Monday, November 22, 2010

What's the Plan? Thanksgiving Success

Only 3 days left til Thanksgiving here in the USA... what's your plan? Taking a day off? Trying to stay on plan?

For me, I am aiming to be on plan. I really can't afford anymore screw ups. I need this weight off my knees, and I really want to be done with the weight loss phase of my life so I can move forward with the rest of my "whole foods" based maintenance plan. So, with that in mind, here's my recipe for Thanksgiving success:

Recipes for Thanksgiving Success

I posted those recipes back in 2007, the year I started this blog. It's my traditional Thanksgiving feast, tweaked for better health. This year, since I am doing low carb, I have to make a few changes in the menu.

First and most difficult, I will not be making stuffing this year. Homemade stuffing is, hands down THE thing I love most about Thanksgiving dinner. The problem is that none of my kids like it, and I have a hard time stopping at one serving. I will eat more and more for days afterwards if it's here. Since I am the only person in the house who likes stuffing, and I am eating low carb, it makes the best sense to just not make it this year. I will rethink it next year... maybe make it and give half to a friend and freeze portions or something. But not this year.

Second, and next most difficult, I will not be making candied yams this year. Again, my kids don't like them. Yams are healthy and really, the way I make them there is not a whole lot of the syrup going into my mouth anyway, but yams are not on plan for me right now. Too high carb. So sadly, I will not be making yams at all this year.

Third, I *will* be making green bean casserole. This is my third most favorite food on Thanksgiving, and while my recipe is not exactly low carb, I am going to try and mess with it to make it a little healthier this year. However I will make a HALF batch and *that* will be my "indulgence" for the holidays.

As for the rest of it, I will roast a SMALL free range turkey and use the bones for soup later. I will eat turkey breast on Thanksgiving. I will be making low fat mashed potatoes for the kids, and a big pot of mashed cauliflower for myself to have for several days. I *adore* homemade turkey gravy. I will have a small amount of it on my mashed cauliflower. I always make my gravy low fat as per the recipe link above. I will also make the Snicker salad because my kids look forward to it all year, but I am making a half batch this year and not having any myself. If I can find cranberry sugar free jello, I will have some of that. And instead of making homemade pies (too tempting for me), I reluctantly bought some frozen pumpkin pies. My kids will like them just fine, but they will be easy for me to avoid. I usually make fresh white rolls for Thanksgiving dinner but this year I will put out whole wheat bread slices for the kids. I also let my kids make fresh butter (shake heavy cream and a bit of salt in a glass jar FOREVER until you get a lump of butter... then mash out the liquid and chill). They will have sparkling cider as usual; I will see if there is any sugar free drink that looks good and if not I'll drink water.

So that's my plan. How about you? Share your Thanksgiving menu and healthy tips in the comments!


Kimberly said...

I just posted my plan. I am a single person with no plans other than studying and football so it is light on the dishes. I am have been craving salmon lately too.

Grilled Salmon Paprika, Roasted Green Bean Almondine and Mashed Acorn Squash with Blue Cheese.

-J.Darling said...

Remember, the first bite is the best part, so keeping little portions on your plate may help get you through!

What's my success plan? Well, I'll be on a plane from 11am-10pm, and I have sushi awaiting me when I arrive. So there's my unconventional holiday!

The trick for me on holidays is focusing on what it's about. REALLY about. Thanksgiving isn't about a meal. It's about sharing, being grateful for what we have, and honoring our history.

Once I started thinking of it that way - what I ate became a lower priority. ;) Who I ate it with became a bigger one. ;)

Finding The Thin Within said...

Color me lucky when it comes to thankgsgiving, but I don't like two of the foods that cause people a lot of problems: yams (candied or otherwise) and stuffing. I also don't like the dark meat on the turkey. I'm a white meat gal so that is also good. My biggest temptation is pie. We will be having pumpkin and chocolate and I will have a bit of both, but in moderation. And when the rest of my meal is made up of white meat turkey, low cal mashed potatoes minus gravy, corn and green beans I think I'll be OK!

Lisa said...

My one and only focus is not to binge.

Anonymous said...

Fresh cranberries are wonderful AND low-carb (as are most berries) -- one 1/2-cup serving is a mere 6 grams. I already made a batch and sweetened it with artificial sweetener, and it's a great holiday treat that I could easily eat year 'round.

Glad to hear you're getting a reassessment of your physical capabilities, Lyn. Hope that goes well!

Brandi said...

