Notice I didn't title this post "healthy eating tips". That's because my philosophy is that most of the food served at Thanksgiving is already healthy (sweet potatoes, turkey, pumpkin, green beans or brussel sprouts or spinach, cranberries). Those foods are all touted for their leanness or their antioxidant power or for their fiber content hence the Thanksgiving meal is a healthy one. Now, what about the butter and sugar added to these foods and the quantity we consume? Well, tish posh. That's just a petty thing not worthy of mentioning on the day we celebrate our founding fathers (and mothers).
Seriously, though, there are probably two days a year when I think people can throw caution to the wind (unfortunately most of us don't limit those times to just two days...): Thanksgiving and birthdays.
I have read all the great tips about how to eat healthy on Thanksgiving--how to cut down on fat and calories. Yes. The Thanksgiving meal contains an uncountable number of calories. Of course, if you have diabetes or another medical condition that could worsen or put you in danger, then you must follow your doctor's/dietitian's recommendations. Otherwise, be judicious (don't fill up until you have to open the top button of your pants....that's going too far!). Eat heartily. Enjoy. It's what the Pilgrims would have wanted!
If you're going to feel guilty afterwards, then don't use butter, eat only the breast meat of the turkey, use whole wheat bread for the stuffing, cut back on the brown sugar and be sure to serve fruit for dessert. I think guilt is more unhealthy than an occasional day of indulgence. I did not say "gluttony". I said "indulgence". No one wants to be sick after eating a lusciously delicious meal.
So enjoy your family and friends. Share a delicious meal. Savor all the flavors and textures. Then dump the really outrageous dishes and pack up the turkey and whatever else is relatively "acceptable" to eat for leftovers. One day of indulgence. You have my permission.