Thanksgiving – Don’t just survive, when you can THRIVE!

Thanksgiving – Don’t just survive, when you can THRIVE!

Are you starting to wonder how you’re going to make it through Thanksgiving without blowing all of the hard work you’ve put into losing weight?  We want to give you some tips for surviving and some recipes for thriving as you approach this wonderful celebration.

  • Focus on the Holiday – not the food.  Thanksgiving is about being grateful for the amazing things in our life.  We’re really good at celebrating with food, but this year let’s work on being thankful for friends, or family, or country, or the earth, or health, etc.  Make food secondary – not the top reason for the holiday.  Enjoy the fact that you are making choices that will make you feel so much better – rather than lamenting over the food you can’t eat.
  • Be Prepared!!!  Make sure there will be food available that you can eat and enjoy while still following the protocol that has been laid out for you.  If this means that you prepare your own food and take it with you, that’s okay.  Don’t make a big deal about it, just let your host know that you are restricted in what you can eat – and you want to share the company, but don’t want to be a burden by asking them to cook differently for you.   Most people will really support you in your decision to improve your health.  If it’s a big enough crowd, they might night even notice.  Better yet – make enough of your options to share – someone might find out that eating healthy can be enjoyable!!!
  • EAT BREAKFAST!!! Don’t skip ANY meals on Thanksgiving day.  Start your day off with your full serving of protein and eat every 3 to 4 hours up until the big meal.  The potatoes and stuffing or pumpkin pie will be way less of a temptation if you aren’t ravenous by the time you sit down to eat!!!
  • Enjoy the beautiful weather and get outside.  Take a walk or a bike ride with friends or family.  Play a game of football or basketball.  Remember when you were young and you could care less about the dinner?  What you loved about Thanksgiving was that you got to hang out with your favorite people and had some time to get outside and PLAY!!!
  • Thanksgiving gatherings are a great time for group games.  Pull out the Pictionary, or Catch Phrase.  Look for ideas from Minute to Win It, or play Charades.

But, you do want to eat, right?  So here are some recipes for Thanksgiving Dinner that are legal for Phase 1.  Phase 2 and Phase 3 people – as well as those of you who are maintaining right now – adapt them according to your conversations with Brenda.


Have your portion of that yummy turkey breast.  Stick to the white meat and leave the dark meat (unless you’re in Phase 2 or 3).  Leave the gravy and cranberry sauce alone!

Mashed Potato SUBSTITUTE!!!

Break a couple of heads of cauliflower into very small pieces.  Spread across a baking sheet sprayed lightly with Pam.  Sprinkle with onion powder and/or garlic powder.  Roast in the oven at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes (until tender).  Put roasted cauliflower in a stand mixer with the whisk or use a hand mixer to break up the roasted cauliflower into really small pieces.  It will be chunky, but it is amazingly delicious.  No gravy needed!!!

Mmm..Mmm..Mock Mashed Potatoes (with adaptations for Phase 2)

  • 2- 10-ounce packages frozen cauliflower (or fresh 3/4 head)
  • 1 tsp chicken bouillon granules
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp minced onion flakes (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp Low-sodium Chicken Broth or Bouillon Base (Phase 1)
  • 2 Tbsp Non fat Greek Yogurt or skim milk (only for Phase 2)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Cook cauliflower in microwave or on stove top until it is VERY done–fall-apart fork tender. Drain well and mix cauliflower with all other ingredients except cream in food processor or with a powerful mixer (hand or stand). Mixing with mixer will give “lumpier” results than a food processor, but some people feel the lumps make it seem even more like mashed potatoes. Add broth slowly and mix again. (You must be careful adding liquid. If you add too much, you are in for trouble. Your dish may take a tiny bit more or less than the called for amount of liquid.) Spray an ovenproof dish with cooking spray and put mixture in. Add a bit of paprika sprinkled on top to add nice color. Bake 15-20 minutes until hot. For those of you who think they would not like this dish because they are not fans of cauliflower, I implore you to try it–you’ll be hard pressed to tell it from mashed potatoes–it does not taste like cauliflower at this point. Really. Makes 4-6 Servings

Asparagus with Lemon Rosemary Sauce

  • Juice of ½ Lemon with rind
  • 1 Tbsp Braggs Aminos
  • 1 Clove Garlic crushed and minced
  • ¼ tsp Rosemary
  • Dash of Garlic Powder
  • Dash of Onion Powder
  • Sea Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Cayenne

Marinate asparagus in lemon, garlic, salt, pepper, cayenne and Braggs.  Steam or grill asparagus.  In a small saucepan place remaining marinade, along with the lemon rind, ½ cup of water and cook until the pulp comes out.  Reduce the liquid by half and pour over the asparagus.  Garnish with lemon slices.

Apple Dessert

If you are allowed to have fruit try this out while everyone else is getting fat from pie and whipped cream.  Dice an apple and sprinkle it with some stevia and cinnamon.  If it’s still warm outside, it’s good just like that, or if you would like a warm dessert, put it in the microwave or bake it until the apples are soft – it’s amazing.  If you’re in Phase 2, you can add a bit of Greek Yogurt for a creamy fruit treat.

Holiday Green Bean Casserole with Onion Ring Topping (Phase 2 only!!!)

  • 1 lb. fresh or frozen cut green beans
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed and minced
  • 8 oz. sliced mushrooms
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • Pinch of mustard powder
  • ½ red onion sliced into rings
  • ½ cup grated cheese
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

Prepare fried onions for the topping.  Dip onion rings into egg and coat with parmesan cheese.  Fry in olive oil and set aside.  Mix green beans, Greek yogurt, leftover egg, onion, mushrooms, and spices.  Pour into a baking dish and top with onion rings.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

  • Jack
    Posted at 22:36h, 21 November

    Great advice and excellent suggestions on the recipes.

  • Carey Dave
    Posted at 15:13h, 22 November

    Just wanted to let you know, I am not on your email list. Kim, my daughter, forwarded the last 2 newsletters to me. I mentioned this to Tiffany the last time I was in for my appointment. I would really like to start receiving your newsletters. I found this one to be so informative and liked all your recipe ideas. Thanks