Wanna Avoid Over-“Stuffing” Yourself this Season? Let’s Talk Turkey!

The countdown for Thanksgiving is on, and chances are, we’ve all got food on the brain. After all, baked goodies and comfort carbs are hallmark holiday traditions, but they often come at the expense of our waistlines.

So, in response to Turkey Day’s delectable yet potentially “diet derailing” fare, follow these pointers for mindful — and enjoyable! — eating:

Avoid Thanksgiving Overeating

1.   Don’t deprive yourself by skipping the pre-Thanksgiving meals.

Count on this rookie mistake to backfire when you face a smorgasbord of tempting morsels, while that empty stomach begs for relief. Hunger pangs increase the appetite, inevitably causing overindulgence. So, rather than restricting your intake altogether, choose light yet satisfying options for breakfast and lunch. For example, oatmeal topped with fresh fruit is both a hearty and healthy start to the morning, and a green salad loaded with colorful vegetables is an ideal afternoon pick-me-up.

2.   When the  feasting begins, allocate small amounts of each dish.

An average portion size equals the size of your fist, so apply this guideline when charging through the buffet line. Resist the urge to pile your plate with every delicacy within reach. Sure, you can’t wait to sample the entire spread, but a few bites of each tasty tidbit should suffice. View this meal as a marathon, — not a sprint — so pace that ravenous appetite. And, remember: dinner isn’t the only course.

3.   Fill the majority of your plate with veggies and eat them first.

Before digging into that fluffy cornbread, caramelized yams or quintessential butterball, consume those often overlooked side dishes — green beans, squash, beets and, of course, the relish tray. Starting your meal with nutrient-dense vegetables will curb initial cravings. So, rather than inhaling the carbs, sugars, fats and high-caloric items, you might just manage a few cursory nibbles.

4.   During the meal, chew slowly and pause between mouthfuls.

Don’t devour the deliciousness in such record time that you barely taste any flavor. Instead, savor these traditional comfort foods and allow the familiar aromas, seasonings and textures to fill you with nostalgia. Instead of letting the entire meal revolve around your taste buds, actively engage in table conversations and create memories with loved ones. Also, deliberately set your utensils down after swallowing each bite and take a break before resuming the graze-fest.

5.   Unless you’re still HUNGRY, avoid sneaking back for seconds.

Practice self-restraint by repeating the following mantra in your head: “I’m saving room for dessert. I’m saving room for dessert. I’m saving room for dessert…” This will motivate you to fight temptation until it subsides. Meanwhile, stay occupied between courses by leaving the table and participating in a physical activity to jumpstart digestion, prevent further pitfalls and burn post-dinner calories. Take a brisk nature walk, organize a touch football scrimmage, recruit some friends for an abridged Turkey Trot, or even volunteer to wash dishes.

6.   Don’t deny the dessert cravings, but limit yourself to a sliver.

Pumpkin, pecan, apple, sweet potato…Oh, the cruelty of choosing just one!  But, in the seasonal spirit of gratitude, give thanks for will-power. Here’s another instance where portion control becomes key. There’s no reason to dodge the dessert station altogether — just don’t reach a level of physical discomfort. Experience a few spoonfuls of your favorite treat, then back away once that sweet tooth is satisfied.

Finally, consider this promising prospect: food-centric holidays mean leftovers for the whole week ahead!

Egg-less…Eggnog?!?!

Yup. You read correctly.

And, let me assure you: this is one mouthwatering oxymoron!

Quite possibly, my favorite seasonal indulgence is eggnog. Add a generous splash of rum, and that sugary, yolk-y, saturated fatty concoction tastes like liquid Christmas.

With a complementary aftertaste of “hello, holiday pounds!”

Sure, sometimes I can rationalize this guilty little pleasure with the old “Look at me getting my daily dose of protein!” excuse. But, the unfortunate fact remains that your average store-bought eggnog contains more imitation Nog than freshly-cracked Egg.

Still, it’s Christmastime, and seasonal beverage enthusiasts — such as myself — shouldn’t have to deprive themselves of drinkable holiday cheer. Therefore, I submit for your culinary experimentation (and guiltless enjoyment), a nutritious and equally delicious alternative to the questionable eggnog you’ll find on a dairy aisle.

This vegan recipe cuts down on refined sugar, saturated fat, and other artificial additives. It also substitutes avocado — Wait, what? Oh, yes! — for eggs, and coconut milk for all that…well, “Nog” stuff. The combined creaminess of these ingredients creates that delectably thick, smooth texture associated with classic eggnog (and even offers up some omega-3 goodness!). Plus, spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and vanilla add flavorful holiday nuances to get you into a cozy state-of-mind.

So, ignore the slightly greenish tint (because it really does taste like eggnog), and drink up!


  • Ingredients:
  1. small Hass Avocado
  2. 1 1/2 cups Coconut Milk
  3. 1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
  4. 1/4 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  5. 1/4 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
  6. 1/4 tsp. Ground Cloves
  7. 1 packet Stevia Powder

vegan eggnog ingredients

  • Preparation: 
  1. Peel the avocado and remove its pit, then chop the avocado into bite-sized chunks.
  2. Transfer the avocado chunks into a blender, then pour in the coconut milk.
  3. Stir the vanilla extract, stevia powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves into the coconut milk.
  4. Turn the blender to a medium-high setting, then puree the mixture until thoroughly smooth.
  5. Transfer the liquid into a tall glass (or Christmas-y mug!!!) and lightly sprinkle nutmeg on top.

vegan eggnog before

vegan eggnog after