Have A Tasty (And Healthy) Thanksgiving

GIVING THANKS by Jessica Ganzer, Registered Dietitian

The holidays can be one of the most challenging times of the year to focus on health and nutrition. Between the busy schedules and the abundance of delicious food, making healthy choices is not always the top priority. But getting a handle on what you are putting into your body can have long lasting benefits. While weight loss might not be a realistic goal for everyone this time of year, maintaining your weight while feeding your body nutritious food is a great step in the right direction.

Here are some tips to help you get through Thanksgiving without increasing your waistline:

  1. Water, Water, Water. Fill up on water and hydrate your body.

  2. Eat First. Don’t go into the meal starving. Have a small snack before you begin your festivities.

  3. Fiber Focus. Fill up on fruits, vegetables, legumes. Make the stuffing, mashed potatoes, and casseroles a side dish instead of the main attraction.

  4. Skip Seconds. Try to eat slowly and enjoy your food. Skip the seconds and skip the extra calories.

  5. Walk it off. Go for a walk before or after dinner to help burn some of the extra calories. If the weather does not allow for outdoor activities, put on some music and have a dance party with your friends and family.

  6. Wear something form fitting – studies have shown that the looser the outfit, the more you will eat!


Since you can't avoid indulging over the holidays, here are some activities that will help you burn off the extra calories.

  • 1 Slice Pumpkin Pie = 300 calories = 60 minutes yoga

  • 1/2 cup Stuffing = 200 calories = 45 minute cycling

  • 1/4 cup Cranberry Sauce = 100 calories = 20 minutes dancing

  • 6 ounces Turkey Breast = 200 calories = 40 minutes walking

BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP Soup is a great way to start any meal, especially Thanksgiving. Low in calories, high in flavor, this delicious soup is filling without the fat, creamy without the dairy, and full of vitamins and minerals to help keep you healthy this holiday season. NUTRITION FACTS:

  • Servings: 6

  • Calories per serving: 76

  • Total Fat: 2 g

  • Saturated Fat: 0 g

  • Monounsaturated Fat: 2 g

  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 0 g

  • Trans Fat: 0 g

  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

  • Sodium: 290 mg

  • Potassium: 397 mg

  • Total Carbohydrate: 14 g

  • Dietary Fiber: 2 g

  • Sugars: 2 g

  • Protein: 1 g

  • Vitamin A: 205 %

  • Vitamin C: 33 %

  • Calcium: 5 %

  • Iron: 4 %


  • 1 butternut squash

  • 1 sweet vidalia onion chopped

  • 3-4 cups vegetable broth

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • salt & pepper


  1. Slice butternut squash in half, length-wise. Scoop out the seeds.

  2. Place cut-side down in a baking dish that has been coated with olive-oil. Poor 1/4 cup of water into the baking dish around the squash. Place in oven (375 degrees) for 60 minutes, or until the squash is fork tender.

  3. While the squash is cooking, saute onion on low heat with olive oil in a pan until onion is fully cooked and caramelized.

  4. Once butternut squash is fully cooked, scoop out the flesh. Add to a blender, along with the cooked sweet onions and vegetable broth. You can decide how much broth to add, depending on if you like a thicker or thinner soup.

  5. Blend for 3-4 minutes, or until the soup is smooth.

  6. Season with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

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