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Thanksgiving Food Hacks for a Healthier Day

Thanksgiving is a fantastic Holiday filled with relaxation, family, friends and food. Ok, it's filled with mostly food. If you are like me, you want to enjoy ALL the food! Here is the great thing, you can! There are some simple substitutions you can make that will save on calories but not at the risk of loosing flavor! You will feel good about Thanksgiving Day dinner and no one will even notice the difference.

1) Swap green bean casserole for sautéed green beans and this swap will save calories and fat!

Sautée green beans in a tablespoon of avocado oil or coconut oil for 3-5 minutes. Top with slivered almonds and goat cheese to make it look more festive and add a bit of crunch. Salt & pepper as desired.

2) Swap regular mashed Potatoes to mashed potatoes with cauliflower. Adding cauliflower purée to traditional mashed potatoes makes them a little bit lighter without compromising their taste.

Follow your favorite mashed potato recipe, but substitute 1/3 of the recipe for pureed cauliflower. Make your favorite mashed potato recipe. While the potatoes are cooking, cut the cauliflower into florets and steam them. Once the cauliflower is slightly cool, puree it in a blender with just enough milk to make the blades turn. When you're mashing your potatoes, add the cauliflower purée at the same time you add cream or milk.

3) Swap store bought cranberry sauce for homemade cranberry sauce. If you have never been a cranberry sauce fan, you will be once you try this homemade version! This swap will save you on unnecessary added sugars!

In a sauce pot, combine one 12 oz bag of cranberries, 1 cup orange juice an 1/2 cup sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook over medium-low heat for 3-5 minutes. The longer you cook the smoother the cranberries will become.

4) Swap the soup for a nice big salad! Eat your leafy greens first and you will be less tempted to go straight for the buttered rolls and calorie laden soup. This swap will save you on fat & carbohydrates, but not flavor!

Use kale or arugula and top with fresh pomegranate, apples, walnuts and feta for a festive look and taste. Use homemade dressing to save even more fat and calories!

5) Skip the pie! This delicious dessert is easy and will offer a sweet snack after dinner without forcing you to get your sweat pants on so you can eat more! This swap will save you on sugar, fat and carbs.

Top low fat cream cheese with caramel sauce and toffee pieces. Serve with red and green apple slices.

Lastly, engage in some kind of activity for the day to get you moving. Most towns have a local "Turkey Run" or something of that nature. Take part in this and then spend your day relaxing, playing games and enjoying the day!

Oh, and don't forget the dog...dogs love Thanksgiving dinner :) Find a local Dee-O-Gee location or shop their online store to find a snack for your furry kids!

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