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11 ways to eat clean at Thanksgiving

Tips for eating clean on Thanksgiving
Photo credit: Brzozowska/Getty Images

We asked MakeItGrateful.com contributor Nichole Beaudry how she keeps it clean at Thanksgiving. Here are her 11 tips for eating clean at Thanksgiving.

1. So much of the food we crave during the holidays is based in emotion and nostalgia. Make a list of the dishes you associate with family holidays and pare it down to include just a few and tweak those recipes a bit to clean them up.

2. If a recipe calls for sour cream, switch it out for fat-free plain Greek yogurt. You won’t notice the difference! Greek yogurt is significantly higher than sour cream in both protein and vitamin B-12 and is packed with probiotics!

3. Thanksgiving is a carbohydrate lovers dream. Make a list of the carbohydrate laden foods you typically include in your Thanksgiving menu and pare it down to those you love most. Love stuffing and mashed potatoes? Skip the dinner rolls. You won’t miss them!

4. When whipping up those mashed potatoes, swap out half of the potatoes for cauliflower. Cancer fighting cauliflower is also loaded with extra fiber.

5. When making your stuffing, swap out the white bread crumbs for whole grain wheat. Whole grains are high in insoluble fiber, which helps to keep you regular, which helps to detoxify your body.

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6. Think a clean Thanksgiving means you have to skip the wine? Think again! The benefits of drinking wine (in moderation, of course) are numerous, including lowering your risk of heart attack, reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and lowering your risk of colon cancer. So cheers!

7. Switch out any processed white sugar in your menu for a cleaner, healthier sweetener. Some great options are raw honey, maple syrup, agave and date sugar.

8. When planning your menu, if an item isn’t in its whole form and comes packaged, read through the ingredient list. If you can’t pronounce what’s listed, find a cleaner option.  And while you’re reading, count the number of ingredients on the list. More than five? Skip it.

9. When you head out for your groceries, seek out local growers as much as possible. Not only will you be able to ask questions about how the food was grown, you’ll also feel great about supporting local growers.

10. If a recipe calls for vegetable, canola, corn, cottonseed oil, peanut oil, hydrogenated oil, or palm oil, swap it out for either extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil.

11. Avoid products that are labeled as fat free or sugar free. While these products may be lower in calories, they can also be loaded with chemicals.

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