Health experts feature tips to make Thanksgiving tasty and healthy

WOODLAND HILLS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- With all the holidays have to offer, some health experts want you to know the tips and tricks that can help make it better for your and you family.

"Thanksgiving is a time about family, friends and food. Nobody wants to think about dieting," Dr. Adrienne Youdim said.

Yet, many worry about overdoing it.

But weight loss specialist Youdim has some easy tips to help you dial back on the indulgence.

"It may seem a little counter-intuitive, but I recommend people make a high protein shake right before you head out the door. The protein signals to the brain fullness," Youdim said.

She likes whey protein shakes made with produce, which takes the edge off hunger with 17 grams of protein and about 150 calories - only if you watch the extras. It's perfect before heading off to a big feast.

"If you're starving, then there's really no room for portion control and good decision making," Youdim said.

Heart Surgeon Dr. Steven Gundry wants you to think about quality ingredients. He likes poultry on a grass-fed diet and recommends heritage or Kosher turkeys for good quality meat.

For stuffing, he chooses the nutty tasting grain millet over processed white bread stuffing. He said people should still use traditional herbs, spices and good olive oil.

"I've been a huge proponent of good fats long before fat was back in," Gundry said.

A nice dose of olive oil in stuffing and Brussels sprouts can be swapped out for the old green bean casserole.

Gundry adds these extras to his dish: "Walnuts or hazelnuts then add a dash of sesame oil, which just brightens up the flavor."

This may be shocking, but Gundry would like you to replace your white flour for your gravy and instead replace it with coconut flour, wine and heavy cream.

"Coconut flout will thicken exactly like flour. In fact, you actually need less to thicken because it absorbs so much water," he said.

It also contains less carbs and sugar, while the heavy cream from grass-fed cows means a good source of fat.

Youdim said you can successfully watch weight if your plate has a quarter portion of protein and a quarter portion of starch. Then, you can fill the rest with veggie dishes.

"We always double the vegetables. Make it green, make it orange, make it red - different colors have different vitamins, and minerals have different nutrients," Youdim said.

And before dessert, have a hot beverage to savor that meal. It kind of slows you down.

"It takes food about 20 minutes to get to the gut and probably another 10 minutes before starts signalling those hormones that you're full," Youdim said.

Dr. Gundry's lectin-light gravy

Pan drippings from one turkey
1 cup dry white wine
2 sprigs thyme

1 sprig rosemary
- cup coconut or tapioca flour
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon heavy whipping cream (optional)

Remove the turkey from the roasting pan and set on platter to rest.
Gently tip pan so juices pool in one corner and use spoon to skim away the fat layer on top of the pan drippings
Put pan on heat (you can just turn burners on under the roasting pan - I promise) and add the white wine, thyme and poultry seasoning. Cook for 15 minutes over medium high heat, or until the volume has reduced by half.
Whisk in cream, if using, and the flour substitute of your choice. Let cook until the gravy begins to thicken. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed - add salt and pepper, or if too salty, add cream.
Serve alongside the turkey, over mashed "potatoes."

Brussels sprouts
From Dr. Gundry's Diet Revolution

Ingredients (serves 4-6)
2 lbs Brussels sprouts
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup raw hazelnuts or walnuts
teaspoon sea salt
teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 teaspoons roasted sesame oil (optional, but recommended)

Trim the tough stem ends from the Brussels sprouts and remove any discolored leaves. Using a food processor fitted with the slicing blade, shred the sprouts (you can also use a mandoline or slice as thinly as possible by hand.)
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a skillet or wok over medium high heat. Add the nuts and cook for 3-5 minutes, until fragrant, tossing regularly. Remove from heat and reserve.

Add the remaining olive oil and the sprouts to the skillet; saute, stirring for 7-8 mintues, until browned.
Return the nuts to the pan and mix with the Brussels sprouts. Season with salt, pepper, and sesame oil before serving.

Millet stuffing

Ingredients (Serves 4-6):
3 cups cooked millet (prepared according to package instructions)
2 yellow onions, finely diced
3 carrots, finely diced
3 ribs celery, finely diced
1 pound mushrooms, finely diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoons minced fresh sage
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoons dried poultry seasoning (no salt added)
teaspoon sea salt
teaspoon ground black pepper
cup grass-fed butter OR cup extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (conveniently, the same temperature as the turkey!) Butter your favorite 9" by 13" casserole dish and set aside.
Add the cooked millet to a large mixing bowl, and set aside.
In a large skillet or wok, heat half the butter or oil over medium high heat. Add the carrots, celery and onions and cook until tender, stirring regularly. Add the garlic, sage, parsley and poultry seasoning and cook 2-3 minutes more, until mixture is very fragrant. Add to bowl with millet.
Heat the rest of the oil or butter in the same skillet and add the mushrooms and thyme. Cook until mushrooms are golden brown and tender, then add to the millet mixture.
Stir stuffing mixture to combine and season with salt and pepper. Add mixture to the baking dish, and bake for 25-35 minutes, until stuffing is hot all the way through and top is golden brown.
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