By Karen Langston
This year, you can cook your Thanksgiving dinner and eat it, too, without derailing from your healthy lifestyle. There’s also no need to suffer a low-calorie approach to traditional Thanksgiving dishes — instead, invite luscious, local, organic whole foods that are full of flavor and fat while still maintaining your health goals.
TRADE LOW-CAL FOR HIGH FAT
It’s not the calories you need to focus on, but rather the best nutrient bang for your buck. Focusing on nutrient-dense foods full of brain-fueling and energy-producing fats leads to a positive mood and high energy while keeping your waistline in check. Many times when we cut calories, we are sacrificing nutrients that keep us feeling full longer.
GO ORGANIC INSTEAD OF CONVENTIONAL
Deck out your Thanksgiving table with organic and local ingredients instead of conventional foods. Organic produce tastes terrific; is a better source of vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids than conventionally sprayed produce; and organically grown food makes less of an environmental impact. As Amazon takes Whole Foods national and moves away from local brand representatives, check out Green Living’s community resources for the freshest Thanksgiving ingredients. Let’s give thanks to local farmers, like Duncan Family Farms in Buckeye and Wholesum Harvest in Amado!
THE BIRD IS THE WORD!
Grace your table with a local, sustainable, pasture-raised turkey. Sustainably pasture-raised turkey is higher in omega-3 essential fatty acids, B vitamins and selenium, and are fed non-GMO and soy-free feed. Purchasing pasture-raised turkeys from local farmers ensures the money stays in the community. When you’re carving, remember that dark turkey meat contains more energy-producing minerals like iron, zinc and B vitamins than white. Also, when it comes to calories (if you insist on counting), there is only about a four-calorie difference between dark and white turkey meat.
MASH PURPLE POTATOES
Purple potatoes contain four times the number of antioxidants in comparison to white potatoes, and they are jam-packed with anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, vitamin C, potassium and B vitamins. Purple potatoes are also higher in fiber, which naturally keeps your waist thin and your digestion regular.
SLATHER ON THE BUTTER INSTEAD OF MARGARINE
Don’t forget to load your bowl of mashed potatoes with full-fat organic heavy cream and butter. Why? Fats slow down the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar, meaning they will not spike your blood sugar. This gives you sustained energy and moods and keeps your waistline in check.
Choose butter made from pasture-raised cows rather than synthetic chemically produced margarine. Butter is naturally higher in vision-and skeletal-loving vitamin A and is an excellent source of heart- healthy vitamin K2, which studies show is the missing nutrient in cardiovascular health. Butter also contains naturally occurring anti-inflammatory gut-healing butyrate. Butyrate is a type of fatty acid that helps protect against gut-associated autoimmune diseases.
HEAT UP SOURDOUGH ROLLS OVER CONVENTIONAL
Organic sourdough is made with a starter of yeast and probiotics that aids in making the bread easier to digest. Fewer bloating and digestive woes have been found with sourdough bread than conventionally manufactured bread. This ancient practice also allows better absorption of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron
and zinc. So, allow the pasture-raised butter to melt all over those wonderfully smelling sourdough rolls and enjoy.
DITCH THE CANNED AEROSOLS OF EDIBLE OILS FOR REAL ORGANIC HEAVY WHIPPING CREAM
Have room for dessert? Plump up your organic pumpkin and non-GMO apple pie with organic full-fat cream. Organic heavy whipping cream brings all the fat your body can use without the added growth hormones, antibiotics and thickening agents of conventional cream that can lead to gastric distress. Organic whipping cream is a little taste of heaven with the deliciousness of beneficial Omega-3s, including linolenic acid, brain-protecting EPA/DHA, and fat burning conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). With the health benefits of full cream, why not make that pie a la mode with a scoop of full-fat organic ice cream? Studies are proving that fat helps you stay slim and trim.
What’s a meal without a traditional toast to the bounty and sharing with loved ones? Raise a glass of organic and local wine. Red wine is chock-full of powerful antioxidants such as resveratrol and anti-inflammatories like quercetin. Antioxidant studies have shown their powerful role in heart health, healthy cholesterol and enhancing the body’s immune defenses, lowering the risk of developing serious health conditions. Check out Lawrence Dunham Vineyards in Scottsdale, Dektown Cellars with multiple locations throughout the Valley, Pillsbury Wine Company in Cottonwood, and Sonoita Vineyards in Elgin, Arizona.
Thanksgiving comes once a year. It is a time to give thanks and enjoy the fruits and labor of the land and to rejoice in the company of others. Forgo the processed, conventional ways and get back to the roots of the true tradition of Thanksgiving with local, sustainable whole foods that support our local farmers and the economy of Arizona. Cheers!
Karen Langston is a certified Nutritionist working with clients and trains coaches and clinicians the keys to preventing and reversing symptoms by having a good poop. Healthygutadvisor.com, (623) 252-4325
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