. Include your family, not only enjoying the meal but preparing it. Let kids help wash veggies, mix ingredients and learn.  

  2. Do your holiday meal planning a few days or even a week in advance—this will ensure you have all the necessary ingredients. 

  3. Only use natural sugars (honey, maple, coconut sugar, etc.) and gluten-free flours when baking.  

  4. Avoid all margarine, corn and vegetable oils, and other foods containing trans and partially hydrogenated fats. 

  5. Turn off and put away ALL electronic devices while you’re eating. Football and Facebook can wait at least one hour. 

Below, I’ve also included some of my favorite holiday recipes. All of these recipes are not only delicious but completely gluten-free, naturally sweetened, and made with real, wholesome ingredients!

Herb Roasted Turkey

Homemade Cranberry Sauce 

Grain-Free Biscuits 

Grain-Free, Hearty Stuffing 

Delicious Salty, Sweet Mashed Butternut Squash 

Bacon Pecan Brussel Sprouts 

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie 

If avoiding sugar and grains this holiday is simply impossible, there are still a few things you can do to keep the holidays relatively healthy. First, be mindful of your appetite and portion sizes. Second, you can take blood sugar support supplements such as Youngevity’s Slender FX™ SweetEZE™ to help manage your blood sugar levels when consuming carbs. Finally, go for walks and move frequently, especially after a hefty meal. Remember, holidays should be filled with memories, family and nutrient-rich food that will help us all live healthier and longer. 

Prevention is the key!