Dear friends of Healthful Living,

I would like to wish you all a wonderful and healthy Thanksgiving and a Happy Holiday season. This year, I would like to help you indulge without paying the price later!

Check out my plan:

  • Breakfast:  Pumpkin Pie. You read correctly: pie for breakfast!
  • Pumpkin pie – Try my wonderful pumpkin pie recipe, same great flavor, but much healthier ingredients.

Now, off to walk the dogs, take the kids to the park, play on the swings, have a game of catch. Be active and burn off some of that natural sugar!

  • Lunch Time – You may be tempted to skip lunch altogether. Please don’t. Skipping lunch will put your body in starvation mode and you will be tempted to either eat while cooking or overeat during dinner. Have a light lunch instead: a cup of soup and a salad, some olives and raw cheese are all you need to keep yourself from binging later!
  • Dinner Time – Set a beautiful table, darken the dining room, light the beeswax candle, turn off the football game in the background, give thanks for the meal and time together.

Fill your plate with protein and low-glycemic vegetables: turkey is an excellent source of complete protein and a good source of vitamins and minerals. Pile up with greens! Green beans, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, chard, they are rich in phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals, plus fiber necessary for healthy digestion and satiety. Add a colorful salad, for nutrition and crunch! Dress it with a delicious homemade dressing (recipe below) and voila.

Don’t deprive yourself of your traditional Thanksgiving dishes, including starchy carbohydrates like stuffing and mash potatoes. Just make sure to eat moderate quantities and fully chew each bite to enjoy their savory flavor.  Adding healthy fats helps regulate the glucose effect of these starches, and contributes to the satiation of the dish despite smaller portions.

Avoid carbonated beverages and your digestive system will thank you for it. Instead, sip some herbal or green tea, a glass of organic red wine, warm water with ginger and lemon.

After dinner don’t just sit around and watch football! Clean up the dishes, take a stroll around the neighborhood in the cool evening air, and return home to play a game with your family and guests.  If it’s too cold for touch football, play charades, take turns around a table telling jokes or funny stories, play cards or a board game, put together a puzzle, play music.

You started the day with dessert, which is special enough, but if you must have more pie, wait 2 hours for your stomach to fully empty.  By then you’ll likely forget about that second piece of pie…until breakfast Friday morning!

Pumpkin Pie Recipe
This recipe is adapted from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon

  • 1 gluten free pie shell
  • 2 cups cooked pumpkin, or 1 can *
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3- 1/2 cups honey, or other natural sweetener; to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger, or 1 tablespoon freshly grated
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup coconut milk, full fat, use homemade for GAPS

Steps:

  1. Line a 9 inch pie pan with your choice of gluten free crust.  Crack the eggs into a large bowl and beat well.  Add the rest of the ingredients until thoroughly combined.  Pour batter into pie crust.
  2. To avoid the crust getting burned, cover edges of pie pan with strips of aluminum foil until they just cover the edges of the crust.
  3. For almond pie crust, bake at 350 degrees F. for about 35-45 minutes or until firm. Or for coconut crust, bake at 325 degrees F. for 50-60 minutes or until firm.
  4. Allow to cool for several hours or overnight in the fridge.  It will become more firm as it cools.  If you are using the coconut crust, the crust will also firm up overnight in the fridge.

Garlic-Herb Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • generous pinch of sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh herbs or 2 teaspoons dried (basil, oregano, chives, and thyme are all nice)
  • scant 1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
  1. Combine all ingredients except olive oil in a jar. Stir well with a fork.
  2. Add olive oil, cover tightly, and shake well until combined. You can also use a blender and drizzle the oil in slowly while it is running.
  3. Serve over your basic green salad with added chopped vegetables.

While it’s fun to indulge during the holiday season, limiting the splurging to the actual days of Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas will keep you feeling good about yourself come January. Don’t turn November and December into your holiday excuse months. With the sudden abundance of Godiva chocolates, pastries and more, it’s tough! I get it. But the more you nurture your healthy mindset and develop appreciation for healthy flavors (and feel the effects they have in your body), the less these fat and sugar laden foods appeal!

Think about creating some new traditions around healthy versions of traditional foods. If you’d like a little guidance, feel free to call me at 619-208-8159 or email me at Francesca@healthfulliving.com. I can help you manage the holidays so you set yourself up for your healthiest New Year yet!