How to Stay Healthy on Thanksgiving Day

The holidays are such a hard time of year to try and be healthy. Especially Thanksgiving, I mean come on, the whole holiday is about deliciously bad-for-you foods! The good news is that it's totally possible to stay on track and stick to a healthy lifestyle even during the most dangerous time of year. And I know this because every year, I personally dodge this minefield and find good workarounds where I can stay healthy while still enjoying myself.

At Thanksgiving dinner, I load up on turkey and veggies. I hit up the veggie tray hard and any salads or veggie sides like Brussels sprouts or green beans. After I have a big ol' plate of meat and veggies, then I'll go for the other not so healthy options, but small portions. Again, it's good to enjoy yourself and not be deprived, but also not go overboard loading up on the bad stuff upfront. 

Avoid the challenge of peer pressure

This is what no one warns you about: one of the biggest challenges is peer pressure. "Oh come on, it's Thanksgiving! Treat yourself!" Right? I've heard that a LOT. But this is about YOU, and what YOU want. Do you want to get through the day without guilt? Without feeling like you destroyed all of your hard work? You eat what YOU want. Sure, people will hassle you during Thanksgiving, but when the New Year rolls around and everyone is joining on the healthy bandwagon … you already have a head start! And congrats, you've made a lifestyle change! Making healthy choices during the holidays is hard, and you're maneuvering through it, that's not just a diet anymore. It's learning how to deal with challenges that you will face year round.

With that being said, let's get to the leftovers!

Now Friday rolls around and you need to be back on your game, right? That canned cranberry sauce? You can put it to good use!

Here are a couple, healthy leftover tricks

For breakfast …

Cranberry Yogurt Granola Parfait

  • Half cup of plain Greek yogurt
  • A couple spoonfuls of cranberry sauce
  • Sprinkle with blueberries 
  • 1/4 cup of granola


A yummy salad for lunch or dinner …

Cranberry Balsamic Vinaigrette 

  • One tablespoon cranberry sauce
  • One tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 tablespoon olive oil


Kale and Spinach Turkey Salad

  • Handful of kale
  • Handful of spinach
  • Half of granny smith apple (optional)
  • Sprinkle of pecans
  • Sprinkle of Craisins 

This time of year is super intimidating, but you don't have to fall into old routines. You can still enjoy all the deliciousness of the holidays while being kind to your body. You got this! 

For additional tips about making healthy choices at Thanksgiving, check out this article. 


​You may have heard radio personality, Amanda Valentine, on B-105's Afternoon Show on weekdays from 3-7 p.m. She also publishes a blog titled Weight a Minute. Amanda has struggled with weight issues her entire life, but in 2012 she started her weight loss journey and now she's lost over 100 pounds. What started as a three-month New Year's resolution challenge with co-workers has evolved into a passion for healthy living. Amanda is excited to share her healthy living tips, tricks, and information with Healthspirations.