Staying in ketosis over Thanksgiving (or any of the major holidays for that matter) can be challenging.
It seems that everywhere you look there’s temptation. Roasted potatoes, sugary cranberry sauce – and not to mention all the alcohol that keeps us sufficiently lubricated at this time of year!
Although Thanksgiving is a time of celebration – it can be a little stressful if you’re trying to maintain a state of ketosis. Not only is the risk of temptation around every corner, but there’s the social pressure aspect of the holiday too.
Peer pressure, coupled with a desire to not be the finicky guest at the party with all the ‘special’ dietary requirements can mean you either blow-out entirely and stuff yourself (we’ve all been there) or worse; miss out on the celebrations altogether.
Here are a few quick and dirty tips to staying in ketosis over Thanksgiving:
Tip 1: Be The Host
Obviously, the easiest way to keep some semblance of control over what you’re eating is to host a Thanksgiving meal yourself. Even though your guests might not be following a ketogenic diet, this shouldn’t put you off.
One of the great things about traditional Thanksgiving foods is that plenty of them are already keto-friendly. Pumpkin, squash, green beans and other green veggies, as well as that all-important turkey are all acceptable on a ketogenic diet. It’s usually the sauces, the gravy, stuffings and the potatoes that are the biggest carb offenders of a traditional Thanksgiving meal. Oh, and the dessert – but we’ve got you covered; check out this delicious Spiced Keto-Berry Crumble recipe!
To make sure your non-keto guests don’t feel like they’re missing out, consider preparing separate dishes of roasted potatoes, mash or stuffing. As for the sauces and gravy, here are two quick keto-cheats that will fool even the most discerning non-keto guest:
Keto-Friendly Cranberry Sauce
This is simple and incredibly easy to make!
Simmer a pan of fresh cranberries with a dash of water, two or three tablespoons of Just Like Sugar and half a teaspoon of vanilla essence.
Mix together over a low heat until the cranberries are just beginning to break apart, and the sauce thickens up. Add sweetener to taste until you have the perfect balance of sweetness to offset the tartness of the cranberries.
This recipe is a little more complex, but it’s totally worth the extra effort to both please your guests and keep yourself in ketosis while enjoying a delicious Thanksgiving meal.
You will need:
- 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of clarified butter
- 1 large white onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon of sage
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon of almond flour
- Half a cup of porcini mushrooms
- A quarter cup of heavy whipping cream
- 2 cups bone broth (you can make your own by boiling down a chicken or turkey carcass)
To make the gravy:
- Add the garlic, the mushrooms and the chopped onion to a pan with the clarified butter and sauté until the onions are soft.
- Add the sage, almond flour, lemon juice, mustard and balsamic vinegar, stirring continuously
- Add the bone broth and bring to the boil
- Lower the heat and let the mixture simmer long enough to reduce down by half
- Once reduced, add the cream and simmer for a further five minutes
- Transfer to a blender and blend until the mixture is smooth, thick and creamy
Note, this gravy does not keep well as the cream tends to separate, so it is best served right away with your keto-friendly Thanksgiving dinner.
Tip 2: Be Discerning
If you aren’t in a position to host your own keto-friendly Thanksgiving meal, don’t fret. You can be discerning about what you eat, without being overbearing.
Try to pile your plate with as much meat as possible. Let’s face it, you won’t look out of place at the dinner table stuffing your face with turkey. But one thing to remember is to avoid eating the skin (you know – the best part 😦 ) as this could be glazed with honey and other non-keto ingredients.
Remember: if in doubt, leave it out. Opt for green veggies, pumpkin and other keto-friendly vegetables wherever possible. Also, avoid hidden carbs by keeping away from the gravy and other sauces that might tempt you.
Tip 3: Exercise Regularly
As stated, being the host of Thanksgiving isn’t possible for everybody. Sometimes it’s hard to break from tradition, particularly where family is concerned. So, if you do have to brave a dinner with all the carbalicious goodness of Thanksgiving, make sure you incorporate High Intensity Interval Training (or HIIT) into your daily routine, particularly the day after your Thanksgiving meal.
HIIT is one of the best ways for entering ketosis quickly and efficiently – so if you have over-indulged, don’t worry too much about it. Chalk it up to experience, get yourself back on the wagon immediately and perform a HIIT workout as you power through your post-thanksgiving food-hangover.
Tip 4: Be Mindful
On a final note – don’t be too hard on yourself. It is Thanksgiving after all, so don’t beat yourself up too much if you find you’ve slipped a little.
Consider purchasing some Ketostix if you haven’t already, so that you can gauge whether you’ve maintained over the holidays, and then adjust your post-Thanksgiving diet and exercise efforts accordingly.
One of the great things about the ketogenic diet is its simplicity. It’s relatively easy to enter and maintain a state of ketosis if you do your research – and that’s exactly what the Ketoship blog is all about. We have a ton of resources, advice and products to help you on your keto journey – so feel free to check out the archives for some additional inspiration.
More specifically though, if you’re worried about slipping out of ketosis over Thanksgiving then we recommend you check out these posts to help you:
- Using HIIT to Kick-Start Ketosis
- Tips to Get Back On-track with the Ketogenic Diet
- How a Ketogenic Diet will Help You Reach your Weight Loss Goals
And finally, if you want to keep these tips close at hand – please feel free to pin or share the images from this post: