Originally published November 27 2010
(Part II) Make Thanksgiving a healthy holiday
by Cindy Jones-Shoeman
(NaturalNews) There might be stuffing at the buffet table on Thanksgiving, but how many people are guilty of stuffing themselves on the last Thursday of November? It's bad enough to overeat, but it's even worse when the foods one is shoving down her throat are poor food choices.
Thanksgiving can be a healthy holiday, but traditionally many tables are full of unhealthy choices. Part I explored how to approach meats and refined carbohydrates to ensure that what is on one's plate is as healthy as possible. This part explores other ways people can make this holiday great, by avoiding sugar and fats.
Stay Away from the Sugar!
Dessert is an obvious haven for sugar, but it's not the only place on the buffet where diners will find it. It's also lurking in the sweet potatoes and the gelatin salads. Even the hams are often glazed in a syrupy, goopy mess!
So what's a person to do if he wants to be healthier this Thanksgiving? One of the best ways is for him to take charge of the sweet potatoes himself. Skip the marshmallows; substitute a vegan alternative for butter and substitute brown rice syrup and/or pure maple syrup for the corn syrup and brown sugar typically found in this dish. It will still taste satisfying and sweet, but it will be much healthier.
Gelatin salads are prepared with - obviously - gelatins, which are meat-based. Gelatins themselves are almost devoid of nutritional value and are full of sugar. It's best to skip them altogether, even the ones with the pieces of fruit inside. It's best to get one's fruit in other ways, rather than smothered in sugary animal product.
Ah...the dessert table, possibly one of the hardest places to avoid at Thanksgiving. Again, it's best when a person can prepare her own dessert. In the internet age, it's easy for a person to search online and find dozens of possibilities. For example, if a person wanted to find a recipe for "vegan pumpkin pie," she could likely find several good ones in just a few minutes.
But if a person can, why not break tradition and try something completely different? Maybe a fruit salad would be just the perfect thing to top off that meal, better than a slice of mincemeat pie.
Flee from the Fats!
Possibly one of the worst things that Thanksgiving has to offer is all the fat on the table - butter on the rolls, on the potatoes and on the corn; turkey grease on the turkey and in the gravy; there are fats in almost every dish.
While human beings do need some fat, they don't need these kinds. Possibly the best thing to do is avoid as many fats as possible. Skip extra butter on the potatoes, for example. Substituting is another option.
Thanksgiving doesn't have to be a miserable holiday. It can be healthy in so many different ways. See Part III for the skinny on healthy food choices as well as exercise and other tips for this holiday.
About the authorCindy Jones-Shoeman is the author of Last Sunset and a Feature Writer for Academic Writing at Suite101.
Some of Cindy's interests include environmental issues, vegetarian and sustainable lifestyles, music, and reading.
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