3 Tips for a Healthy Thanksgiving

Turkey day is upon us and we all know how easy it is to overindulge in sweets and larger-than-life portions of stuffing and sweet potato casserole. Here are three tips to help you nourish your body this Thanksgiving holiday and avoid the dreaded food coma (and don’t miss the recipe below for “guilt-free mashed potatoes”!):

If you want to go in for seconds, wait 20 minutes

Waiting 20 minutes in between servings allows adequate time for your body to communicate with your brain and tell you how hungry you really are.

Enjoy your turkey, but make plenty of room for veggies

In fact, your vegetables should make up about a third of your plate. Fill up your plate with non-starchy vegetables, including Brussels sprouts, green beans, bell peppers, leafy greens, etc. Eat your veggies first, then meat, then starches, and then dessert if you have room.

Set boundaries for yourself, but enjoy the special holiday treats

Thanksgiving tables are full of traditional family favorites, and it’s easy to over indulge. Once you’ve had your fair share of turkey and green bean casserole, draw a clear finish line for when you’re finished eating. One way to tell your brain and your stomach that you are done eating is by sucking on a strong mint or chewing on a piece of minty gum.

RECIPE: Guilt-Free Mashed Potatoes

(Credit: https://www.skinnykitchen.com/recipes/guilt-free-mashed-potatoes-with-butter-sour-cream-and-chives/)

Serves 8 (makes 4 cups total). Each serving, ½ cup. Each serving has 89 calories, 2 grams of fat.


1½ pounds red potatoes, washed and chopped into chunks (leave skins on)

2 tablespoons reduced-fat butter or Smart Balance Light (gluten-free)

¼ cup fat-free sour cream

²⁄³ cup buttermilk

½ teaspoon salt

Black pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons chives, chopped


  1. Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until fork tender (approximately 15–20 minutes).
  2. Drain potatoes into a colander and place drained potatoes back in saucepan.
  3. To hot potatoes, add reduced-fat butter or Smart Balance, sour cream and smash potatoes with a fork. Once butter is melted, add buttermilk, 1 tablespoon chives, salt, and pepper. Turn the flame to medium and continue to stir and mash potatoes. Heat until all ingredients are hot. Add more salt and pepper, if desired.
  4. Spoon into serving bowl and top with 1 tablespoon chives.
  5. This recipe can be doubled, tripled, and so on.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email