Thanksgiving Sides that Won’t Hurt Your Progress

Thanksgiving is a time of celebration, family, and reflecting on things that you’re most grateful for. Most of us celebrate thanksgiving by indulging in delicious holiday foods and it’s one of those days that we try to convince ourselves that taking “the day off from fitness” won’t hurt us.

That might be true but what about the other holiday celebrations that are coming up and we must not forget left overs. Those days of food celebrating and the number of calories add up. Before you know it, all of your hard work would be gone and you’re back at square 1.

What if there was a way to eat a little healthier on thanksgiving and other holidays without feeling guilty and neglecting taste? I am all for tradition but there are ways to make those same traditional dishes with a little healthy kick.

Below are some of the the dishes that I am making for my family this year. They are all from some of my favorite food bloggers. I recommend you follow them by clicking on there website link under each photo.


After this week of holiday fun and food, I’d like all of you to join me in completing the“Post ThanksGiving 3 Day Diet Challenge CLICK HERE FOR IT”




Butternut Squash Souffle Muffins


Thanksgiving healthy side dish muffins

In a big mixing bowl, combine the wet ingredients:

2 cups cooked, cubed butternut squash

3/4 cup whol milk or buttermilk

2 large eggs

1 cup chopped spinach

3/4 cup Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup feta cheese

2 teaspoons Dijon Undo.mustard

3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon minced garlic

In a separate mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 Tablespoon dry Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Mix wet and dry ingredients together until just evenly incorporated and moist. If using a regular muffin pan, grease generously with butter or line with paper muffin cup liners. Spoon the muffin batter into the cups (this recipe will make about 10 large muffins.)  Sprinkle the tops with a little more cubed squash, feta, salt and pepper.

Bake at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until set and a toothpick comes clean when inserted in center of a muffin. Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Cool completely before putting muffins in an air-tight container and storing in the fridge


Baby French Bean Parcels

healthy thanksgiving side dish options




1 generous handful of green beans per person

1 slice of streaky bacon per person

1-2 cloves of garlic (or more, depending on how many beans you are cooking)

Olive oil

Sea salt

Black pepper




Preheat your oven to 375°F or 190°C.


Put a pot of water on to boil, adding some salt.  Cut the ends off of the green beans and pop them in the boiling water.  Cook for three minutes.

Fill a large bowl with ice and water.

Drain the green beans and plunge them into the ice water to stop the cooking.

Once they are cool, drain again in a colander.

Meanwhile, fry the bacon gently over a low heat, in a non-stick skillet.  You want it still limp enough to bend comfortably.

Slice the garlic as thinly as you can.

Lay the bacon out in the baking tray and put one good handful of green beans on each slice.  Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper and slice of garlic and wrap the bacon up and around the beans, overlapping the ends and securing them with a toothpick.

Drizzle the parcels with a little olive oil.

Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 20 minutes or until the bacon is a little bit crispy.  Use a flat metal spatula to remove the parcels to a serving platter.

Alternative parcels for vegetarians or Muslims (A couple of people I love dearly belong to each of those groups so I make sure to cater for them as well.)  Substitute shaved Parmesan for the bacon and use green onion tops to tie up the beans.  Don’t forget to include the garlic sliver!


Quinoa Salad With Pears, Baby Spinach and Chick Peas

Healthy thanksgiving Sides  -quinoa salad

(From Gluten Free Goodness)


1 cup organic quinoa
Sea salt
2 good handfuls of organic baby spinach leaves, washed, drained
1 large ripe pear, washed, stemmed and cored, cut into pieces
1/2 cup chilled chick peas, rinsed, drained
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
A handful of pecans, pan toasted and salted to taste
For the Maple Vinaigrette Dressing:
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons golden balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup


Place the quinoa in a saucepan or a rice cooker. Add 2 cups fresh water, and a pinch of sea salt. Cover and cook on a low simmer until all the water is evaporated and the quinoa is tender- roughly 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork and dump it into a large salad bowl.

Add the baby spinach, pear, chick peas, and chopped parsley to the quinoa and fluff.

Whisk together the vinaigrette, pour it over the quinoa salad and toss gently to coat. Season to taste with sea salt and ground pepper.

Just before serving, add the toasted pecans and lightly combine.

Makes four main course servings, six side dish servings.



Wild Rice with Roasted Grapes & Walnuts


(From Oh My Veggies)


  • 2 cups red seedless grapes
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup wild rice, cooked according to package directions
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnut pieces
  • 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped sage leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
  2. Toss the grapes and shallot with 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Transfer to a baking sheet that’s been sprayed with oil or lined with parchment paper and roast for about 20 minutes, or until the grapes are softened, but not burst.
  3. Transfer the grapes and shallot to a large bowl. Add rice, walnuts, remaining oil, vinegar, and sage and gently toss, careful not to smash the grapes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.



Honey Roasted Carrots with Balsamic

Healthy Thanks Giving Sides - Carrots

From Sender Kitchen 
Servings: 4 servings
Serving Size: 1/4 recipe
Nutritional Info: 88 calories, 3.5g of fat, 14.7g of carbohydrates, 1.8g of fiber, .7g of protein
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 3 *


  • 1 bunch carrots, I used rainbow (1 pound)
  • 4-6 scallions
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. fresh thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Peel the carrots and slice in half. If any of the carrots are very small, you can leave them whole.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
  4. In a small bowl whisk together the honey, olive oil, vinegar, and thyme. Toss the carrots and scallions with this and lay in one layer on the baking sheet.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through.


Citrus and Honey Roasted Beets

beets 1

From Eat Your Beets

  • 4 large beets
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 Tablespoon raw honey (see note, pure maple syrup may be substituted)
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • ½ orange, juiced
  • ½ orange, juice reserved
  • Generous pinch of salt
  • Optional topping – pecans, chopped & oven toasted


  1. First, pre heat oven to 400.
  2. Then, wash & scrub your beets. Cut off tops & tails & then peel the skin. Chop beets into bite size cubes.
  3. Next, get a baking sheet & line w parchment paper. Spread chopped beets evenly over the baking sheet.
  4. Melt raw honey & coconut oil together in a dish.
  5. Then add the juice from half a lemon & half an orange into your dish. Toss in a generous pinch of salt. Stir to combine.
  6. Pour your mixture over your beets & use your hands to cover them evenly.
  7. Put your beets into the oven & cook them for 45 minutes, stirring them about halfway through the cooking time. 45 minutes will give your beets a nice roasted texture but still leave them with some crunch. Cook about 10 minutes longer if you prefer them softer.
  8. Once your beets are out of the oven, squeeze the other half of the orange over them.
  9. Optional topping – pecans, chopped & oven toasted. Place pecans on their own baking sheet, lined with parchment paper. Place them in the same heated oven & cook for 5-7 minutes until they have deepened in color, but are not too dark. Nuts burn very quickly in the oven!


[important] The perfect Workout to pair with your Thanksgiving meal is the  MAX OUT WORKOUT do it before you go to dinner to have an even better guilt free celebration [/important]