By Get Off Your Acid’s Dr. Daryl Gioffre.
Traditional Thanksgiving food is notorious for being full of the bad fats, sugar and sodium. The holiday is all about indulging, and you should allow yourself a few treats throughout the day, but many Turkey Day classics such as Brussels sprouts, yams and more, are piled with acidic ingredients and you don’t even realize it! Have a nutritionist-approved holiday this year and opt for these healthier Thanksgiving alkaline alternatives instead.
What You’re Doing Wrong: Hearty Meats
Although it’s a Thanksgiving tradition, turkey – although a lean meat – is acidic and may be harming your health. Not only will cutting out turkey keep you lean throughout the indulgent holiday, but it will also help you balance your body’s pH. And if you want to stick with the Thanksgiving tradition, no worries – just be sure to make the turkey the side show, not the main event. This means the turkey should make up no more than 20% of your plate, with the other 80% being loaded with dark green leafy and cruciferous vegetables. Think moderation, not deprivation!
Try This Instead: Tofu
Consider switching to vegetarian and vegan-friendly tofurky this holiday season. Unfermented tofu is a better option and a great source of protein — don’t be afraid! While it might not be my favorite option, the holidays are all about making better options when you can.
What You’re Doing Wrong: Stuffing, Cornbread and Rolls
Full of butter, starch and refined sugars, these classics may be more detrimental than you realize and counteract the alkaline properties of the vegetables inside of them. Best to avoid these ones when you can and pick and choose your battles.
Try This Instead: Load Up On Veggies
Use almond or coconut milk and avocado instead of whole milk and eggs in your sweet potato casserole. Don’t get rid of these side dishes completely; vegetables are great for balancing your body’s pH. Instead of a baked green bean casserole, opt instead for green beans mixed with onion, celery and a little olive oil.
What You’re Doing Wrong: Sweet Potato and Green Bean Casseroles
While vegetable-based, these casserole options are stuffed with fatty acids and unhealthy additives, like monoglycerides and diglycerides, that come hidden in common processed foods like breadcrumbs.
Try This Instead: Swap This For That
By simply switching some ingredients in your favorite foods, you can create culinary masterpieces without all the acidity. Use fresh pumpkin and almond milk for a pumpkin puree and add texture with quinoa instead of mushrooms in your stuffing.
What You’re Doing Wrong: Traditional Gravy
Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to gravy. Its ingredients, which include chicken broth, bread flour and turkey giblets are high in sodium (the bad salt) and highly acidic.
Try This Instead: Create Basic Bases
By creating multipurpose alkaline bread and broth, you can replace fatty, acidic foods with healthy alternatives. Make your own broth by adding pepper, sage, onion powder, dill, garlic and oregano to boiling water for an acid free soup stock. From there, you can use it in your turkey-free gravy and stuffing. Bake a gluten-free oat bread using almond flour and bee pollen to replace traditional flour and sugar for an alkaline indulgence that can replace cornbread, be added to stuffing and even crumbled into gravy.
What You’re Doing Wrong: Cranberry Sauce
Thanksgiving cranberry sauce is both acidic and notorious for containing copious amounts of white sugar. It does little to improve your health. Remember this – every time you put a piece of food in your mouth, you are choosing to fight disease or fuel it, and the quality of your choices will determine how much energy you feel.
Try This Instead: Fix Your Fruit
Replace sugary cranberry sauce with a homemade fig and pomegranate sauce. Figs are loaded with vitamins and pomegranates are a great source of antioxidants. Puree them with some almond butter and you’ve got a great alkaline alternative to canned cranberry sugar.
Read Dr. Daryl Gioffre’s full guide to the alkaline diet or check how to dine out while practicing the alkaline diet.