It's more than okay to fill your plate up with #allthefood at Thanksgiving dinner, but certain dishes can make the post-holiday slump all too real in dance class the next day. To combat that sleepy, too-full feeling, try swapping a few Thanksgiving staples for lighter (but just as flavorful!) options.
Eat This: Baked sweet potato with brown sugar
Not That: Vegetable casserole
Traditional casseroles can be loaded with cream of mushroom soup, breadcrumbs, and butter—which will make you feel sluggish. Instead, dig into a vitamin B6, fiber, and protein-loaded sweet potato, topped with brown sugar and melted butter for added deliciousness.
Eat This: Homemade cranberry sauce
Not That: Canned cranberry sauce
Standard canned cranberry sauce can have anywhere from 24 to 53 grams of sugar. If you're making cranberry sauce from scratch, you're in control of the ingredients. Use fresh cranberries, orange juice, apple cider, and a pinch of sugar. The sauce will be full of antioxidants and vitamin C.
Eat This: White turkey meat and some crispy skin
Not That: Dark meat turkey leg with fatty skin
Turkey skin can be a good source of healthy fat, and a great source of flavor. Grab 3 ounces of white meat (the size of a deck of cards) for a punch of low-fat, energy-producing protein. Too much dark meat can make you drowsy.
Eat This: Pumpkin Pie
Not That: Pecan pie
The high sugar content of pecan pie makes pumpkin a healthier, equally satisfying alternative. Pumpkin pie is packed with potassium, vitamins A and C, and beta-carotene.
A version of this story appeared in the November 2018 issue of Dance Spirit with the title "Eat This, Not That: Thanksgiving Edition."