Healthy Thanksgiving | Holiday Recipes | ACT Wellness Center

The perfect Thanksgiving dinner is when you feel good after your meal. Feeling bloated, fatigued and puffy might seem “typical” but it’s not healthy. Bloating is usually connected to what you’re eating and stuffing yourself.

You don’t have to compromise your good health during the holiday season. Combat the Thanksgiving bloat by reading your food labels and make healthier choices.  Perhaps it’s the food additives making you feel so bad. Food additives such as Maltodextrin, MSG and caramel coloring could be the culprits. Here are some healthy Thanksgiving recipes for the whole family.

Potatoes (Dried), Salt, Maltodextrin, Butter (Cream, Salt), Corn Syrup (Dried), Mono And Diglycerides, Buttermilk (Dried), Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Nonfat Milk, Natural And Artificial Flavor, Modified Corn Starch, Silicon Dioxide, Color Added, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Sodium Bisulfite, Citric Acid.  Maltodextrin side effects: allergic reactions, unexplained weight gain, bloating and flatulence, rash, asthma, itching and difficulty breathing.

Enriched Wheat Flour (Flour, Niacin, Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, riboflavin, Folic Acid), Wheat Starch, Beef Fat, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Corn Gluten And Wheat Gluten, Salt, Onion, Caramel Color, Corn Syrup Solids, Potassium Chloride, Disodium Inosinate And Disodium Guanylate (Flavor Enhancers), Sodium Caseinate (Milk), Spices (Including White Pepper), Sugar, Garlic, And Extractives Of Paprika, And Annatto. Caramel Coloring: The Center for Science in the Public Interest “the Food Police” have outlined potential caramel coloring dangers that may lead to cancer.

Water, Mushrooms, Vegetable Oil (Corn, Cottonseed, Canola And/Or Soybean), Modified Food Starch, Wheat Flour, Contains Less Than 2% Of: Cream (Milk), Salt, Dried Whey (Milk), Monosodium Glutamate, Soy Protein Concentrate, Yeast Extract, Spice Extract, Dehydrated Garlic. MSG: Research has documented several effects related to MSG, including burning sensations of the mouth, head and neck, weakness of the arms or legs, headaches and upset stomach approximately 15 minutes after the MSG is consumed [Source: Metcalfe].

Cranberries, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Water, Corn Syrup.  High Fructose Corn SyrupPrinceton researchers find that high-fructose corn syrup prompts considerably more weight gain. There are many natural alternatives to High Fructose Corn Syrup such as honey, stevia, agave nectar, maple syrup, molasses, sucanat, brown rice syrup, raw cane sugar, raw coconut crystals, palm sugar, xylitol, turbinato, etc…

Corn Syrup, Sugar, Dextrose, Corn Starch Modified, Water, Gelatin, Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate,  A Whipping Aid, Flavor(s) Artificial, Color(s) Artificial (Blue 1). FD&C Blue No.1 is a synthetic dye that is obtained from coal tar; it is a a synthetic dye used in soaps, shampoos and cosmetics.

Thanksgiving recipes: Delicious and healthy options

Looking for a “beyond organic” turkey this Thanksgiving? By exchanging the conventional turkey for an organic one you will be saving yourselves from digesting all the chemicals. Your organic turkey is not only better for you, but actually taste better! At Ployface farms, a portable hoop-house offers shelter to the turkeys; it’s moved every couple of days to a fresh pasture. This allows the turkeys to ingest copious amounts of grass and nutrients.

Our Favorite Recipes: Here are some of our simple, favorite, healthy side-dishes you’re going to want on your Thanksgiving table.

Roasted Beet & Beet Green Salad by Diane Crawford

  • 1 bunch each red and gold beets with beet greens attached
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 cloves of fresh garlic thinly sliced
  • 1 handful toasted nuts of your choice (almonds, pine nuts, walnuts)
  • Shaved pecorino or parmesan cheese


  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 4 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 shalot minced

Cut greens from beets and reserve.  Scrub beets & peel.  Cut beets in about 1” dice keeping red & gold beets separated as the red will bleed on to the gold.  Toss separately with olive oil, season with salt & pepper.  Keeping the beets separate place on sheet pan.  Heat the oven to 375 and roast 30 minutes or until fork tender.

Carry on… Wash your beet greens & slice your garlic. Then heat the remaining olive oil in a skillet over medium low heat.  Add the garlic, cook about 1 minute.  Add your chopped beet greens.  Cook until the beet greens are just wilted and season with salt & pepper.  Serve the roasted beets over the sautéed greens with toasted nuts, shaved cheese & orange vinaigrette.

Mashed Potatoes from Cauliflower

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons organic butter
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, optional

Steam cauliflower until very soft (you can also boil it but this is not recommended as a lot of the nutrients are lost) Chop up cauliflower and put in a food processor or blender.

Simple Cranberry Sauce

  • 1 bag ripe cranberries
  • 1.5 cup water
  • 1/2 tbsp honey
  • Your choice of sweetener to taste: 1/4 cup sugar or 10-20 drops plain or vanilla stevia liquid, or 2 Tbsp (30 ml) agave nectar

Put all ingredients in sauce pan. Heat on med-hi and bring to boil. Boil for 3-5 minutes and turn to simmer for 10 min., remove from heat. You can serve warm or place in fridge to thicken and cool.

Gluten Free Mushroom Gravy from She Let Them Eat Cake

Quick Cranberry-Apple Compote from

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Quinoa and Persimmons from Recipe Renovator

Maple Balsamic and Lemon Brussels Sprouts from This American Bite

Mashed Peas and Potatoes from JL Goes Vegan

Perfect Pumpkin Bread from Go Dairy Free

Raw Date Truffles from Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free

Pumpkin Pie from Lexie’s Kitchen

Don’t feel like cooking? Try this delicious 3 course style traditional Thanksgiving menu at the Bistro Hermitage in Woodbridge, VA. They book up quickly, so be sure to make a reservation.

The key to surviving the holidays is being mindful of your health. Would you like to know more? Stay informed send us a message and sign up for our newsletter.

ACT Wellness Center wishes you and your family a healthy and happy Thanksgiving!

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