What to Eat for Dinner The Day Before Thanksgiving!

You start cooking for Thanksgiving on Wednesday morning…realizing at 4pm that you have no idea what everyone is supposed to eat for dinner that night. So you order pizza. Sound about right?



Think about dinner for just a couple minutes on Tuesday (so you can get the groceries when you go shopping for Thanksgiving), and you’ll be all set to eat a healthy, but filling meal Wednesday night. Many people say they’re just not going to eat on Wednesday or only eat salad, etc… that usually just drives them to a mindset of scarcity and straight to eating until they want to throw up on Thanksgiving day!

Here are 3 tips and 2 recipes to make for a fun, indulgent, but not gluttonous, holiday.

1. Self-loathing should never be part of Thanksgiving – or any holiday. Instead, in your mindset of giving thanks, feel thankful for the abundance of food on your table. Sit with it and absorb how blessed you are. No one is taking that food away from you in an hour or two. It will still be there later that day – and the next. If there is really a pumpkin pie emergency, you can always make or buy more. Then, decide to have one bite of everything, savoring each and every one, or choose to have two bites of half the items on the table. If you eat super early, when everyone goes back to the kitchen for leftovers in the evening, you won’t feel guilty for taking a bite or two of the dishes you didn’t get to earlier. And you’ll enjoy them so much more if you’re not so full you want to puke. Make sure that second helping is before 7pm so you won’t even need to get heartburn and your sleep won’t be disturbed by your digestion.

2. Eat well the day before and the morning of Thanksgiving. Focus on raw fruits and vegetables if you can, as there is usually a dearth of those on the traditional Thanksgiving Table (including mine!). For satisfying protein and healthy fat, along with a delicious berry taste, try a smoothie with nut butter, greens and berries, such as Reboot With Joe’s Goji, Cinnamon, Almond Smoothie. Just one glass will keep you going for half the day in the kitchen. If you want to munch while you cook, munch on the raw celery and carrots that will be going into your stuffing. Even better, start your day with a family walk! You’ll be energized and feel great about yourself and your ability to take care of yourself going into the holiday.

Best Friends

3. Keep the guilt-inducing dishes down to only about 1/3, rather than 9/10, as is tradition. For more ideas on how to make your easiest, healthiest Thanksgiving ever, read last week’s blog post here.

Thanksgiving table

The night before Thanksgiving: How to eat a healthy dinner instead of ordering pizza?

Set it and forget it!

Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Coconut Chili from The Fig Tree Blog. We LOVED this in my house. As you may have read in my blogs or on my Facebook lately, these days, I am all about slow cooker or easy one pot meals for Friday night Shabbat dinner. It’s almost always just us. Especially if I’m having company for Shabbat day lunch, it’s fabulous to feel like I’ve done zero work for Friday night.

I made this chili and Chocolate Covered Katie’s corn bread (made into muffins). So easy, healthy and filling! You can even use the rest of the cornbread for a Thanksgiving side or stuffing.

I’ll be taking any last minute healthy recipe requests, or any other requests, suggestions, resource sharing on Facebook and Twitter. You can also always email me natasha@healthyfamilyhealthyyou.com

Have an abundant, peaceful holiday!

Yours in health,

Want more easy, healthy recipes? Read the Healthy Family, Healthy You books and join the movement toward better health in a supportive environment!

pumpkin assortment 2


Are you like most health-minded people that make this mistake?

Healthy fuel for exercise

Step away from the sports drink!

As many of you know, I’m deep into my training for the Miami Marathon this coming January 24. I’m walking a half marathon to benefit Friendship Circle of Maryland, an organization that promotes friendship and inclusion for children with special needs. As I analyze what I eat and drink pre and post workouts, I know one thing: I’m not going to go the route of Powerade and Gatorade.

I’m going to give you a number of healthy exercise fuel tips over the next few months, leading up to the race. Today, we’re talking liquids and electrolyte hydration. When we truly physically exert ourselves we lose electrolytes our bodies need to function, such as salt and potassium. At extremes, when you’re doing something like running a marathon (not jogging 3 miles), it can be dangerous not to replace them.

Why Sports Drinks are not good for you

Contrary to popular advertisements, humans were not designed to require high fructose corn syrup and food coloring – with a side of electrolytes – to re-hydrate after physical activity. Some kids – and adults – are consuming these drinks on an almost daily basis. Yuck! Talk about negating all the good you’ve done through your physical activity… What if someone asked you to drink gasoline for your health? That’s what food coloring is made from.


As many of you know, I’ve been on a tear to eliminate food coloring from my family’s diet. I am 100% sure that my son needed an exorcism the last time he had too much food coloring. I’m going for almost zero digestion on the home front because, unfortunately, I cannot control what other people give my children. You would think in an era of life-threatening food allergies, people would stop giving other people’s children food without permission. Somehow, candy (without nuts) is considered a no-permission needed food and is still being used as a reward in and out of school. But I digress….

So that’s food coloring. On to high fructose corn syrup. Whether or not you believe that this substance is worse than sugar or responsible for the increase in obesity in the United States, I think it’s common sense to limit our consumption.

Now that you know traditional sports drinks are a bad idea, what are some good alternatives?

Alternatives to Sports Drinks

Coconut water: Naturally contains electrolytes, and slightly sweet without added sugar or corn syrup


Tart Cherry Juice: Good for inflammation and muscle recovery


Beet Juice: Good for blood flow and optimal muscle performance


A friend of mine said that she makes a natural sports drink using tart cherry juice and salt. I’m not sure if she adds coconut water or not. I think I’ll try this and add a scoop of the dehydrated coconut water powder*

Product Details

I bought to throw into green smoothies. I’ve also taken to adding chia seeds to my green smoothies. The effect is like a bubble tea smoothie with healthy fats and protein. In fact, there is a new “gel” for extended physical exertion, made from chia seeds.

Chia Seeds in a glass 3

(Sports gels will be a topic for another blog post). There are also new products made from very concentrated beet juice so you can ingest one or two liters per day, without actually drinking that much beet juice.

Have a great, physically active, hydrated day!


*This link will take you to my new Amazon store (look under Your New Pantry Essentials).  For a direct (affiliate) link to the product on Amazon, click on the picture of the coconut water powder. I wanted to make it easier for you to find all of my recommended products in one place. I will earn a small commission if you purchase products through my store. I didn’t want to set anything up like that for a long time because I’m a journalist, not a blogger (bloggers typically make money from referral commissions). However, in my efforts to make things more convenient for my community, the natural set up happens to give me a commission, so I’m just going to take it. I hope you don’t mind!



Looking for a Healthy Dinner in 10 minutes? Look no further!

For my second vegan Passover this past year, I was determined not to starve! :) - Not that I really starved the year before – I just didn’t have a lot of options. I googled “vegan passover” and what did I find? www.veganpassover.com! This fabulous domain name is owned by Rena Reich, a vegan blogger in Israel (formerly of Texas). I loved her vegan Passover e-cookbook and we quickly became online “friends.” She recently asked me to guest blog for her and here is what we published this week!


Vegan Start

10 Minute Taco Bar

You come home from work or carpool or kids’ afterschool activities and have no idea what’s for dinner. Put down the box of pizza bagels! There is a different 10 minute family dinner that will give you lots of protein and veggies! It’s even quicker than ordering pizza! Here is your new go-to 10 minute dinner, with ingredients that are pretty easy to keep on hand, or use for something else if you never get around to making the tacos. We all need as much flexibility as we can, right?

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Get the recipe here!