Mid-November signals that Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, and as you make preparations to host the once-a-year feast or maybe just need to bring a dish to share, there are ways you can stay on-track with your health goals and not end up feeling like a stuffed turkey.
While time can be limited in the days leading up to major holidays, it can often give way to a variety of excuses for why it’s okay to skip a workout or overindulge. Once Thanksgiving rolls around it can feel like the tipping point of a holiday rollercoaster that won’t slow down until January and is reason why now is so important to develop and stay committed to a healthy eating plan and workout regime.
To avoid getting trapped in a Thanksgiving slump, we’ve prepared a fat-burning workout and turkey day menu so you can power through the day and stay the course to achieving your health and fitness goals.
Once you’re done sweating it out, keep the momentum going by heading to the kitchen to make a delectable and guilt-free Turkey Day feast. If you’re tempted to devour the traditional Thanksgiving dishes likely loaded with carbohydrates, pause a moment to remember that you can’t outrun your fork.
It may also seem intimidating to stray from your traditional dishes or recipes passed down from family, but the recipes we’re going to share are not only healthy, but they’re delicious and sure to win over anyone sitting at the table.
AUTUMN TURKEY WITH CRANBERRY SAUCE
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 6 hours (slow cooker)
- 3-lb. turkey breast, bone-in
- 2 tsp. Celtic salt
- 1 Tbsp. dried rosemary
- 2 cups cranberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- Season turkey with salt and rosemary.
- Add seasoned turkey to the slow cooker along with the rest of the ingredients.
- Cook on low for 5-6 hours or until turkey is tender (165-degree minimum internal temperature).
Servings 8 | Calories 229 | Protein 39g | Carbs 14g | Fat 3g
OVEN-BAKED BACON + BRUSSELS SPROUTS
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
- 12-oz. package pasture-raised preservative-free bacon
- 5 to 6 cups raw Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
- Fine ground pink Himalayan sea salt, to taste
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and place bacon strips on the sheet in a single layer.
- Put the baking sheet in a cold oven, set the oven to 400 degrees and set a timer for 15 minutes. The bacon will begin cooking during the preheating process and continue once the oven reaches temperature.
- At the 15-minute mark, check the bacon for desired doneness. Continue to cook if needed, checking every 2 minutes. Once done, remove from oven and drain bacon strips on paper towels, leaving the drippings behind in the pan.
- Carefully add the Brussels sprouts halves to the pan in a single layer. Be careful, as the grease is hot. Spread the sprout halves around in the grease. Sprinkle with salt to taste.
- Return the pan to the oven.
- After 20 minutes, stir the Brussels sprouts and place back in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are tender on the inside and crisp and bronzed on the outside.
- Top with crumbled bacon strips and enjoy! Best served immediately.
Servings 6 | Calories 115 | Protein 9g | Carbs 8g | Fat 6g
SAUSAGE, SWEET POTATO + APPLE DRESSING
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
- 2 sweet potatoes, chopped
- 1 ½ Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
- 1 lb. fresh ground pork sausage
- 1 Tbsp. ghee
- 4 stalks organic celery, chopped
- 1/2 yellow onion, minced
- 1/2 medium organic Fuji apple, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. poultry seasoning
- 2 tsp. Celtic or Himalayan sea salt, divided
- 2 large organic eggs, whisked
- 1/3 cup organic chicken broth
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Toss sweet potatoes with coconut oil and 1 tsp. salt and bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until tender.
- While potatoes are baking, sauté celery and onion in ghee until softened, and set aside.
- Cook pork sausage in a pan until browned and cooked through.
- In mixing bowl, combine sweet potatoes, celery, onion, sausage, apple, poultry seasoning and salt.
- Decrease heat to 350 degrees.
- Pour whisked eggs and broth over stuffing. Gently mix.
- Bake stuffing on a foil-lined baking sheet at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until eggs are fully cooked through. Uncover and bake for a few additional minutes until edges are lightly browned.
Servings 6 | Calories 305 | Protein 17g | Carbs 14g | Fat 20g
If you find these recommendations helpful and you’re looking for something to either maintain or jump-start your healthy habits, our online December D.TOX class can help. D.TOX is a brief and manageable 14-day reset to eat and workout in a way that makes you feel great and get (or stay) on track right before the holiday rush really kicks in.
Class kicks off December 3 and you can register right here.
Samantha McKinney, Registered Dietitian, Program Manager — Life Time Lab Testing
This article is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations in this and other articles is at the choice and risk of the reader.