Eat This, Not That: Thanksgiving Edition

Ah, Thanksgiving- The time to give thanks to the many wonderful things in your life, and almost just as important, the time to feast! With all the best foods like turkey and gravy, stuffing, and mounds and mounds of potatoes (maybe that’s just me?), it’s pretty likely that you’ll have to undo the button of your pants by the end of the meal. Although I completely believe in the “treat yo’self” motto (Parks and Recreation, anyone?), I’m sure that many of us are looking for some healthier items to indulge in over the holiday. Here are some ideas of what you should and shouldn’t eat, and some options to try and make this year that your whole family will love!

Turkey and Gravy:

If you’re worried about eating turkey – don’t be! It’s super healthy for you, and all lean fat, so eat up! The big problem in this situation is the gravy.

Don’t Eat That: Canned Gravy

Gravy always has a high fat content, and it doesn’t really have anything healthy for you. If you get it from a can, it most likely has a lot of preservatives and salt added for flavor, too, so go light on the gravy this Thanksgiving. Or, you could try….

Eat This: Mushroom Gravy

This gravy has a vegetable base, and not a meat base, so not only is it a great substitute for vegetarians (yay!), it has less cholesterol, fat, and salt. Feel free to smother this all over your turkey! You can get the recipe here.

Cranberry Sauce:

When something with the name of a berry is put in front of you, you would typically assume that it’s healthy for you. This is definitely not always the case for cranberry sauce, the sweet-yet-tangy essential for Thanksgiving dinners.

Don’t Eat That: Any Normal Cranberry Sauce

The reason those cranberries taste sweet and tangy is because a bunch of sugar is added to add to the sweetness. Otherwise, the cranberries would just be sour and tangy. With so much sugar, it’s almost like eating big scoops of candy!

Eat This: Sugarless Cranberry Sauce

Instead, try a cranberry sauce recipe that doesn’t have any sugar, but instead uses other sweet ingredients to counteract the cranberries. This recipe uses all fruit ingredients and honey to make deliciously sweet cranberry sauce. You’ll save on sugar, and get more servings of fruit for the day!


In my opinion, no real meal is complete without a potato – especially Thanksgiving! I don’t believe it’s Thanksgiving until I get to eat my grandma’s homemade mashed potatoes. If you want to be able to have a mountain of potatoes on your plate this Thanksgiving dinner without worrying about the health risks, pay close attention!

Don’t Eat That: Mashed Potatoes

Depending on how they’re made, mashed potatoes can be a lot worse for you than simply eating a potato. Along with your usual additions of butter and salt, mashed potatoes usually have some sort of fatty milk or cream, or even sour cream, in order to make them creamy and smooth.

Eat This: Sweet Potato

Instead of going for the traditional potatoes, try using a sweet potato recipe. This recipe doesn’t require any additives other than spices, so it’s much healthier, and it will look really nice with your Thanksgiving theme.

Or Eat This: Creamy Cauliflower Mash

If you want to avoid potatoes all together, but really enjoy this type of food, try a mashed cauliflower recipe, like this one. You will get a lot less carbs and calories, and it’ll help you meet your healthy vegetables quotient for the day. I recommend using EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) and fresh Parmesan for the best taste!

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody, and happy eating!