Tips for a healthier Thanksgiving

The secret ingredient to this pumpkin pie??A wheat germ crust!

Thursday is the big day, and if you’re not done preparing just yet, consider making some of these healthy edits to your menu.
It’ll leave you more time to ponder the big questions, like “What time will Great Uncle Hank break out the flask?”  and “Do I even own a turkey baster?” instead of the usual: “Has anyone seen my fat pants?”

At the table

Pile on the veggies.
“Try making at least 50 percent of your plate vegetables. Challenge yourself to eat all your veggies so you are filling up on healthier, lower-calorie foods. This way, you will still have room to indulge but it will be easier to not go overboard.” — Keri Glassman, MS,RD, CDN, founder and president of Keri Glassman Nutritious Life and Nutritious Life Meals

Don’t drink your cals.
“Keep all liquids calorie-free unless it is an alcoholic beverage (which would be considered a carb). Go with carbonated water or unsweetened iced tea.” — Robert Ferguson, MS, CN, certified nutritionist and fitness expert @dietfreelife

Watch your serving size. “With any starchy side you need to practice portion control. Choose one starchy side and aim to have 1/2 cup.” — Keri Glassman

After dinner

Sneak whole grains into your desserts. “Many of the recipes you make for the holidays can be adapted to incorporate whole grains, which are higher in fiber than refined grains. This will make some of the holiday dishes a bit healthier and help fill you up so you won’t be as likely to go up for round two.” — Keri Glassman

Pump up the powder. “You can easily bake in a powder psyllium fiber supplement, such as Konsyl, into your banana bread recipe or other family favorites. This will help fill you up on less of these treats.” — Keri Glassman

Send guests home with the leftovers.
“Take my wife’s advice: Make your desserts and give them away with love.” — Dr. Gary Epler, author of “Food: You’re the Boss”

How to lighten up

Sweet potatoes
“Boil about 2½ pounds sweet potatoes, mash, add warming spices (cinnamon, nutmeg) and about 1 tablespoon vanilla, 1 tablespoon butter and about ¼ cup milk. It gives great flavor without sickeningly sweet sugar and excess greasy butter.” — Nicolette M. Pace, MS, RD, CDE, CDN, CFCS, founder of NutriSource Inc. (, a community-based private practice in Great Neck, N.Y.

Mashed potatoes

“Most recipes for mashed potatoes include some form of thickener, like butter or cream cheese. When cooking your recipe, use the light versions of these to lower the calorie and fat content. Also, try fresh herbs and spices, such as fresh garlic, chives, basil or parsley for a stronger aroma and taste.” – Rachel Berman, RD, CSR, CDN, director of Nutrition for
 “Instead of usual butter and whole milk mashed potatoes, I mash new potatoes with skin with skim milk, low-fat or nonfat plain yogurt and parmesan, with salt and pepper to taste. You can also mash them with chicken broth or, for the vegan, vegetable broth.” — Keri Gans, MS, RD, CDN, nutrition     consultant and author of “The Small Change Diet”

Green bean casserole   
“Choose light butter and use less of it, and go for low-fat milk. Instead of deep-frying your onions or buying fried onions, consider sauteing your own in a small amount of olive oil, or adding slivered almonds for a dose of heart-healthy fats. You can also cook up your own cream of mushroom soup to avoid all the sodium in the canned version, or choose a low-fat version to cut down on the saturated fat. Whole wheat panko bread crumbs can replace the norm, or skip them all together. For additional flavor, get creative with dried fruit like cranberries.” — Rachel Berman

“Make a stuffing with quinoa that you cook in chicken or veggie broth in a rice cooker. Add dried cranberries and walnuts at the last minute. Put it in a pie tin and keep it warm in the oven.” — Keri Gans

Glazed carrots
“Use light butter or olive oil and a small amount of a natural sweetener, like honey.  — Rachel Berman

Turkey tip

Dark meat is OK, says Gans, as long as you steer clear of the skin. A serving size is 3 ounces — the size of a deck of cards.
Try a healthier side

Roasted brussell sprouts: “I put them on a baking sheet, spritz with olive oil and roast for about 45 minutes or until lightly browned and easy to pierce with a fork.” — Keri Gans

Savory Coleslaw
: “This has a nice balance of protein, carbs, fat and fiber. Quick to make and delicious to the taste, this recipe is an asset to any feast.” — Robert Ferguson
•    1  tablespoon Dijon mustard
•    1/2  cup 0% fat Greek yogurt
•    1/2  lemon squeezed
•    1/2  teaspoon balsamic vinegar
•    2  teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
•    4  cups savory cabbage, shredded (or package coleslaw mix with shredded cabbage with carrots)
•    Ground black pepper to taste

In a small bowl, mix mustard with sour cream, lemon, vinegar, oil and two teaspoons water until blended. Toss with coleslaw mix in a serving bowl. Season to taste with pepper.
Serves: 4

Recipe: Healthier pumpkin pie

Cap: One slice of this decadent pumpkin pie packs 6 grams of protein.
Tossing in wheat germ and using whole wheat pastry flour boosts the nutrients and adds another tasty dimension to the crust. Reduce the saturated fat by using canola oil for some of the butter.

½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup Kretschmer Honey Crunch Wheat Germ
½ cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
¼ cup canola oil
1 to 3 tablespoons water
Pumpkin filling:
2 large eggs
1 15-ounce can puree pumpkin
3/4 cup 2% evaporated milk
5 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 3/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1. In a medium bowl add flour, wheat germ, whole wheat pastry flour and salt. Stir to combine. Cut-in the butter using your finger tips until the mixture is crumbly and no big lumps of butter remain. Stir in the canola oil and add water as needed so dough can be formed into a ball.

2. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and freeze for 15 minutes.

3. Meanwhile prepare filling. Preheat oven to 425° F. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin, milk, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Set aside.

4.  Remove dough from freezer. Roll dough between two pieces of parchment paper into a 12-inch circle. If dough cracks, just push it together.

5. Remove top sheet of parchment. Turn 9-inch glass pie plate on top of dough and flip over. Peel back parchment and push dough into pie plate. If it cracks just seal the cracks or patch with other pieces of dough.

6. Fold over the overhanging dough to create an even rim around the pie. Using the tines of the fork, go around the pie rim to make a design. Poke bottom of crust with fork, 4 or 5 times.

7. Pour filling into crust. Bake in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes.  After 5 minutes at that high temperature, place foil around the edge of the pie to keep it from getting too brown before the center is set. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 30 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate.


Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.


Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…


OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…


MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.


Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."


'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.


'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."


TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.


Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.


Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.


Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”


Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.


Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.


Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…


NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.


The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.