Watching calories on Thanksgiving Day without feeling deprived

(Johnny/Flickr Commons/CC BY-SA 2.0)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Ready to satisfy that Thanksgiving appetite?

Indulging on the day we give thanks is as traditional as turkey with all the fixins’.

If you’re not careful, it can be calorie overload.

“This is almost our take of the green bean casserole but it’s much healthier.”

Weighing in with skinnier versions, Executive Chef David Lee at Elm City Market.

Instead of cream and butter, olive oil and vinaigrette dressing.

Healthier ingredients, less calories.

“Instead of using sugar, we use a lot of fruit juices, apple juice, grape juice, to help sweeten. And also, instead of using cream for your mashed potato, you can use chicken stock with roasted garlic for instance and make a thick paste,” said Chef Lee.

Still hungry, check out all the veggie options served at the table.

And you’ve heard it before, moderation and portion control.

If that doesn’t do the trick, how about this food for thought.

“For every bite that you eat,” says Chef Lee, “chew it for 20 times, so that you can fully savor the flavor and experience every bite of your food. And then by then, hopefully you will be tired, you probably won’t want to chew anymore.”

Not easy to do when you’ve got all kinds of pies to gobble up.

So Chef Lee says take a smaller bite of the fruit ones.

“Chocolate pie and lets say pumpkin pie, are much healthier than eating a lot of cherry pies or blueberry pies because those are loaded with much more sugars so they are higher in calories,” he says.

There’s always this not so novel idea.

“You’re with your family, you haven’t seen them for so long. So do more talking, less eating,” said Chef Lee.

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