5 Tips to Help You Eat with Reason This Thanksgiving

A healthy Thanksgiving is for stuffing turkey, not your belly. The Thanksgiving meal is really not that bad when you think about some of the foods involved. It’s the over-sized portions that can be bad, and of course, tons of leftovers!

Make this holiday stand out from the rest by putting your portion control knowledge to the test. Here are some tips and tricks to keep you fit during the holidays so you can spend your energy on what truly matters this season: family and friends.

Tip #1 Get Moving
Planning will help with this so make it a priority to fit exercise into your busy schedule; a little exercise is better than none. If you can’t make it to the gym, spend more time moving: go shopping, clean the house, or heck, wash your car by hand!
Personal Trainer Tip: aim to burn at least 100 extra calories a day. That’s as easy as three 10-min walks throughout the day, which is an accomplishable goal. The more you move, the better you’ll feel and the less you’ll be tempted to eat.

Tip #2 Aim for 5 a Day!
Fill up your stomach, not your calorie level, by loading up on fresh foods. If you focus on eating more fibrous foods you won’t have as much room for the holiday treats.
Dietitian Tip: eat your veggies first at meals to fill you up faster!

Tip #3 Don’t Temp the Temptation
Know your limits and have a plan of how much you will eat if you are going to indulge. Avoid the common pitfalls such as break rooms at work or the office candy dish.
Dietitian Tip: recognize which treats you’re most tempted by and try to find a healthier version. Be creative! Find healthy foods that spark your interest.

Tip #4 Never Go To a Party Hungry
Saving calories for the party could mean setting yourself up for a diet disaster. You’ll cringe when you start to binge as, naturally, your body is trying to make up for the calories not eaten earlier in the day.
Dietitian Tip: to win against the binge, eat a nutritious healthy snack such as Greek yogurt, Asian leaf wraps or an apple with gourmet peanut butter. When you get to the party you’ll be satisfied from your snack and won’t make a beeline for the buffet.

Tip # 5 Just say “NO”. Really, it’s OK!
We feel forced to eat more food during the holidays simply because people put it in front of us. If you’re already feeling full, train yourself to politely say, “No thank you, I’ve had enough. Everything was delicious,” or “I couldn’t eat another bite! Everything tasted wonderful.”
Dietitian Tip: for the relative that is relentless about making you eat and guilt-trips you out of saying “no”, suggest he or she fix a plate for you to take home.

If you do happen to indulge, don’t let the guilt hang over you or lead to more poor choices. Forgive yourself and be thankful. Have a happy Thanksgiving!

Pumpkin Cranberry Harvest Parfait

What a fun and creative way to present a holiday treat! These pumpkin parfaits are a perfect portion for a wonderful dessert. The Betsy’s Best is a perfect compliment to the cranberry and pumpkin. This dairy and gluten free dessert will be sure to be the hit at your holiday gathering.

A recipe for a pumpkin cranberry harvest parfait made with Betsy's Bestt

Ginger Whipped “Cream” Layer

  • ½ cup cashews, soaked overnight, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 Tbsp honey

Place cashews and water in blender. Blend on high until smooth.  Add melted coconut oil, fresh ginger and honey. Process until thoroughly blended. Chill in refrigerator until set.

Pecan Layer

  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Place pecans and cinnamon in food processor and pulse until chopped. 

Pumpkin Purée Layer

    Place pumpkin, cinnamon, Betsy’s Best and honey in food processor or high-speed blender. Pulse until puréed, adding water as needed.

    Cranberry Layer

    • 1 cup frozen cranberries, thawed
    • ¼ cup honey

    Place cranberries and honey in food processor and process until a chunky purée is achieved.

    Once all layers have been prepped, place a pecan layer in the bottom of a parfait glass. Top with pumpkin purée. Top with cranberry layer, then a layer of the ginger whipped “cream”. Repeat topping with more pecans until glass is filled. Yields eight 1-cup servings.

    If you don’t want to use the mini dessert glasses this pumpkin parfait recipe could be doubled and placed in a trifle bowl as a centerpiece to your holiday party.

    Peanut Butter & Cranberry Jelly Sandwich with Manchego

    Peanut butter and cranberry jelly sandwich with manchego recipe

    A new twist to a PB&J sandwich that turns good into gourmet! Think outside the box on a traditional sandwich and marry flavors in a whole new way. Give this toasted sandwich a try and be surprised at your new creation.

    2 slices whole grain bread
    1oz slice manchego cheese
    1 T cranberry jam
    1 T Betsy’s Best Peanut Butter

     

    Spread Betsy’s Best Gourmet Peanut Butter on one slice of bread and top with Manchego cheese. Spread the jam on the other slice. Toast sandwich in a Panini press, or toast in skillet until cheese is melted.

