Healthy Ways to Use Your Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey

The day after Thanksgiving is practically a food holiday in itself, with refrigerators across America filled to the brim with leftover stuffing, yesterday’s mashed potatoes and enough turkey to feed half the neighborhood. If you’re trying to lose weight or maintain your size this holiday season, some health and medical experts recommend skipping the leftovers.

“One of the biggest [diet] mistakes people make is not realizing that the holidays are really only 3-4 days,” said Kathy Taylor, R.D. , Director., of Nutrition at Grady Hospital in Atlanta, GA. “Even if you [go off your diet] on those few days you can recover from that damage.  It’s the mentality that you can let everything go between Thanksgiving and New Years that causes weight gain.”

Start your holiday season off on the right foot by cooking up one of these healthy recipes with your leftover turkey – and try to resist going back for seconds.

Turkey Quesadillas: Usually when we think of quesadillas we think of cheese, which equates to fat and calories. Try a putting healthy spin on quesadillas and top them with fresh salsa, which has practically no calories.

Hot Turkey Club Sandwich: After an elaborate meal like Thanksgiving, keeping your diet simple the next day might be the best way to get back on track. Make a simple club sandwich that will satisfy without leading you to overdo it on the stuffing.

Turkey Corn Tacos: In this recipe, substitute chopped turkey breast for ground turkey for a flavorful Black Friday dinner.

Turkey Waldorf Salad: Instead of a rich, turkey salad laden with mayonnaise and calories, opt for a lighter version of Waldorf salad. Add apples and raisins for fiber and walnuts for a satisfying crunch.

Turkey Apple Pita: Instead of grazing aimlessly at lunchtime the next day, put your turkey to work in a whole wheat pita topped with apple slices to deliver a little bit of savory and sweet.

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