Thanksgiving: check. Family, friends, and feasting: check. Stomach ache and “seconds on the pumpkin pie” remorse: check. Don’t fret about the extra pound you may or may not have gained last week. Instead, indulge in lighter choices that will help you feel fresh and lean all over again. Bonus: these foods are all seasonal, so you can feel good about eating healthy and sustainable.
King of the heart-healthy fish, salmon supplies omega-3 fatty acids to protect body and mind from aging and disease. After all of the heavy, fatty turkey and bacon for Thanksgiving, treat yourself to a lean entrée that will satisfy without all that extra bulk.
Rather than smother your sweet potatoes in butter and maple syrup or bake a squash in a bucket of cheese, try these hardy winter roots as an unexpected side—as a salad. Using a mandolin or vegetable peeler, peel your root vegetable of choice into long, thin slices. Toss with fresh citrus juice, olive oil, and seasonings for a cleansing winter coleslaw.
Apples come into full season this time of year, so buy locally for the best flavor and apple crunch. Apples aren’t just for pies; their rich fiber makeup makes them extremely cleansing for the body. Choose green apples for an extra boost for the liver—a particularly useful cleanse if you’ve been heavy on the nog or cider this holiday.
Quinoa, the gluten-free Aztec “grain of the gods,” has gotten a great deal of foodie hype lately, and deservedly so. This whole grain is a complete protein and easy to prepare; just simmer in boiling water for about 10 minutes. Use quinoa, or other whole grains like millet, or brown rice, to make a light Thanksgiving pilaf. Chop up leftover Brussels, green beans, and even turkey, then add to grains with a drizzle of vinaigrette—enjoy at the office for a healthier lunch option.