3 Tips to a Healthy Thanksgiving

and a Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe too!

Thanksgiving pumpkin pie Unsplash-Alex Loup

A Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole without the butter, without the added sugar, and with ALL the flavor and creamy goodness

I personally will never understand the person who added sugar and butter to the already so buttery and classically sweet, sweet potato but they did it and now we all love it so here I am making a “healthy” version but really it’s just nature’s original version with a tweak or two because the food industry made us do it.

Dramatic? Yes. True? Yes!!

Before I dive into this recipe I want to give 3 quick tips on how to have a healthier Thanksgiving. Or as healthy as it can be right?

Thanksgiving is most definitely a day we’re all ready to kick our feet up and just enjoy food, but that doesn’t mean you can’t practice a couple of your healthy habits while enjoying your meal!

3 Easy Tips for a Healthy Thanksgiving:

1. Balance Your Plate

If you’ve read a blog post by me before or follow along on Instagram, you’ve heard me talk about a balanced plate. I love a well-balanced plate because it’s the most natural way to get in your essential nutrients (protein, veggies, fiber, healthy fats) while still enjoying all foods. For more on what a balanced plate is made up of, search “balanced plate” on my blog. In the meantime, here’s a photo of what that can look like on Thanksgiving!

You’ll see on the impractical side there’s barely any veggies, plenty of carbs, and a small amount of protein.

An impractical meal vs. a practical meal

On the practical side we have a ton of veggies, still tastes of our favorite fun foods, and a bit more protein to keep us feeling full and balanced.

2. Eat Breakfast:

I used to starve myself on Thanksgiving up until dinner time. Every single year. And every single year it would result in an uncomfortable binge that normally lasted longer than Thanksgiving day.

Now, I eat a normal balanced breakfast to manage my hunger, energy levels, and cravings throughout the day. Because I know I’ll be getting in plenty of carbs come dinner and dessert time, I try to go protein-heavy at breakfast and in any mid-day snacks!

Breakfast plate of food

The majority of the plate is filled with low starch vegetables (arugula, cauliflower, zucchini, eggplant) that provide micronutrients and fiber while still increasing satiety levels.

2 eggs are balanced in providing protein and healthy fats.

3. Eat & Move On:

This concept is easier said than done so hear me out, we’re looking for progress — not perfection. Every time you try to practice a concept like this you should aim to be 1% better than you were the time before. Not perfect. Because it takes time, practice, trial and error, and consistency. That being said, let’s chat about what I mean by this.

It’s so easy to eat, enjoy your food, then continue to linger around, graze, go back for seconds — maybe thirds, or simply feel out of control around the food. I call that out of control feeling the “magnetic pull” that happens when you eat another slice of the pie even though you’re stuffed and already had two and you just can’t seem to understand it.

It’s hard to be around that food and try to change your behavior of grazing and overeating right from the start. So I suggest you make it easier on yourself.

Eat, enjoy your food, then move the heck on. Get away from the food. Go sit in the living room, go for a walk, or play a game with the family. Do something to break you away from the food and the kitchen.

These tips work. It’s all about trusting yourself and your ability to just get 1% better at each holiday, social event, and night in. You got this!

Now time for the recipe ;)



  1. In a large pot bring water to a boil. Chop sweet potato and butternut squash (hack: but pre cut butternut squash. It’s easy). Boil potato and butternut squash until tender and cooked through — about 15 minutes
  2. Drain liquid and transfer sweet potatoes and butternut squash to a blender. Add maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt. Blend until smooth or desired consistency is reached. (Option to keep in pot and mash with hand masher)
  3. Drain liquid and transfer sweet potatoes and butternut squash to a blender. Add maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt. Blend until smooth or desired consistency is reached. (Option to keep in pot and mash with hand masher)
  4. In a separate bowl mix together granulated sugar of choice, cinnamon, and pecans until pecans are evenly coated.
  5. Transfer sweet potato mixture to a baking dish. Sprinkle pecan mixture over sweet potato mixture. Bake in the oven at 350 for 20–30 minutes or until pecans are browned.

Improving your relationship with food and pursuing weightloss by yourself can be a battle. Just like anything in life, having a support system and expert to guide you in the process is a game changer. To work with me find me @Practical.Nutritionist on Instagram or LivingWithLeena.com! I look forward to chatting with you soon!

Preparing dashboard.