A Very ‘Clean’ Thanksgiving

Since I started my fitness journey over a year ago, what I consider to be ‘normal’ in my diet has changed considerably. First off, my holistic doctor discovered that I have a gluten and sugar intolerance which is just as fun as it sounds.

This means I have an inflammation response when I regularly them, or sometimes if I just eat one thing that has a lot of sugar or wheat in it. You can imagine that these intolerances make eating during the holidays a little bit challenging. Last year, my mom and I came up with a ‘clean’ Thanksgiving meal and enjoyed it so much that the tradition stuck! I thought this year I would share with ya’ll the recipes we used as well as the modifications we did. Disclaimer: just because these are gluten free and low sugar doesn’t mean they’re low calorie! But they sure are delicious.


Apple Cranberry Walnut Salad


Dad isn’t a huge feta fan, so we let everyone add their own.

We started off with an Apple Cranberry Walnut Spinach Salad. We didn’t make any substitutions on this recipe but made sure to use fat free feta instead of full fat.

We of course had turkey breast which my mom cooked and I had absolutely no part of. All I know is she used a sugar free brine that she found at William Sonoma. My job was helping with all the side dishes which were the following:

Green Bean Casserole


The onions were so crunchy and yummy!

Instead of using canned soup and processed fried onions, we opted for this ‘from scratch’ version of a Thanksgiving classic. The mushroom sauce was amazing but I should have added more salt than I did.

We used sugar free almond milk, gluten free panko crumbs, and fat free cream cheese instead of their counterparts. The gluten free bread crumbs don’t taste any different and you can’t even tell that we used almond milk!


Mashed “Potatoes”

The secret to these mashed potatoes is that they aren’t potatoes at all! They’re made from roasted cauliflower and they’re just as delicious. They also include olive oil and roasted garlic. How could so many yummy things in one dish possibly be wrong?!

We used the Nutribullet to blend them and make them extra smooth. We also used fat free cream cheese in this recipe instead of the cream it calls for. I love the creamy texture and the flavor that the cream cheese gives it! Needless to say we didn’t have much of this stuff left over.

Pan Seared Brussel Sprouts

This was my favorite dish of the day! We will be adding this to the list of holiday favorites for sure.

This was my favorite dish of the day! We will be adding this to the list of holiday favorites for sure.


One of our favorite things to make for the holidays is pan seared brussels sprouts with pecans. I found a new play on our old recipe on Pinterest (of course) so we had to try it! And we fell in love with it! Not only is it beautiful and colorful but it tastes just as good as it looks.

This is way more than the recipe called for. I very loosely followed it to be honest. I included the balsamic vinegar and maple syrup but I’m sure the ratio was super off since I used more cranberries, pecans, and brussels sprouts than the recipe called for. The cranberries cook down a little and aren’t as bitter as fresh ones usually are. It was just all around an amazing dish that’s become a new family favorite.


 Sweet Potato Casserole


I’m going to be honest and say this was my least favorite recipe of the day… mostly because I don’t like sweet potato casserole to begin with but my parents liked this one still. Personally I thought it tasted like orange juice so next time I would substitute some of the orange juice for stevia in the raw or something similar. I’m also on the lookout for a good substitute for brown sugar so shoot me a message if you know of one!

We used gluten free flour and substituted olive oil for safflower oil. Like I said, I think this one still needs a little tweaking.


Pumpkin Mousse


Okay ya’ll. This stuff is AMAZING. It’s low calorie and low sugar. And totally addicting. We don’t have any left. At all. And we ate like, 4 hours ago.

We used one big packet of sugar free pudding mix, almond milk, and fat free whipped cream in ours. We also opted for fresh pumpkin that my mom had frozen instead of canned pumpkin. It wasn’t as creamy as the canned pumpkin but it was fresher tasting. We also added a generous amount of pumpkin pie spice because who doesn’t love pumpkin spice everything these days?


Well there you have it! A complete clean eating Thanksgiving that was just as healthy as it was delicious. Next time you’re cooking a holiday dish, I challenge you to try to make it as healthy as possible without anyone noticing and post your results!  I am especially thankful for parents that are understanding and supportive of my lifestyle and are willing to try alternatives to their holiday favorites!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone <3