While sipping my coffee, the photo on the cover of the Dining section of this mornings’ New York Times grabbed my attention. With my imminent visit to Manhattan to view the inflation of the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade balloons, I found the image of the balloon guy chowing down on a turkey leg startling. With the title, “The Feast of Gluttony”, accompanying the image, the article discusses over-eating on our favorite food holiday of the year and offers some helpful suggestions for eating less including portion control, polite excuses to the host who offers us more, eating better foods before-hand and exhibiting some self-control, or what article calls “moderation.”
It got me thinking. Does my family over-eat on Thanksgiving? I know we eat a lot, but do we over-eat?
As I reflected upon my own family feast and how many calories we will consume in the next few days, it occurred to me that the Times article didn’t discuss keeping the meal on the lighter side, which is my family’s style. And this is why I suppose I’ve never really worried about what and how much my family eats on Thanksgiving.
As my family and I prepare our Thanksgiving feast together, we cook on the lighter side. Our stuffing doesn’t use two sticks of butter as most recipes will suggest, but a mere half a stick. We omit any high fat meats in our stuffing like sausage or bacon. It’s the chicken stock which will give our vegetable based stuffing it’s depth of flavor.
We limit the number of butter laden vegetable casseroles at our table and serve several fresh vegetables on the side which are either roasted or steamed with a drizzle of olive oil or a bit of butter. We will cut the amount of sugar in half in our cranberry sauce, opting for a relish that embraces the tartness of the cranberries and is sweet enough. And finally, there won’t be a tempting over-kill buffet of desserts on our Thanksgiving table but a careful selection of a few carefully chosen treats. And let’s rewind to start: there won’t be any rich cheese platters or heavy dips to nibble on before the meal but a healthier crudité with a low fat spinach dip.
We’re not a deprived family with our low fat Thanksgiving. In fact my kids wouldn’t even notice the lack of butter or fat in our meal. When our feast is over, our expanded waist lines should only last until the next day or so. And one more thing: our lunch is usually made up of little tastes of this and that as we prepare our feast together.
This year, if you’re worried about being too gluttonous on Thanksgiving, just keep it light! It goes a long way in reducing the number of calories you will consume. I think your feast will be just as flavorful with an easier and guilt free digestion.
Happy Thanksgiving from me to you!