A Diaita Thanksgiving
A new challenge for those cooking for the family or bringing a dish to the party!
It’s feast time! Only so many times a year are we given a chance to breathe in one of life’s best moments, a table full of the people you love and a masterpiece of cooking at center stage. Family, food, elation, and tradition all swirl into a sweet association that leaves a lasting imprint in our minds. These blissful memories are the foundation for tradition and are what make the holidays so special. Each family has a tradition unique to them. My family takes a long walk together after the meal. My husband’s family includes waffles at the Thanksgiving meal (it’s a Pennsylvania Dutch thing). While universal traditions like spending all day in the kitchen, the turkey bowl, and the men ducking dish duty will be a part of everyone’s day, we would like to challenge you to create another tradition: serving a healthy, nutrient dense meal!
This challenge is designed to help guide you toward preparing and serving a delicious meal that will leave your family impressed, satisfied, and feeling great!
Diaita Thanksgiving Challenge
- No Prepackaged Food
- Cook From Scratch
- Use Real Whole Foods
- Focus on Nutrient Dense Dishes
- Quality Protein Source
- Avoid Sugar and Artificial Sweeteners
- Avoid Unhealthy Oils
- Cook with Healthy Fats
Take a picture of your beautiful dish! Tag @diaitanutrition on Instagram or Facebook with a short description of your meal and you will be entered to win a free Way of Life Reset!
No Prepackaged Food
Packaged foods do not carry as much nutrient value as fresh foods. Instead of using canned green beans opt for fresh green beans. Make a homemade salad dressing versus buying a dressing. When needing to use canned foods be sure to double check the ingredients so no added flavors, fillers, preservatives, or sweeteners are sneaking into your delicious dish! This also means chopping whole carrots for dips rather than using a bag of baby carrots. Use only real whole foods!
Cook From Scratch
This gives you full control of what ingredients are being used! Making the crust for your pie might seem daunting but it’s not as bad as you think. Same goes for the whipped cream! There is nothing more delicious than some freshly whipped full-fat cream with a little maple syrup added. This might add a little prep time to your day but it will be worth it! You can do it!
Focus on Nutrient Dense Dishes
My favorite side dish to contribute to the holiday meal is Roasted Brussels & Bacon! Choose more vegetable based side dishes rather than the starchy sides (rolls, potatoes, pasta, stuffing). Don’t worry, I’m not suggesting you skip out on mashed potatoes! A great way to make your mashed potatoes is to cook them in broth rather than water. Once you add your diced potatoes (that have been washed and diced with the skins on) to the pot add enough broth to cover about half of the potatoes then cover and let them cook. Be sure to stir them occasionally and as they cook they will start mashing on their own. Once they are done you will not drain anything out, remember we don’t want to lose any nutrients, add a slab of butter then mash them by hand or with an emersion blender until they are at your desired consistency. You can also add in a splash of whole milk to make them creamier.
Organic is always best when possible. If worried about cost follow the Environmental Working Group’s clean 15, dirty dozen guide.
Quality Protein Source
You do not have to limit yourself to making Turkey. Maybe try something new, like a roasted duck or brisket. If you are cooking for a small group and don’t need a 10-pound bird, take the opportunity to try something different. Remember, think quality! This means that organic , grass fed beef, and pasture raised poultry are the gold standard. Check out your local butcher, Whole Foods, or Natural Grocers for quality sources.
Avoid Sugar & Artificial Sweeteners
No artificial sugars or sweeteners! You can use maple syrup or honey as a substitute. There is no need to use sugar in any of your dinner dishes. Don’t forget about the drinks you are serving, this means no soda! Instead of soda have sparkling water and a special juice (organic and 100% fruit) to splash in it for a natural sweetness.
Cook with Healthy Fats
Don’t be afraid to use real butter!! There is a reason it tastes good on everything, it is full of beneficial nutrients. Avoid hydrogenated and highly processed oils and use healthy cooking fats in your dishes.
- Deviled eggs
- Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Dates
- Cheese plate: Quality cheeses with seed or almond crackers, sliced apples, prosciutto, smoked salmon, and olives
- Roasted Brussels & Bacon
- Butternut Squash & Quinoa Salad
- Pear, Beet, & Arugula salad with Homemade Dressing
- Mashed Potatoes in Broth
- Sauteed or Roasted Green Beans
- Gluten-Free Mac & Cheese
- Pumpkin Cheesecake
- Baked Spiced Apples
- Homemade Whipped Cream
- Sparkling Water – add fruit, basil or mint, and a splash of pomegranate juice
- Kombucha (I recommend Health-Ade)
- Kombucha cocktail!
- Spindrift or La Croix
Keep things simple by choosing 1 main protein, 2 vegetable dishes, 1 starchy dish, and 1 dessert.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving feast in peace knowing that all the love and hard work you put in is going to nourish your loved ones! Grab a drink and make a toast to all that you are grateful for!!
Feel free to comment or email me at email@example.com with any questions or if you need any help finding recipes for your favorite Thanksgiving dishes.
Don’t forget to take a picture of your meal and share it with us on Facebook or Instagram so you can enter to win the Way of Life Reset! @diaitanutrition #adiaitathanksgiving
Diaita Nutrition wishes you a Happy & Healthy Thanksgiving!!