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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Recipes for a Healthy Thanksgiving

By Dr. Jon Thomas, DC, PSc.D, Board Certified Chiropractic Physician.
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
The First Thanksgiving took place in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in November of 1621. The Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians gathered for a feast to celebrate the autumn harvest. While the meal may have featured turkey, there was probably some other fowl as well, including ducks, geese, and swans. Yum, yum. There may also have been seafood including lobster, clams, and oysters.
Some of the locally grown and organic vegetables for the meal were probably onions, beans, lettuce, spinach, cabbage, and carrots. Fruits for the meal may have been blueberries, plums, grapes, raspberries, and cranberries. It really sounds like a fairly healthy meal.
Thanksgiving is one of our country’s great traditions. It’s also one of the biggest holidays of the year for most Americans. Getting together with family and friends for a big delicious meal is something most people enjoy. However, many people enjoy the food so much that they tend to overdo it.
Portion Control - Eat, drink, and be merry, within reason
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Some people like to get a serving of every food presented. Sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, potatoes au gratin, green beans, baked beans, peas, carrots, a biscuit, a piece of cornbread, a piece of garlic bread, a little dark meat, a little white meat, stuffing, apple pie, pumpkin pie, cherry pie, Boston cream pie, etc. With the wide variety of foods available at many Thanksgiving dinners, all those servings can add up to double or triple the calories of a normal meal.
Here’s a tip: You don’t have to try everything. Also, eating and eating and eating till you can barely move isn’t all that enjoyable. Just because it’s Thanksgiving doesn’t mean you should forget your health objectives, especially if one of those is to control your weight. So, at some point, you just have to put down the fork down and step away from the table.
Trigger Foods
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
One of the things NutriMost patients learn about is trigger foods. Trigger foods are the foods that cause people to pack on the pounds quickly. They’re not all the same for everybody either. For one person, peanut butter may be a problem. For someone else, pizza might be a problem. With some trigger foods, once you get started it’s hard to stop. For example, Oreo cookies can be a problem for some people, especially if there’s some milk to go with them. In order to avoid your trigger foods, you must first become aware of what they are.
One way to develop an awareness about trigger foods and how they affect you is to keep a close eye on the scale. If your weight is up two pounds one morning, whatever you had for dinner, the night before might be a problem. If you know what your trigger foods are before Thanksgiving, you’ll know what to avoid. It could be the bread, or the potatoes, or the apple pie. For most people, green beans are probably OK. In any case, if you want to wake up raring to go for a full day of extreme shopping on Black Friday, you might consider avoiding your trigger foods.

