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Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, CSSD, LDN Headshot

Save 1,000 Calories on Thanksgiving

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It is estimated that the average American eats 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving Day, equivalent to eight McDonald's Big Macs! Without sacrificing traditional foods like turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes, these simple swaps will trim 1,000 calories from your feast:

1) DANGER ZONE: BEVERAGES
TIP: Add club soda to your wine! Such an easy way to cut calories in half and stay hydrated.
Traditional Trimming: Wine (200 calories)
Standard Serving: Two 5-ounce glasses of white or red wine
Smart Swap: Wine Spritzer (100 calories)
Standard Serving: Two 5-ounce glasses of 1/2 wine + 1/2 club soda
SAVINGS: 100 CALORIES

2) DANGER ZONE: APPETIZERS
TIP: Calories of pre-meal nibbles add up fast. Socialize away from the app table -- save your appetite for the holiday meal.
Traditional Trimming: Cheese, Sausage & Cracker Tray (300 calories)
Standard Serving: 3 crackers, 3 slices of meat + 3 cheese slices
Smart Swap: Antipasto Tray (50 calories)
Standard Serving: 1 large roasted red pepper, 4 quartered artichoke hearts + 3 olives & 2 pickled asparagus spears
SAVINGS: 250 CALORIES

Traditional Trimming: Bread Bowl Spinach Dip (300 calories)
Standard Serving: 2 ounces Hawaiian bread + 3 Tablespoons spinach dip
Smart Swap: Mediterranean Plate (100 calories)
Standard Serving: 1/4 whole grain pita, 1/4 cup cucumber slices, 3 cherry tomatoes & 3 Tablespoons hummus
SAVINGS: 200 CALORIES

3) DANGER ZONE: SIDES
TIP: Consider cooking sides simply & focus on eating only your favorite holiday dishes that are special to the season.
Traditional Trimming: Classic Green Bean Casserole (150 calories)
Standard Serving: 3/4 cup serving: green beans, cream of mushroom soup, milk & fried onions
Smart Swap: Green Beans w/Caramelized Shallots (50 calories)
Standard Serving: 3/4 cup serving: canned green beans, shallot & olive oil
SAVINGS: 100 CALORIES

Traditional Trimming: Warm Dinner Roll + Butter (150 calories)
Standard Serving: 1 roll + 1 pat of butter
Smart Swap: Skip it! You can have this anytime of year.
Standard Serving: --
SAVINGS: 150 CALORIES

4) DANGER ZONE: DESSERTS
TIP: Variety stimulates appetite -- pick one type of dessert, eat it slowly and enjoy with a cup of decaf coffee or tea.
Traditional Trimming: Pecan Pie (500 calories)
Standard Serving: 1 slice
Smart Swap: Pumpkin Pie (300 calories)
Standard Serving: 1 slice
SAVINGS: 200 CALORIES

GRAND TOTAL SAVINGS: 1,000 calories

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