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10 Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes

10 Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes
Thanksgiving is a notorious holiday for calories, carbs and other dreaded dietary words. Add that to the overwhelming portions, and you have a recipe for quick weight gain. With more awareness of chronic illnesses being linked to obesity and poor dietary choices, it is important to focus on eating healthy during the holidays. Here are a few suggestions for Thanksgiving.

1. Healthy Apple Crisp

Skip the fattening crusts and sugary pie filling with this surprisingly satisfying dessert, which is featured in Dr. Oz’s recipe blog. It calls for Stevia, oatmeal, applesauce and spices. Serve it with a dessert latte made from low-fat milk and Stevia.

2. Couscous-Stuffed Peppers

Add a splash of festive fall colors to your table with this protein-packed recipe. You will need several colored bell peppers, and you must remove the tops for baking. The couscous stuffing includes feta cheese, currants, spinach and several spices. The Food Network provides a great recipe.

3. Maple Cranberry Sweet Potatoes

Good Housekeeping features a healthier spin on sweet potatoes. You can reduce the butter measurement to one-half of the requirement and use butter that is infused with olive oil for a healthier option.

4. Turkey Wraps

For an appetizer, you can use a whole-wheat tortilla. Put some low-fat cream cheese in a thin layer on the tortilla. Add diced turkey, black beans and cranberry sauce for a scrumptious snack.

5. Stuffed Butternut Squash

These squash halves are perfect if you want a side dish that is both aesthetically pleasing and delicious. This recipe from 12 Tomatoes includes mushrooms, quinoa, Parmesan cheese and several herbs and spices.

6. Spiced Cranberry Apple Cider

Use two bottles of apple juice and one bottle of cranberry juice. Both should be naturally sweetened. Cut four oranges into thin slices. Add all ingredients in a large pot. Throw in about 10 cinnamon sticks, a few slices of fresh ginger and a teaspoon of allspice. Let it simmer for 15 minutes, and let it cool before serving.

7. Quinoa Stuffing

Since traditional stuffing often tops the list for being unhealthy, try this recipe for a much healthier and equally delicious side. It calls for cranberries, pistachios, butternut squash, spinach and some scrumptious spices.

8. Pumpkin Bowl Squash Soup

If you want to impress your guests with a fun meal starter, this Food Network recipe will not disappoint. You use small baking pumpkins to create bowls, and you combine the inside contents with squash, onion and cream. You can substitute milk for the cream and olive oil for the butter without sacrificing too much flavor quality.

9. Healthy Green Bean Casserole

With its heavy canned soup and high-calorie breaded onions, traditional green bean casserole is a diet killer. If you want that same smoky mushroom flavor with crispy onions, try this fresher vegan recipe from Hummusapien. The white wine and hint of nutmeg make it savory enough to become a yearly staple for your Thanksgiving gatherings.

10. Cranberry Orange Bran Bread

You can make this as muffins or loaves. This recipe posted at Chef In You is a good guide. However, you can use bran and wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour. Also, you can substitute Stevia for sugar with proper conversion, and you can use butter that is infused with olive oil or use a combination of butter and coconut oil.

Keep track of sugar levels, carbs and fat content in any recipe from turkey glaze to dessert. To help ensure that you stay on track, plan your menu in advance. Figure out serving sizes and total calories. For snack trays, provide lean meats or raw vegetables. This turkey veggie platter is a fun idea for all ages. Most of all, have a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving.

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Jesse Boskoff

Co-Founder and COO at Status Labs

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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