Healthy for the holidays

Thanksgiving options during World Diabetes Awareness Month

November is World Diabetes Awareness Month. It’s also the start of the holiday season, as we prepare for Thanksgiving feasts and winter treats.  This can be a challenge for those with diabetes, but fear not: MLKCH is offering tips and recipes to help you cope with those holiday food splurges. For example:


Making small substitutions can make a big difference in managing your diabetes and overall health. 

  • Whole grains instead of white, refined grains: Whole grains have fiber which helps prevent blood sugar spikes and has proven to lower risk of heart disease by 20-30%!
  • Dark leafy greens: Spinach, arugula, kale, and Swiss chard (instead of light greens like iceberg lettuce,) are packed with vitamin A and vitamin C. 
  • Flavored seltzer over soda: Avoid the excess sugar in soda and get the same bubbly effect by drinking flavored seltzer instead. 
  • Salad dressing substitutes: Try mustard and unsweetened Greek yogurt as a base then add your favorite spices such as cajun seasoning, Dijon mustard, oregano, or even cumin.
  • Choose skinless, white turkey meat over fried turkey or dark meat.
  • Substitute low fat milk in your green bean casserole in place of canned soup! Same taste, but half the sodium and fat. 
  • Sweet potatoes or cauliflower (see our recipe, below) rather than mashed potatoes. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A and vitamin C while califlower has zero fat and carbs.

Tips for Thanksgiving day

  • Eat breakfast! Starving yourself to save room for dinner can lead to overeating. Instead, focus on consuming a protein-filled breakfast. 
  • Small plates: Make portion control easier on yourself by using smaller plates for appetizers, entrees, and dessert.
  • Meat and veggies first: Load your plate with veggies and lean meats and focus on eating those first. 
  • Get moving! After you eat, get the family together for some fun activities or grab a partner and take a walk. 
  • Eat a little: Keep your portion sizes small for mashed potatoes, candied yams, and sweet potato casserole. Better yet, choose just one high carb side dish and avoid the rest. 
  • Eat a lot: Choose high-quality, plant-based sources of carbs such as quinoa, winter squash, and berries. These carbs also include fiber which keeps you fuller, longer. 
  • Bake healthy: Substitute a healthier type of flour for dessert. Coconut and almond flour can help lower the carb content in desserts. Other high quality carbs for baked goods are whole wheat flour, oats, and chickpea flour. 

Healthy Mashed “Potatoes”

These delicious mashed “potatoes” are packed with nutrition and low-carb.


6 cups cauliflower florets
4 ounces cream cheese
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp black pepper
Note: One medium head of cauliflower makes 6 cups. 1/4 tsp of garlic powder may be used instead of minced garlic.


  1. Take the cream cheese out of the fridge to soften.
  2. Place the cauliflower florets in a microwave safe dish, cover and cook on high for 8 to 10 minutes or until soft. Drain cauliflower, then place on a clean kitchen towel or paper towel and press to remove extra water.
  3. Carefully place the hot cauliflower in a blender and blend until smooth.
  4. Add the cream cheese, garlic and pepper. Blend to combine ingredients.
  5. Remove mixture from the blender and serve hot.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

Guilt-free ice cream

This high protein, low carb chocolate ice cream is creamy and delicious and most importantly, guilt free! 


2 ½ oz fat-free Greek yogurt
½ oz, of vanilla powder or protein powder
1 tsp on cocoa powder
½ cup of unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp of vanilla extract
2 tbsp of stevia
almonds and berries to taste


  1. Blend the yogurt, vanilla powder, cocoa, stevia, and almond milk thoroughly and then place in the freezer.
  2. Take the ice cream out after an hour and turn it over gently with a spoon to avoid it becoming one big block. 
  3. Repeat every 30 minutes until the ice cream has the right consistency (should take about two hours total). 
  4. Add berries or nuts to garnish your dessert.

Buen provecho – and Happy Thanksgiving!

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