With the calendar page flipped to November we can finally start thinking about the holidays. First up, Thanksgiving. For many this marks the start of a turbulent time of year when thinking about weight and calories overshadows the meaning of the season. To get a head start on thinking about making this a healthier time of year, Chef Rocco Dispirito, the author of several cookbooks including this year’s Now Eat This, shares with us some of his insights into surviving and thriving during Thanksgiving.
He’s also sharing a few recipes from Now Eat This that you can prepare for your Thanksgiving spread, as a healthier alternative or addition.
First, Rocco answered a few of our questions.
Since your weight loss, and publishing Now Eat This, how has Thanksgiving changed for your family?
My family insists on a traditional Thanksgiving. Any time I’ve tried to make a change it’s met with a glare! So no big changes lately. I think you have to give yourself a break every once in a while and Thanksgiving is the perfect day to do that.
Any traditional family favorites that you’ve made over that did or didn’t make it in to Now Eat This?
There were so many more recipes I wanted to make over but just ran out of space. Like tuna casserole and red velvet cake, for example, so I put them in my next one, The Now Eat This Diet coming out in the spring.
What are a few ways people can make their family baking recipes healthier without jeopardizing the flavors that they love?
Use agave nectar and whole wheat pastry flour instead of sugar and white flour.
Any suggestions for healthier food gifts?
Yes, delicious fruit like the Harry and David pears!
How do you indulge through the holiday season without regretting it January 1st?
By simply making a conscious decision to do so. Many people just give up during the holidays and that’s the worst time to lose your resolve because the temptations are so many.
In Now Eat This!, Rocco created more than 150 recipes that have 350 calories or less. This isn’t your typical health food. This is America’s favorite comfort foods that have been modified to fit in to any diet. Earlier this year he shared with us his versions of fried chicken and brownies, with far less fat and calories than any you’ve ever made. Now, he’s got a few recipes perfect for Thanksgiving.
Still need more? Check-out Rocco’s Thanksgiving recipes, including healthier versions of stuffing, sweet potato pie and turkey gravy, from his appearance on Biggest Loser season six.