No matter whom you are or how healthy you are overall, we could all be a little health conscious and conscious of the foods we eat. During this time of year especially, we tend to eat a lot, and eat a lot of the things that we shouldn't. If you have COPD, you should try to eat healthier to fuel your body to help keep your immune system, as well as your lungs, heart and brain functioning as well as they can.
If you have any say in how Thanksgiving dinner is made this year, here are some healthy and delicious alternatives to the usual Thanksgiving dinner menu. These alternatives are different from what you might be used to, but they definitely don't lack in flavor. Your body will thank you later because of the added vitamins and nutrients.
Instead of just dumping your green beans, carrots or corn out of a can and into a pan, get some fresh or a bag of frozen veggies as your veggie side dish. Try chopping up and steaming or baking pan of squash and green beans, lightly oiled with olive oil and seasoned with your choice of herbs and some sea salt. Steaming veggies and seasoning them is also another great healthy way to serve your Thanksgiving vegetable side dish.
Greek Yogurt Dip
If you're serving a veggie tray to keep your guests happy before dinner is done, forgo the sour cream or other thick and salty (high fat) dip and use Greek yogurt, or a light non-sweetened yogurt. Greek yogurt is often used as a healthy substitute in recipes that call for sour cream, and it tastes just as good, if not a little sweeter. It's also a great source of calcium.
Skip Gravy for Sauce
The addition of salt and flour to turkey drippings is what makes it unhealthy. Just extract the turkey drippings from the pan without the fat, and stir in some herbs, honey and apple cider for a kick of flavor. Good herbs to use are thyme, parsley and sage, but you can also add onion powder. Pour this delicious sauce over your meat and mashed potatoes, and even the veggies.
Dress Up Potatoes
Many people like to add marshmallows and brown sugar to their sweet potatoes, but this of course adds a ton of empty calories and sugar. Instead, try adding some cinnamon over your sweet potato. Cinnamon has been found to be great for lowering blood pressure.
Use Whole Grains
Substitute any white bread with whole grain as a general rule for a healthier starchy side dish. If you're making your own stuffing, use whole grain bread instead of white bread. If you're including rice in the meal, use brown rice instead of white rice. Get or make whole grain dinner buns.
Healthy Dessert Options
To make homemade desserts healthier, substitute the oil and butter with applesauce. You can even sub eggs in dessert mixes with applesauce and baking powder! To substitute 1 egg in cookies or cake, use ¼ cup applesauce and 1 tsp baking powder.