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Where Thanksgiving Calories Hide

The Thanksgiving holiday can pose a unique challenge to those who have embraced a healthy lifestyle. CNN recently addressed this dilemma and provided some timely tips to help navigate the perils of the classic holiday spread.

As outlined in my nutrition plan, the key to healthy eating is to consume exclusively whole foods. Thanksgiving is an excellent forum to lead by example and focus on high quality fats while avoiding carb laden breads and stuffing. If you crave starchy sides, I recommend organic potatoes instead.

Avoid canned cranberries. This cloying and gelatinous sauce is beloved by many but unfortunately runs afoul of one of the basic tenets of healthy eating. This is to avoid all processed foods. Canned cranberries are a sugar bomb and often adulterated with questionable preservatives.

Cranberries in their whole form are rich in antioxidants. A delicious alternative recipe is my Festive Fermented Cranberries. Unfortunately, the recipe does require several days of fermentation. It is too late to introduce your Thanksgiving guests to this healthful alternative, but there is still time to make a simpler sauce from fresh cranberries. Instead of sugar, try sweetening them with orange, apple or a natural sweetener such as stevia.

The primary purpose of the Thanksgiving holiday is to express gratitude. Sharing time with family and friends provides an excellent opportunity to bask in the warm glow of gratitude. It is also an opportunity to consider the benefits of harnessing the power of gratitude throughout the year. One empowering exercise is to start each day by thinking of all the things you have to be grateful for. An annual celebration of thanks is a beautiful tradition and using it as a springboard for a more mindful lifestyle is a worthy endeavor.