Healthy Thanksgiving can sound impossible—the holiday usually evokes images of football games and second (and third) helpings of mashed potatoes, gravy, and stuffing. Opting for healthy versions of your favorite dishes can help keep you energized and beat the Thanksgiving bloat. That’s why This Week’s blog post takes a look at the benefits of pumpkin pie spice, how sweet potatoes can fuel your post-meal Turkey Trot, and how to make your Thanksgiving dinner low carb. So load up your plate with a healthy Thanksgiving feast, then lace up your sneakers to Turkey Trot away the calories.
Is your pumpkin pie spice latte healthy?
Well perhaps not the kind you buy from those fashionable coffee chains—which only contain about 11% real spice (not to mention loads of sugar). However, the actual spices used to flavor pumpkin pie are full of healthy benefits. Cinnamon is linked with helping to lower blood sugar levels—good for holiday overindulgence. Allspice contains a compound that might slow the growth of prostate tumors. Cardamom can help reduce bodily inflammation. And all spices contain cancer-fighting antioxidants. Just be sure to make your pumpkin pie from unsweetened canned pumpkin and add your own spices, as canned “filling” already has sugar added. For more on the sweet benefits of pumpkin pie spice, take our featured quiz.
Eat sweet potatoes before your Turkey Trot?
Yes! Sweet potatoes make a fantastic pre-workout snack—so be sure to load up your plate with these beta-carotene rich beauties. Sweet potatoes’ fiber content—6.6g per cup baked—leaves you feeling full for a longer period of time, reducing the temptation to overeat. For best results, eat them at least 1-2 hours before your workout to avoid stomach ache. Or save sweet potatoes for after your Turkey Trot, as their carbs can help refuel muscles and aid recovery. For more on how this Thanksgiving delight can help you power your next workout, take our daily quiz.
Do I have to avoid all the Thanksgiving turkey trimmings in order to stick to my low-carb diet?
Not at all! There are many delicious and healthy Thanksgiving alternatives to high-carb dishes. For example, steam some cauliflower then mash it up for mock mashed potatoes that will leave your taste buds singing. Opt for a blend of protein-rich and fiber-filled quinoa, butternut squash, hazelnuts, and celery root in place of traditional stuffing—usually made from refined white bread. A good tip to maximize your holiday pleasure is to enjoy the best of both worlds—first aim to fill at least half your plate with low-carb vegetables such as salad or green beans before moving on to higher-carb foods. For more tips to a low-carb Thanksgiving, take our featured quiz.
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