Pumpkin pie and cookies and fudge, oh my!  Thanksgiving is just around the corner and that means food, and if your traditions are anything like mine, it means way more food than you could possibly eat. Here are some healthy switches to make this holiday season to keep the flavor and improve the nutrition. 
  • Use butter instead of margarine or spreads – butter contains a special fat called butyric acid which is one of the components of the calming neurotransmitter GABA. When faced with the stress of the holiday and maybe even your family, butter can help keep you calm, cool and collected. Plus, it contains vitamin K2 which is good for your heart, joints, and blood sugar balance. In baking, I melt butter and use in place of oil. Don’t be afraid to put butter on your veggies, too. 
  • Reduce sugar – you can cut the sugar by ¼ to ½ cup without sacrificing flavor. Adding vanilla extract and cinnamon can make a dish taste sweeter without a blood sugar rush or extra calories. 
  • Add bone broth – use to make gravy or mashed potatoes or use it as a beverage. Bone broth contains collagen and glycine which can aid digestion, help with anxiety, boost metabolism, and reduce appetite; something we could all use for those endless holiday meals. 
  • Cut your portions – take enough for a few bites of each item. You can always go back for seconds if you are still hungry. 
  • Ditch the Cool Whip – Cool Whip is not a food and it doesn’t do your body any good. It is so easy to make real, whipped cream and it tastes a whole lot better, too. Add a little vanilla and try honey instead of white sugar for sweetening. Add small amounts of sweetener at a time and taste before adding more. There is no point in putting in more sugar than necessary.  
If you want to limit grains, use tapioca starch to thicken gravy and try equal portions of tapioca starch and coconut flour in baked goods. Other healthy fats to use if you can’t do butter are coconut oil, properly rendered lard (make sure it is not hydrogenated), olive oil and avocado oil. Avoid soy, corn, and canola oils.  Have a fabulous holiday season and enjoy! 

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