Thanksgiving Recipes
There are lots of great foods that are delicious, and that won’t put you off course in terms of your weight. In fact, we’ve posted a file with over a dozen great Thanksgiving recipes on our Facebook page. The recipes include:
Thanksgiving Baked Chicken or Turkey: 170 calories per serving.
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Ingredients for one serving:  3.5 oz chicken or turkey breast, ½ c Swanson chicken stock, 1 T chopped onion, a pinch of sage, a pinch of marjoram, a pinch of thyme, pink salt, and pepper to taste.
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Mix spices together in small bowl
3. Dip meat into broth and coat with spices
4. Transfer to baking dish
5. Add chopped onion and rest of broth to bottom of the pan
6. Bake for 20 minutes or until cooked thoroughly
Dairy-free Deviled Eggs: 150 calories per serving.
Ingredients for one serving: 2 hardboiled eggs, halved, four t dijon mustard, 1/3 t apple cider vinegar, 2-4 drops liquid stevia, 1/16 teaspoon garlic powder, dash of salt, dash of pepper
1. Scoop egg yolks into a bowl and set egg whites aside.
2. Mash yolks, vinegar, mustard, stevia, garlic powder, pepper, and salt.
3. Spoon yolk mixture into egg whites.
4. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Lemon Garlic
Lemon Garlic Crockpot Chicken: 182 calories per serving.
Ingredients for four servings:
Four chicken breasts, 4 T minced onion, two lemons, a whole garlic bulb, two tablespoons of thyme, 2 cups chicken broth or stock, salt and pepper.
1. Pour chicken broth into crockpot
2. Place chicken breasts in crockpot
3. Sprinkle minced onion and a little salt and pepper onto each chicken breast
4. Peel and chop all of the garlic cloves and sprinkle on top of the chicken breasts.
5. Slice the lemons and placed them on the chicken breasts
6. Sprinkle thyme on top
7. Put the lid on and set the timer for 6 hours on low
Mustard Baked Chicken: 165 calories per serving.
Ingredients for two servings:
7 oz chicken breast, 1/4 c. Brown mustard, 1/2 T. Bragg's liquid aminos, two pkts. SweetLeaf Stevia
1. Preheat oven to 425
2. Line baking dish with parchment paper
3. Place chicken, smooth side up into the baking dish
4. In a small bowl stir together mustard, liquid aminos, and stevia
5. Brush mustard mixture generously over each chicken breast
6. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes or until no longer pink, brushing with mustard mixture half way through cooking
Life In Balance and NutriMost
At Vibrant Life Health Center, we now offer a program that brings all the key components for wellness together under one roof. Our Life In Balance Program addresses weight and nutrition, fitness and exercise, musculoskeletal health, and more. Our goal is to help patients get their lives into balance and to give them all the tools they need to stay in balance. If you have any questions about the Life In Balance Program and you’d like to find out how it can help you, please call to set up an appointment.
NutriMost is a fat loss program that has enabled many people to lose twenty pounds or more in just forty days. Instead of putting on five or ten pounds through the holiday season, you could actually lose twenty pounds or more by January. Wouldn’t that be a nice way to start the year? If you’d like to learn more about NutriMost, check out our website or call to set up an appointment.  
Schedule a Free Tytron Scan at Vibrant Life Health Center.
Vibrant Life Health Center is currently offering free Tytron scans through the end of November. See for yourself how this amazing device works and how it can help you to get your body back into balance. If you have acute or chronic pain and you’d like to find out how chiropractic can help, set up an appointment with Dr. Thomas at the Vibrant Life Health Center.
If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of detoxification, call Vibrant Life Health Center. If you’ve been struggling to lose weight, let Dr. Thomas explain how the NutriMost program has helped many people lose twenty to forty pounds or more in just forty days. And if you’d like to check out the Life In Balance plan which can address every area of a patient’s health, call Vibrant Life to set up an appointment.
In this article, I have discussed what people ate on the first Thanksgiving and how to eat healthier for Thanksgiving now. I’ve also given a few great recipes for Thanksgiving foods that will match up with your weight and fitness objectives.
If you have a comment about this article, please leave it in the comments section below. If you know of someone who might benefit from the information in this blog, please share it with your friends and colleagues, as well as on social media.
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At Vibrant Life, we address all the key elements to add vibrance and vitality to your life. This includes nutrition, Chiropractic care, and fitness. If you need to consult with a chiropractor about your neck, back, or any other health concern, please contact our office to set up an appointment.

Courtesy of Vibrant Life Health Center
Dr. Jon Thomas is a Board Certified Chiropractic Physician. His practice, The Vibrant Life Health Center is located in the Mandarin section of Jacksonville. His interest in health and fitness started early, and his athletic pursuits have included BMX racing, Professional Snow Skiing, Water Skiing, Baseball, Weightlifting, and Martial Arts. After studying and learning from some of the top health experts throughout the world, Dr. Thomas dedicated his life to helping people of all ages to transform their lives. The objective for each patient is to initiate the body’s healing and to work progressively toward a body that functions optimally. Dr. Thomas is seen regularly on TV on First Coast Living, where he discusses the transformations of his patients. He also speaks at events throughout the community and writes informative articles to improve the health of residents throughout Northeast Florida


  1. The real trick to Thanksgiving is to be thankful you can button your pants after the meal is done.

  2. It's good to know that you can still eat properly even while enjoying a nice Thanksgiving dinner.

  3. Great recipes and advice. Can't wait to try them.