    You can easily switch the peanut, seed, and almond butter with this sandwich and even change up the jelly! Try an apricot spread, pepper jelly, or even fig jam for a new flavor combination.

    Functional Foods in the Thanksgiving Meal

    The Thanksgiving meal doesn’t have to be loaded with artery-clogging fats or sugar-spiking carbs. Instead, focus on filling your plate with foods that have a functional benefit for your health – that’s something worth toasting! Here are the benefits of Turkey Day and how to get more ‘bang for your buck’ during this year’s feast. 

    Turkey: loaded with niacin, vitamin B6 & B12, iron, selenium and zinc. Turkey protects against heart disease, supports a healthy immune system and helps repair DNA.

    Sweet Potato & Pumpkin: loaded with Alpha & Beta carotene, vitamins C & E, potassium, magnesium and rich in fiber. Sweet potato and pumpkin protect cells from free radical damage, protect skin and eyes from ultraviolet light and decrease risk for cancer and heart disease.

    Cranberry: loaded with antioxidants, vitamin C, manganese and fiber. Cranberries support the cardiovascular and immune system and are also an anti-cancer agent. The tannins in cranberries have an anti-clotting property and help reduce urinary tract infections.

    Green Beans: rich source of vitamin C, K, A, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, omega 3-fatty acids and manganese. Green beans support strong bones, oxidize cholesterol, lower blood pressure and reduce colon cancer risks.

    Cheers to your health!

    The BERRY Best Berries!

    The BERRY Best Berries!

    Wondering which are the berry best berries? Delicious, beautiful, sweet and simple – berries are as healthful as they are delicious. They make simple snacks, festive fruit salads and decadent desserts; their versatility is endless! You can see why dietitians say, “berries are best.”

    Let’s find out what makes these ‘super’ foods so super:

    Cherries

    Cherries have a short season, but are great dried. They’re rich in fiber, Vitamin C and anthocyanidins, and are associated with promoting heart health and reducing cancer risk.

    Strawberries

    Strawberries are rich in folate, which is one of several B vitamins found in food. Folate is responsible for making healthy new cells and preventing anemia and neural tube defects in developing fetuses.

    Blueberries

    Blueberries contain phytonutrients called anthocyanidins, which help them neutralize free radical damage to the collagen matrix of cells and tissues. They help reduce damage that can cause cataracts, glaucoma, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, peptic ulcers, heart disease and cancer.

    Cranberries

    Cranberries are best known for their ability to prevent bacteria from adhering to bladder cells. They may also help promote gastrointestinal and oral health, prevent the formation of kidney stones, decrease bad cholesterol (called low-density lipoprotein or LDL), raise good cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein or HDL), aid in recovery from stroke and even help prevent cancer.

    Red Raspberries

    Raspberries are best known for their antioxidant benefits and role in neutralizing free radicals. They are also high in manganese, Vitamin C, riboflavin, folate and niacin. In addition, raspberries are also a good source of dietary fiber.

    Blackberries

    Marionberries, boysenberries, loganberries and other blackberries are high in gallic acid, rutin and ellagic acid. With their dark-blue color, blackberries have one of the highest antioxidant levels of all fruits. Blackberries are also rich in Vitamin C and fiber, which help reduce the risks of certain cancers.

    What pairs better with Betsy’s Best Gourmet Peanut Butter? JELLY, of course! Now you can make your very own delicious homemade jam and pair it with your favorite Betsy’s Best Peanut, Almond or Seed Butter.

    Goldenberry Jam Recipe

    Goldenberry Jam Jelly Recipe

    Yields: 1½ cups

    • 2 cups white grape juice
    • 4 tsp agar agar flakes
    • 1 cup dried goldenberries (or cranberries) finely chopped
    • Touch of Stevia (optional)

    In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine grape juice and agar agar. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly to prevent flakes from sticking to pan. Cook 5 minutes, or until agar agar has dissolved and juice is slightly reduced. Stir in goldenberries and remove from heat. Add a touch of Stevia if desired (taste first – it’s already quite sweet). Cover pot and let mix sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Uncover and transfer to small blender. Pulse a few times, until just reaching a chunky texture. (Alternatively, bruise berries with the back of a spoon to release seeds). Pour mixture in a glass jar with a lid. Refrigerate 1 hour. Stir to evenly distribute goldenberries that may have sunk to the bottom. Return to refrigerator, allowing jam to gel completely (about 2-3 hours) before serving. Keep refrigerated, stays fresh several weeks.

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