A Fabulous Feast

Worried that Thanksgiving may be hazardous to your health?

You're not alone. Many of us shudder when we think of the extra calories and fat the holiday table typically holds. (Especially since, as the weather cools, we'd rather curl up with a good book than go for a vigorous walk.)

Don't despair. With good planning and choice ingredients, you can "skinny down" any winter holiday feast without sacrificing good taste.

Begin with the bird
A golden-brown turkey is the hero of many holiday meals. Improve on tradition with a few quick changes.

Brining adds flavor without the fat. This old-school method means marinating your bird a day ahead, using a simple broth made with water, salt and seasonings. The result is a tender, delicious turkey that tastes great even without fat-filled gravy.

Add zing to your dressing. The stuffing you serve with your holiday turkey can deliver delicious, healthful fiber – a prime weapon in fighting cancer year-round. Make whole-grain bread or wild rice the base of your dressing, then add cranberries, figs, apricots or raisins for even more flavor and fiber. 

Delight all the senses
Remember that most satisfying and memorable meals feed all our senses. Try these ideas for Thanksgiving and other holiday spreads:

Dazzle guests with a brilliant platter of sliced red, orange and purple peppers, tender baby carrots, radishes and celery with cool, lowfat dip. These low-cal favorites are loaded with cancer-fighting antioxidants.

Draw on the flavor and fragrance of fall vegetables such as squash, sweet potatoes, pumpkins and beets, also high in antioxidants. Choose recipes that call for roasting and use little or no cream, butter or sugar.

Spice things up with seasonings that fill the air with rich scents as you cook. Find recipes that feature sage, rosemary, ginger, cinnamon, thyme and other fragrant herbs.

Adorn your table with nature's bounty, using colorful apples, pears, citrus fruits and nuts. 

More tips for healthy celebrations
Want even more ideas for Thanksgiving and the winter holidays?  Read this article by the American Cancer Society's nutrition expert, Colleen Doyle. And don't miss Colleen's video – a walk through the supermarket with tips for cancer prevention you can use all year long.