Sounds like a good plan! I'm going to have turkey, dressing, green bean casserole, cranberries, yams, "mac" and cheese, mock potatoes, and pumpkin pie. All recipes are low carb and come from either Jamie at Your Lighter Side blog or George Stella from Food Network. Most of these things I haven't made before so I hope they turn out well!

Shane G. said...

I only plan to allow myself 2000 calories for the day, however I get there. My thinking is my usual breakfast, take out the mid morning snack, we eat at 1 so that will be my primary meal of the day, and then a yogurt and my celery and peanut butter at night. I also plan to do a 5 mile walk everyday from Wednesday to Sunday. I think I could actually come away from Turkey Day with a loss rather than a couple extra pounds this year!

MizFit said...

thanksgiving will be easy (at my house. very mellow)
it is HANUKKAH and the gaggle of elderly EAT EAT Jewish Aunts I dread :)

Liz said...

Do to being on different diets all my life I have been eating on intervals of depriving and indulging myself. I am working on ending this cycle.

In order to do this on Thanksgiving, I am going to rememeber that this will not be the last time I eat these foods. I can have just one serving. I do not need to eat as if I'm never going to have stuffing and mashed potatoes again.

Anonymous said...

Since I'm limited to small meals by my surgery, my goal is to not continue to keep going back and eating more and more.

Stuffing is one of my favorites too!

This should'nt be a problem for me this year because I will be eating at my in-laws

Jane said...

My plan for Thanksgiving is to weigh and measure my food before I bring it to the table. That's the only way I can put boundaries around what I'm eating.

I will have 4 oz. turkey, 1/2 C. stuffing, 1/2 C. mashed potatoes with 2 T gravy, 1/2 C. rutabagas, and 1 C. plain green beans. For dessert: a sliver of chocolate pie. This is a very hearty meal, and yet not over the top.

Breakfast will an omelet (1 egg, 2 egg whites) and 1/2 C. fruit. If I am hungry before bed, I will have 1/2 C. sugar free yogurt over 1/2 C. cup of fresh fruit. Total calories: about 1200-1300 for the day.

Leslie said...

I posted my plan last Saturday. Like you, no stuffing. Also, no pie crust(for me). I'm making a pumpkin mousse recipe I got from Helen (Doing a 180), though I will make a pie for the men. Mashed potatoes don't tempt me but #1 son couldn't live without, so they're on the menu. I WILL make a broccoli casserole that only appears twice a year in my house and I will indulge in that. It's low carb, though not low cal.

Sounds like you have good plans and are leaving out what would be your biggest tempters. Me too!

Anonymous said...

Thanksgiving was near the start of October for me, and I got through it alright with TWO dinners by not eating any mashed potatoes (I don't actually find them nearly as good as the veggies) massive servings of veggies and then small servings of everything else :)

Anonymous said...

It sounds like you have it all figured out. I never thought of letting my kids make butter before, that sounds like fun so I'm going to do that this year. We only eat real butter so that will work out great for us. My plan for thanksgiving is to just eat a little bit of the things I really want. ONE plate, no seconds, and not an overloaded plate either, just a normal sized plate. Whatever I put on there is what I get, but no seconds!

Wifey said...

I have three places to go so I'm stressing a little.

I'm on the Weight Watchers plan, so I'm keeping my points low every other day of the week and saving up my extra 35 points and any activity points I earn during the week to help out.

I'm making a veggie tray to take with us to the big dinner. Before that we're just hanging with my parents for a bit, so no eating there, but the third place is my IL's house and they will pressure us into a second plate of dinner, which I'm not interested in.

beerab said...

I'm making everything unfortunately, but have made healthy substitutions AND I'm making smaller portions of everything except mashed potatoes. If I did that everyone might kill me lol.

I plan on having a sensible breakfast and lunch and then not going nuts with dessert. A slice of pie and that's it!

Beth said...

The best plan that I ever found was to move to another country where there is no Thanksgiving! :-o

Why Thanksgiving, just passes right by with no food drama! Bit dramatic, but you know, whatever it takes...

Anyway, enjoy the day and best wishes with keeping it all reigned in.

Nicole D said...

What the heck is a "snicker salad"? In another post you mentioned "dessert nachos". Are these exclusively American?

Lyn said...


If you click the link in this blog post it will take you to the Snicker salad recipe. I don't remember exactly where the dessert nachos reference was but I think someone brought them to our house once, so I don't have a recipe for that. I don't know if people in other countries make these dishes. :)