Doing Thanksgiving virtually is a little different from what we might be used to for the holidays, but it’s not impossible.
After practicing gratitude as a way of copingwe’re ready to put that into action over a truly delicious meal.
Staying home for a virtual Thanksgiving means you can start your day with yoga instead of being on a cramped train or a crowded airport, and make all your favorite recipes while skipping the dishes you don’t like.
Studies even found that cooking and baking can improve your mood.
Since we all want to modify and do whatever it takes to get the best results from our workouts, we wanted to apply the same positive attitude to Turkey Day.
Here’s our guide to having a fun and festive Thanksgiving at home.
1. Spend time with friends and family
Prepare a Thanksgiving Day may take a few days. All that time in the kitchen is a great way to reconnect with friends and family – call them or Zoom in to discover all their juicy secrets for baking the perfect pumpkin pie or roasting a turkey.
“It’s a great way for generations to share,” says Wesley McWhorter, DrPH, MS, RDN, LD, CSCS, national spokesperson for the Nutrition and Dietetics Academy. “You can help your parents or grandparents use Zoom better, and they can teach you their recipes.”
2. Tidy up (or at least hide the clutter)
Sure, it’s virtual, but you still have guests. Put on something that makes you feel good and get your laptop off the dining room table.
“Work on your lighting so people can see you and make sure your kitchen is clean,” says McWhorter. “A big mess looks sloppy and you still want a great presentation.”
He also recommends wearing wireless headphones so people can still hear you if you walk away. “It also reduces kitchen noise like chopping so you can focus on the conversation.” (But remember to mute yourself when you turn on the blender or blender.)
3. Work with what you have
“A lot of us have small kitchens, but you can use your microwave and stovetop to make side dishes,” McWhorter says.
If you’re going to be multi-tasking with a baked turkey, he makes stovetop sweet potato hash as a healthy alternative to candied yams.
“I cut up sweet potatoes with the skin on and sauté them with pecans, a touch of butter and maple syrup,” he says.
4. Make a whole turkey — or not?
If you’re up for the challenge, roasting a whole turkey means tasty, lean protein and leftovers you can get creative with for days.
Alternatively, roasting a turkey breast for one or two servings is much easier.
“You can also get a roast turkey from a supermarket or restaurant, which is a good way to support local businesses,” says McWhorter.
It also means more time to focus on preparing the side dishes you love.
5. Control the ingredients
“One of the benefits of having your own home-cooked meal is that you can decide what goes into each dish,” McWhorter says. “You can avoid processed foods, add more vegetables, use whole grainsand reduce the amounts of unhealthy fats and added sugar.
don’t neglect frozen vegetables, That is. They are picked and frozen during their peak, so they are a delicious and cheaper alternative to fresh produce.
Just look for those with no added salt and/or sugar.
Traditional Thanksgiving feasts start out pretty healthy, until you drown veggies in cans of processed soup or sauces.
You can modify the classics like healthier green bean casserole without losing flavor.
6. Vegetables, vegetables and more vegetables
Whether you’re hosting a virtual Friendsgiving with vegetable recipes or cooking traditional dishes with your family, focus on vegetables.
Thanksgiving began with a feast to celebrate a successful harvest and working together. From pumpkins to Sweet potatoesit’s about enjoying these seasonal vegetables.
“Roasted veggies are so easy to make, and they add texture and flavor to your plate,” McWhorter says. “Fingerling potatoes or Brussels sprouts roasted with thyme, rosemary, garlic, olive oil, then drizzled with truffle oil when you take them out of the oven enhance really any meal.”
Need inspiration? We also have a large maple-glazed Brussels sprouts Recipe.
7. Treat yourself mindfully
However, that said, sometimes you want to make your favorite holiday recipes exactly the way they’ve always been made – butter, sugar, all that.
“It’s okay if you want to use butter for flavoring,” McWhorter says. “Thanksgiving is a day of the year and it’s important to feel like you’re celebrating.
Mindful eating and pleasure are good things.
For these rich and indulgent dishes and desserts, he recommends having a realistic portion. And remember to cook just enough for one or two.
To celebrate mindfully, grab a serving of your indulgent treat. Remember that it will still be there next year, so you don’t have to overuse it and feel sick.