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10 Lo-Cal and No-Cal Ideas for Thanksgiving

10 Lo-Cal and No-Cal Ideas for ThanksgivingThe list of what there is to be thankful for in our lives would probably take days to write – the people, the moments, the things, the freedoms, the blessings are probably just too numerous to count. And yet, there’s room for more. Here are 10 Lo-Cal and No-Cal Ideas for Thanksgiving that will help you add that you enjoyed the holiday season without gaining weight to your gratitude list!


1. Gobble up a couple of servings of these guilt-free tasty turkeys – great as a stroll-by appetizer before dinner or a later-in-the-day grazing snack.

10 Lo-Cal/No-Cal Ideas for Thanksgiving


2. Greet them with this Sparkling Cranberry Pear Punch from Women’s Health Magazine. 1-1/2 cups cranberry juice + 1 cup pear nectar + 1 liter sparkling water + 1 orange sliced = a festive drink! Substitute sparkling wine for the water for an adult-only version!

10 Lo-Cal/No-Cal Ideas for Thanksgiving


3. 100% Whole Wheat Stuffing Muffins with Sausage and Parmesan revamp a traditional side dish. [Click on picture for the recipe]

10 Lo-Cal and No-Cal Ideas for Thanksgiving


4. Kale Salad with carrots and apples. From complaining about kale ice cream to becoming completely enamored with this green that appears regularly on “super food” lists in a matter of months, this salad caught our attention. A plus to using kale as the main salad green is that the hearty greens can be dressed early with no need to worry about wilting. [Click picture for recipe]

10 Lo-Cal and No-Cal Ideas for Thanksgiving


5. Fun alternatives for place cards make sure everyone feels special and thought about when they gather to find their place at the table. Here are a couple of examples – one with character and the other a more classic or traditional option. You know your crowd, find an idea that inspires. For even more ideas check out the blog A Cultivated Nest.

LoCalNoCalNameCards for Thanksgiving


6. Wishbones for everyone – a party favor that can make dreams come true! No more tussling over the one and only wishmaker – and no need to wait until it dries out!

10 Lo-Cal and No-Cal Ideas for Thanksgiving


7. Interesting table talk.  Generate conversations that include all the generations, teach something about the holiday, or just get you talking with the 3 options at this link.

10 Lo-Cal and No-Cal Ideas for Thanksgiving


8. Turkey Trot: A little something to do while waiting for the bird to cook! To see if there’s one in your area, Google “Turkey Trot” and your zip and I’ll bet you find something close. Even if you don’t find one nearby or its too late to register, you can trot all by yourself or with family and friends. Put the turkey in the oven and head out for a trot (or jog or walk) to ensure that some of the damage done on Thanksgiving will be mitigated.

Thanksgiving LoCalNoCal Ideas

9. A centerpiece to remember. We love the re-purposing of an old globe; love the nod to exploration; and love the simplicity of this centerpiece.  Bet your local goodwill, library, school system, thrift store, etc. will have just what you’re looking for!  If not, you could probably find an old map and decoupage a bowl to create a similar look. Find more information about this centerpiece and other ideas at Midwest Living.



10. What’s Thanksgiving without dessert? Incomplete! But most holiday desserts have enough calories for a whole day – or at least more than you should have at one meal. Not this Country Pear Tart!  With reduced  fat and amped up fiber, the total calories for a slice come in under 200.  [Click on picture for recipe]



Send your guests home with leftovers in style! World Market has containers for soup, pies and meals-to-go!

10 Lo-Cal and No-Cal Ideas for Thanksgiving






    1. They do look delicious don’t they? I know when we make our stuffing in the morning on Thanksgiving, it becomes our breakfast – it smells so good. This would make it even easier to enjoy! – M

  1. Great ideas! Particularly the Turkey Trot. hahaha I’m glad you added the wine to the punch because I was getting worried.

    1. Thanks Luanne. Trotting seems much easier in the morning before feasting – later I think we’d have to change to name to turkey ‘waddle’ :). Punch without wine just doesn’t seem right!!! – M

    1. Celery is a negative calorie food leaving lots of room for the other delicious stuff. If you eat enough, you could cancel out several other dishes 🙂 !!!! – M

  2. Love this post. You are so full of wonderful ideas. We had our Thanksgiving October 12th. Yeah, we were hungry for Turkey. I especially like the vegetable platter. <3

    1. Thanks!
      My daughter celebrates Canadian Thanksgiving with her husband (who is from Canada) and then gets to celebrate all over again in November. We’re all a bit jealous! I completely understand the Turkey craving – having a hard time not grabbing some before next week! – M

  3. There are 364 days in the year to think about calories, fat, and fiber . . . and to feel virtuous for eating raw Kale.

    On Thanksgiving, I don’t give them a thought. Gobble. Gobble. 😛

    1. True that Nancy. We can relate to not worrying too much about Thanksgiving goodies – I can forgive myself almost anything 🙂 ! If only I were good 364 days a year.

      I do however love to find ways to still enjoy while providing some healthier options both for myself and for my guests. Best option is usually a little bite of what I really want and then I don’t feel slighted.

      P.S. I love kale too much to feel virtuous eating it; I just enjoy it. – M

  4. I love what you’ve done with the tasty turkeys – they look great. I might pinch the idea over Christmas which is when the whole of Britain will be eating turkey. Trouble is, with my lot around, they wont stay looking tasty for long!!

  5. I live in a country that doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving, and odd as this sounds I am so grateful I can be thankful every day without the food focus 😀 Have a happy feast! xoxo

    1. Thank you Pauline.

      Everyday gratitude is a goal of mine. We do have so much to be thankful for and we can forget that from day to day.

      For us I know sharing the food, new recipes, Grandma’s time in preparing or schooling a ‘newbie’ in the art of pie making and gathering all together to share in the bounty is the true reason for the celebration. The food is just ‘gravy’. 🙂

  6. I will be using the Kale recipe this week. Our family has really enjoyed my salads of kale, brussel sprouts, apples, broccoli, and many other combinations. Thanks.

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