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Make the Holidays Healthy & Delicious

When Alyssa thought about Thanksgiving she was reminded of the warm apple pie from Costco that she had for dessert after scarfing down a huge turkey dinner. Hours after her meal she would feel bloated and sluggish. She didn't want to get off of the couch for days. She started wondering why she was feeling that way and realized her meal was filled with processed foods, sugar, hormones, pesticides, GMO's - genetically modified organisms and antibiotics. What was she going to do to make a change?

Thinking about healthy options, here are some suggestions for a nutritious and delicious Thanksgiving meal. First, start with all organic foods. A pasture raised, non-GMO, non-hormone, or antibiotic fed turkey is the star. Make a tray of fresh organic roasted vegetables like carrots, parsnips, brussels sprouts or turnips in the oven. Roast them with some high quality olive oil at 400° until they are brown and naturally caramelized. Try the same thing with some wedges of sweet potato and or butternut squash. Add some walnuts or pecans that have been toasted in the oven for some crunch and texture before serving them. Alyssa should serve homemade applesauce at her holiday table as a cold side. Another homemade cold dish is roasted butternut squash at room temperature with sliced Granny Smith apples, lemon juice and walnuts. Both of these cold dishes have natural sugars. A homemade apple cake or pumpkin pie are great dessert options. When it is homemade, the ingredients and added sweetener are controlled. Eating organic foods without toxic pesticides or GMO's will help prevent that worn out feeling afterward and they are all around healthier choices.

When it comes to seasoning food for Thanksgiving, think: fresh is best. Try garlic, onion, thyme, and rosemary. Herbs and seasoning like parsley, basil and cinnamon give robust flavor to the food without the added chemicals. Many of these organic spices can be found at local health food stores. Himalayan sea salt is also recommended instead of regular salt. Sea salt contains natural minerals, and less sodium than table salt with the same flavor. Try to skip the prepackaged spices as they have additives which are not healthy.

There are a few other tips and tricks during the holidays. First of all, don't over eat. Having a balanced breakfast like eggs, avocado, and tomato, yup organic, will prevent over indulging when the feast begins. Eating slowly is another way to help prevent overeating. An exercise routine, even brief, before the family visit is a great recommendation. Exercising releases endorphins, feel good chemicals, that flow throughout the body. Last tip is to skip the alcohol! Besides the unwanted calories, it can create bloating and sluggishness the next day. Filtered water is great for the body's organs and skin, so drink away.

Aside from all this food talk, what about starting a new family tradition of going outdoors. Join in on a local turkey trot and get the endorphins flowing with a family run or walk. Find a local park and take a stroll in the woods. Get the young family members to play football or catch in the yard or in the front of the house. Being outside in nature helps the mind and body to feel grounded and centered. It aids in staying in the present, and helps to stop the monkey mind chatter. Focus on the amazing gifts that life has to offer and reflect on how grateful and thankful one can be.

Wishing everyone love, health, and joy in abundance during this holiday season.

Alyssa Siegel is a Family Nurse Practitioner that has a holistic health practice in Oakhurst, NJ. She uses a technique called Nutrition Response Testing® to get to the root cause of ill health and heals it naturally. For more information, visit her website, and like Shore Holistic Nutrition & Wellness on Facebook. To make an appointment, call 732-749,3629 or email


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