Healthy New Beginnings for Thanksgiving in 2020

We are two days away from Thanksgiving and it’s not quite feeling like the normal Thanksgiving. It feels like the usual excitement about the holiday has been turned down a notch.

The virus in 2020 has put a damper on plans for many. It has been quite the year of uncertainty, worry, and loss. And, at the same time, it has been quite the year for new beginnings.

How have you positively transformed your life since last Thanksgiving?

In our circles, some friends and family have started new businesses, made serious inroads into their fitness goals, got new jobs, spent more time with family, and gained more perspective/balance to live in the present. Granted, it has not been easy to get there!

Healthy Tips for Thanksgiving 2020

Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks for the past year, and it also marks an opportunity for new beginnings.

If you are looking to get started with your health goals or want to stay on track with what you started this year, then we have a Thanksgiving workout and healthy dinner recipe for you.

Workout Jammer

This is a 30-minute workout you can fit in before or after Thanksgiving dinner.

The objective of the workout is to do as many repetitions, with good form, in 20 seconds and then rest for 10 seconds before the next set. You have 6 exercises to do in total and you need to repeat each of them 8 times before you move to the next exercise. Rest at least 70 seconds between exercises. If you need more rest, take it!

Sirloin Roast Recipe

We also have a healthful beef roast recipe if you want to break tradition from turkey. Be sure to add to the meal healthy, colorful sides like broccoli, sweet potatoes (minus the added sugar), green beans.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Eggplant & Sweet Potato Salad

I was meandering through the grocery store on Friday morning thinking about how I feel stuck in a rut. My shopping trips are feeling like my COVID-restricted life. My enthusiasm for trying new things has been well below normal, and my food choices reflect that lack of enthusiasm.

Well, it’s time to change things up a bit!

In the produce aisle I spotted eggplants, sweet potatoes, and spaghetti squash. I like all of these but I’m the only one in the family who does. I thought, “heck, it’s time to treat myself this weekend. I’ll buy all of them and figure out what to do with these ingredients.”

The eggplant brought me back to my childhood. My mom fried it up to upscale traditional tomato-based pasta. On special occasions, the eggplant was made into a parmigiana or into a caponata.

So, a modernized caponata was my choice this weekend. I subbed the traditional sweetness of raisins with the sweet potatoes and simplified it with fewer ingredients. Here’s the recipe. Hope you try it and enjoy it.

Ingredients for Roasting:

1 medium eggplant

1 small sweet potato

5 tsp olive oil

salt & pepper to taste

1/2 cup sliced almonds

Ingredients for Dressing:

1/8 cup olive oil

1/8 cup balsamic vinegar (dark or white)

salt & pepper to taste

1 tbsp dijon mustard

1 tbsp maple syrup

Directions:

  1. Slice eggplant and soak in salted water for about 30 minutes.
  2. Slice sweet potatoes into thick slices and set aside for roasting.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  4. Drain water from eggplants and lay eggplant and sweet potato slices on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  5. Drizzle 5 teaspoons of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt & pepper to taste.
  6. On another cookie sheet, place sliced almonds.
  7. Roast eggplant and potato for 40 minutes. Turn once half way through baking.
  8. Roast sliced almonds for 3-5 minutes while other veggies are roasting. Pay close attention to the almonds. They will burn quickly.
  9. When cooled, cut eggplant and sweet potato into bite-sized pieces and place in a bowl. Add roasted almonds.
  10. Prepare dressing by combining olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, maple syrup and a sprinkle a touch more of salt & pepper.
  11. Toss into bowl of eggplant and sweet potato. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
  12. Serve as a side dish. Have it as a snack with whole grain crackers.
  13. If you want to want to make it a meal, heat up the eggplant salad and serve it on steamed spaghetti squash that has been pan sautéed with a touch of olive oil, onions and mushrooms.

Serves 2 to 3 people

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