Have a light, healthy Thanksgiving feast

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Pumpkin Oat Flax Muffins are a great way to start your day on a healthy foot. (Anne Parker/The Daily Campus)

If you have been focusing on getting healthy and do not want Thanksgiving to ruin your clean eats, fear no more.

 The best possible thing to do is to plan ahead. Remember, Thanksgiving only comes once a year and it is perfectly fine to indulge a little bit.

Many places offer an annual “Turkey Trot” run on Thanksgiving morning. Get your family to do that with you and then you can eat what you want without the guilt.

Make sure to eat first thing in the morning to get your metabolism going with a healthy breakfast. These muffins are a perfectly satisfying treat.

Pumpkin Oat Flax Muffins

1 can pumpkin
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup oats
1/4 cup ground flax seed
2 tbsp chia seeds
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tbsp cinnamon
2 eggs
2 tbsp almond milk
6 ounce 0 percent plain greek yogurt

*To make this into more of a dessert, add dark chocolate chips.

Preheat over to 375 degrees. Then, mix all wet ingredients and add in dry ones. Next, bake for 15 to 20 minutes. This recipe makes 12 muffins. Serve warm.

Try to take the focus off of the food. Yes, it is a time when everyone gets together to celebrate over a big meal, but remember, this holiday is about spending time with your loved ones – not stuffing yourself silly.

The turkey is not the problem. Turkey is great and full of lean protein. Thanksgiving side dishes are what will get you.
Want a few lightened up side dish recipes? Try these from healthy living bloggers to keep you and your skinny jeans happy.

Skinny Green Bean Casserole

1 bag of frozen whole green beans or about 4 cups fresh
1 cup of mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tsp chopped garlic

Sauce:

1 cup plain low-fat greek yogurt (or low fat sour cream)
1 tsp corn starch
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 pkt stevia (or 1/2 tsp sweetener of choice)

Topping:

1 tbs minced dried onion
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sauté the onions, garlic and mushrooms in half a cup of water, stirring occasionally until the water is completely evaporated.

Add de-thawed green beans to the bowl with the mushrooms and onions.

Mix ingredients together to make the sauce. Add sauce to the green beans and toss until everything is well coated Add everything to prepared baking dish. Mix topping in a small bowl, and sprinkle evenly over the top. Bake (uncovered) 35 to 40 minutes or until the topping is golden brown. Serve warm.

Lightened-Up Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet potato layer:

2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/3 cup canned lite coconut milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter

Add sweet potatoes to a pot with cold water, then bring to a boil. Cook until potatoes are fork tender, then drain.

While sweet potatoes are cooking, add butter to a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisking constantly, cook until little brown bits appear in the pan – about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove immediately from heat and set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In the bowl of an electric mixer (or a large bowl, using a hand mixer), and add sweet potatoes. Add all remaining ingredients – sugar, syrup, spices, salt, vanilla extract, coconut milk and brown butter – and mix on low speed until combined about 30 seconds. Mix on medium speed for another one to two minutes, until potatoes are whipped.

Spread in an oven-safe pan or dish.

Oatmeal coconut pecan crumble

1/2 cup whole, unsalted pecans, chopped
1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened, flaked coconut
1 tablespoon whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of salt
2 tbsp butter, softened
1 cup mini marshmallows

Combine oats, flour, pecans, coconut, spices and salt in a bowl and mix to thoroughly combine. Add in softened butter, and use your hands to completely moisten the mixture and clump it together.

Sprinkle the crumble around the outside of the dish – leaving room in the center for marshmallows. Add marshmallows to the middle.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until crumble is golden and marshmallows are gooey.

Have a happy Thanksgiving.  

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