Healthy Holiday Tips & Recipes

Just one week until my favorite holiday of the year, Thanksgiving!!  Getting together with family and friends to give thanks for all of our many blessings.  

Remember you can still be healthy and enjoy the day without totally sabotaging your health. Did you know the average American GAINS 10 pounds during the holidays?!!! Join me this year for a RESET between Thanksgiving and Christmas for 10 Days to focus on healthy nutrition and break away from over-indulging and unhealthy habits! 

Melissa's 10 Day Post Turkey Day Nutrition Challenge starts November 28th! I will help you break free from cravings of sugar, carbohydrates, caffeine, alcohol and processed foods and reset your body so that you feel great going into Christmas!!! Will you join me?!

Here are some my tips for Thanksgiving allowing you to Gobble Gobble without the Wobble Wobble!

Eat Breakfast: 
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day & jump starts your metabolism. Many people think that skipping breakfast or other meals leading up to the big holiday meal is a good idea. This will leave you starving and more likely to binge once the meal is served. 

Exercise early:
Find a local turkey trot and bring the family along.  Or wake up 45 minutes early and do a home workout.  When you start your day off with a workout, and you’ll be burning calories all day long!

Stay hydrated:
Shoot for half of your weight in ounces of water each day and try drinking a full glass of water before holiday meals.  This will aid in digestion and will help you to feel satisfied faster, which will help you not to over-indulge in food or alcohol. 

Healthy Turkey Day Recipes

Herbed Quinoa Stuffing With Squash, Cranberries and Roasted Chestnuts

Herbed stuffed quinoa dressing.png


  • One bag or box of quinoa (16 ounce box)
  • 6 cups organic veggie or chicken broth
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries soaked in boiling water for 15 minutes (apple juice infused, not sweetened with sugar)
  • 1/4 cup liquid from soaked cranberries
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 package chopped butternut squash
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 2 large stalks celery
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped roasted chestnuts
  • 3 Tablespoons combined chopped fresh sage, chopped fresh thyme, and chopped fresh rosemary or marjoram
  • About 2 -3 teaspoons seasoned sea salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons pasture butter
  • Sprigs of rosemary for garnish
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp real maple syrup


Cook the quinoa in the broth according to package directions. Cover and set aside. While quinoa is cooking, roast the squash until slightly browned and soft. Season with some salt and pepper, and toss in 1 teaspoon real maple syrup. 

In a sauté pan, sauté onions, celery, and carrots until lightly browned and softened, about 10 minutes. Add the fresh herbs and soaked cranberries and cook another few minutes. Add the 1/4 cup juice from the soaked cranberries and the chestnuts. Combine all of this with the squash and quinoa in pot and stir until combined. Mixture will be a bit mushy, and this is perfect. Taste for seasonings!!! May need a bit more sea salt. Place in greased casserole pan.  Top with a tablespoon of pasture butter on each pan.

Bake at 350 covered with foil for about 40 minutes until sizzling and a good consistency. Serve hot. Can be made ahead.

Source: Adapted from CBS Boston Healthy Recipes

Healthy Coconut Ginger Sweet Potato Casserole


  • 3-3 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1/4 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 3 TBS chopped ginger

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wrap sweet potatoes in foil and place on a baking sheet. Roast for 80-90 minutes until easily pierced with a fork.
  2. Carefully unwrap potatoes then pull off and discard the skins (you may want to wait until they cool a little).
  3. Place the roasted sweet potatoes into a large bowl and mash them up, mixing in ginger, coconut milk, cinnamon, orange zest and orange juice.
  4. Pour the sweet potato mixture into a casserole dish and top with pecans. Bake for 10-15 minutes until heated through.

Gluten Free - Creamy Superfood Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients for pie:

gluten free pumpkin pie.jpg
  • 4 cups of baked pumpkin (scoop the seeds out, cut the skin off, and bake at 350°F for 1-1.5 hours. When it's soft, it's ready.) OR 2 cans of pumpkin puree
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup honey (or other sweetener of your choice, such as brown rice syrup)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon maca
  • 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan or celtic salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Gluten Free Crust:

  • 3/4 cup buckwheat flour
  • 3/4 cup any gluten-free all-purpose flour (I like almond flour)
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free steel-cut oats
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 4 tablespoons water


1. Crust: Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine all crust ingredients in a large bowl. Spread coconut oil over a pie pan. Press the dough evenly into the pan. Bake for 15 minutes (the crust may rise, that's ok).

2. Pie: Blend all ingredients together until smooth, and pour into the baked crust. Bake 30 minutes, let cool. Refrigerate for a few hours for the pie to thicken and set.

Source: Adapted from Mind Body Green Recipes