Thanksgiving Made Healthy

The goal of this post is to put you at ease this holiday and show you that you can still fit in your jeans, be productive, and not feel an ounce of guilt.

Did you know that a Thanksgiving dinner can easily add up to 3000 plus calories and that you need to walk/run a full marathon (26.2 miles!!!) to burn it all off? I just want to put things in perceptive and show you that calories add up and you must be mindful when making yourself a plate.


Top goals for Turkey Day:
-No butter (if you must, use a small amount)
-Instead of tons of salt use fresh herbs and spices for flavor
-Lots of water and a few glasses of wine (we all should enjoy ourselves and be thankful) 
Portion control (half the plate should be veggies/fruit)
-Workout the morning of Thanksgiving


To give yourself peace of mind, I recommend working out Thanksgiving day. We are all busy, but YOU have to MAKE the time for yourself! All I am asking is 10-15 minutes of movement. Get outside and go for a walk or try my High Intensity Interval Training workout that only takes 15 minutes of your day. As a side note, this exercise requires no equipment and if you don’t understand any exercise just google it.

Ready, set, SWEAT!!

Thanksgiving 15 minute workout:
50 step ups (use the sidewalk, park bench, or chair at home)
30 squat jumps (keep that chest up, weight in heels)
10 burpees
30 alternating lunges
:30 jump rope (no jump rope? Pretend you have one and keep jumping)
:30 plank
30 sumo squats (wide stance, toes pointed out)
30 flutter kicks
20 hip dips (shoulder over hands)
50 mountain climbers
30 bicycle crunches
1 minute plank
[Feeling badass? Do 2 rounds!]

Now, the moment you have all been waiting for…Thanksgiving made healthy!!

The stuffing is made from scratch and tastes amazing with all the veggies, not to mention you get some whole grains with the whole wheat bread. Who would’ve thought stuffing could be made healthy? The cauliflower mash is genius, it’s creamy and tastes very similar to mashed potatoes. And lastly, the mini apple pie…wow this hand sized pie is flaky and has the perfect amount of sweetness. And not the fake sweetness from processed foods, but the real sweetness and how pies ought to taste. Enjoy!!


4 slices of whole wheat bread
1/2 cup yellow onions, diced
1/4 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup apples, diced with skin (you want that extra fiber in the skin!)
1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
1 chicken sausage link, diced
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup cranberries
Pinch of sea salt & pepper


Cut the whole wheat bread into small bite size pieces and bake on baking tray at 350* for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a skillet with 1 tbsp olive oil and then place onions, celery, apples, parsley, salt & pepper. Sautee veggies for 10 minutes or until softened and then set aside in a small bowl. In the same skillet, cook the chicken sausage until fully cooked then add bread cubes and veggies. Add the chicken broth and cranberries and mix. Pour into a 8×8 baking dish, bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top is browned and hot in the middle. Serves 4-5 people.


Cauliflower Mash


1 head of cauliflower
1/4 cup grated parmesan
3 tbsp plain greek yogurt
1/4 cup chicken broth
Pinch of salt & pepper
1/2 tbsp chives, chopped finely


Chopped head of cauliflower in smaller pieces and add to a boiling pot of water. Boil for 10 minutes, drain, and quicky dry with paper towels. Add cauliflower to blender/food processor with chicken broth, parmesan, greek yogurt, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth consistency. Stir in chives and top with rosemary. Serves 4-5 people.

IMG_4209 IMG_4213Mini Apple Pies


1 apple, diced into small cubes
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
1 tbsp coconut sugar
1/2 tbsp whole wheat flour
1/4 lemon jucied
1 roll of Pillsbury pie crust
Egg wash (1 tbsp water, 1 egg)


Preheat oven to 425* and line a baking sheet with parchment/foil and spray with olive oil. In a small bowl, mix apples, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, coconut sugar, and flour. Set aside. On a well floured surface roll out dough and use a glass cup (I used a 12oz mason jar) to cut as many circles as possible. Place pie circles on parchment paper, brush perimeter with egg wash and place little over 1 tbsp of apple filling in the center. Lightly stretch the second pie circle and place over the top of the apple filling, use a fork to seal the edges, cut slits on the top to allow steam to escape, and brush tops with egg wash. Bake until golden brown for 10-12 minutes. Serves 4-5 people, 1-2 pies as the serving size.


Vicki Pepper

Great recipes – I’d recommend switching from Pillsberry pie dough to Trader Joe’s (It’s in the freezer section). It has a much better taste, less expensive and no trans fats. Can’t wait to try the stuffing. Thanks Andy for such great tips. I plan on eating a 5K instead of a marathon for Thanksgiving and and walking -not a Marathon but at least a 5K. Happy Holidays 🙂


Awesome, thanks for the tip. I will definitely try the Trader Joe’s brand! 5k sounds great, way to get moving on Turkey Day!


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