12 Nov Thanksgiving Menu Planning Made Simple & Healthy
Thanksgiving tradition means something different to each and every one of us.
However, there is one thing that I know we all have in common when it comes to Thanksgiving Day: whether you’re the event planner, the chef, or dessert connoisseur of the family, we all come together around one main focus besides spending time together that day:
FOOD…and lots of it!
So, I’m here to help you make your thanksgiving day just a little bit healthier and your menu planning just a little bit easier, because you can find it here, all in one place! Don’t be afraid to indulge by any means, because these recipes will not disappoint when it comes to flavor. All I care about is that you continue to be aware of the ingredients that are going into your meals. This is the simplest change you can make to create a healthier Thanksgiving!
Quality ingredients will make a world of difference for your health.
Plus, there’s nothing worse than a bellyache after a great day full of family, friends, and too much food because you’ve been eating food full of artificial food coloring, additives, toxins, and food groups your body doesn’t love!
The typical Thanksgiving Menu that you’re used to might look a little something like this:
- Mashed potatoes and gravy
- Corn bread
- Cranberry sauce
- Green bean casserole
- Candied sweet potatoes
- Macaroni salad
- Grandma’s marshmallow jello salad
- & a variety of homemade and store-bought treats and pies for dessert
Curious to know the main downfall on Thanksgiving day in my perspective? The quality of the food we are eating! The majority of these ‘traditional’ recipes were potentially healthy originally, but they have been made “more convenient” by the food industry.
Now the food we eat is full of GMOs, harmful hormones and antibiotics are in the over-sized turkey, packaged seasonings have artificial flavors and colors added, stuffing from a box contains MSG and other preservatives, vegetables are poured out of cans soaked in oil and lined with BPA (please look for frozen veggies, not canned!), and last but not least, our food has so much added sugar that is most likely the secret ingredient in most of the menu items you love. Plus, I don’t know if you noticed, but other than the canned green beans in the casserole, there’s nothing green or necessarily good-for-you on the typical Thanksgiving menu.
Inspired to make your family tradition just a little bit healthier this year yet?
Start by using real , whole foods! It’s that simple. And if you must use a package, make sure you’re turning it around and reading the ingredients under the nutrition labels too! From there switch to organic products.
This is one of the most important simple changes you can make to upgrade the health and nutritional value of your meal: focus on real, organic food.
I’ve sourced some inspiration from my friends in the health and wellness community with a focus on real, organic food to share a ‘family style’ menu with you, the SuperLife way. I think of it as all of my friends coming over and bringing their favorite dish! We would love if you joined us:
Check out this cleaned up, healthier, superfood-packed, SuperLife Thanksgiving Menu:
- Organic, pasture raised turkey from your local community farm or pre-ordered from your neighborhood health food store.
Now you might be surprised that I have turkey on the menu, as most of you know I haven’t eaten meat in almost a decade. It’s not for me.I personally don’t eat meat, and won’t again this Thanksgiving. My body doesn’t need it or want it. But I don’t endorse artificial, processed “turkey substitutes” that are full of harmful ingredients either. Seriously, flip the label on a tofu turkey. You might be surprised by how much junk is in some versions. Any guests who may be meat eaters in my house wouldn’t appreciate a ‘tofu-block-shaped-like-a-turkey’ dish any more than I would.
But I know that some of you choose to include meat for a variety of reasons. For those that choose to eat turkey, please get organic and pasture-raised options, without the use of GMO feed or antibiotics. They will be more expensive, but we seriously don’t need to eat as much protein as many current fads promote. You’ll be fine with a true serving size of 4 oz. If you choose to skip the turkey like me, then don’t forget to load your plate with additional colorful plant-based foods that are available on the rest of our menu.
- Corn Bread Stuffing with fresh ingredients from Vani Hari at FoodBabe.com.
(P.S. – If you double the corn bread portion of this recipe you can have plain cornbread squares available for your guests as well as cornbread stuffing to add variety to your options without the hassle of multiple recipes.)
- Spinach Arugula Almond & Pomegranate Salad with a simple homemade Lemon Garlic Salad Dressing from lifesambrosia.com.
- A Simple Pumpkin Salad from Sarah Wilson at IQuitSugar.com.
- Coriander Roasted Carrots from Dr. Mark Hyman at DrHyman.com.
- To make this recipe vegan, use coconut oil instead of ghee!
- Rosemary Roasted Butternut Squash with Toasted Pecans from Briana at BeachLifeOrganic.com.
- Cranberry Quinoa Brussels Sprouts Salad with a very simple homemade Citrus Salad Dressing from Ali at gimmesomeoven.com.
- Mashed Faux-Tatoes (made with cauliflower instead of white potatoes) from Dr. Josh Axe at DrAxe.com.
- To make this recipe vegan, use coconut oil instead of ghee.
- Mushroom Gravy from a good friend of mine, Rich Roll. BONUS: this gravy is vegan, gluten-free and made out of mushrooms! One of my favorite super foods.
RELATED: Listen to my podcast with Rich Roll!
- Superfood Cranberry Sauce by yours truly, Darin Olien at SuperLife.com.
- Candied Pecan Chocolate Brittle from Ella at DeliciouslyElla.com (she’s from London so you may need to translate a few of her measurements, such as Celsius to Fahrenheit by using a quick google search) … it’s worth it though, her recipes are always perfect family favorites.
- Pumpkin Pie Spiced Turmeric Latte to help you wind down at the end of the evening from the couple behind FoodMatters.com, James & Laurentine.
If you make any of these delicious, highly-nutritious recipes a part of your Thanksgiving celebration, let me know! No matter what recipes you choose remember to use quality, organic ingredients and your body will thank you. Enjoy the holiday!