Making Holiday Leftovers Healthy!

Waste Not, Want Not! Tips for Holiday Leftovers!

You overestimated your family’s appetite, again. You stressed out over cooking seventeen different side dishes and no one even touched the creamed spinach! The audacity of these people!

So what are you going to do with all of those leftovers? Throwing them out would be insulting to everyone going hungry this year, but the thought of eating plain turkey for five days straight is causing you to dry heave.

Our Guidelines:

1) Protein, Veggies and Healthy Fats

Check these three boxes when creating your leftover meals to fuel your body with the right nutrition. A plate should have your choice of lean protein, a portion of healthy fats and a hearty amount of vegetables.

2) Macros

Now that you know what kinds of food to put in your mouth, let’s talk about quantity. Simply put, macronutrients are the building blocks of your food. Protein, carbohydrates and fats have different calorie amounts and are important to your well being and nutritional goals. Check out the appropriate amounts for you:

  • Protein: Women - 20-30g/meal, Men - 40-60g/meal

  • Carbs: Women - 20-30g/meal, Men - 40-60g/meal

  • Fats: Women - 7-12g/meal, Men - 15-25g/meal

3) Creativity

Repeat after us: You are your own Top Chef! You know which flavors are appealing to your palate. You know what you like and don’t like. It’s okay to keep things simple but eventually cooking and food prep can become boring if you don’t Emeril it up a bit and “Bam!” some spices onto your food.

Now that you have some guardrails, the real fun can begin...

Stick to the Five ‘S’s:

1) Soups

One leftover bird, water, veggies and herbs. Throw said things in a big pot, set the timer for a few hours and boom, soup magically appears. Seriously, there’s not much to think about or stress over when preparing homemade soup.

2) Salads

Create using spinach, spring mix, lean protein, seeds, beets or whatever veggies you have! Top it with some olive oil and vinegar and you’ve got yourself a healthy meal.

3) Scrambles

When in doubt, put an egg on it. Eggs can make any lame mix of ingredients into a delicious recipe. Scrambled, fried, over easy, poached and the list goes on!

4) Shakes

Who said you can’t put a sweet potato in a protein shake? If you have frozen fruit in your freezer, some spinach or kale, a sweet potato, leftover avocados and protein powder you can make several yummy grab and go shakes that check all of the boxes.

5) Stir-Fry

A well rounded meal can be as easy as throwing a bunch of foods in a pan for a stir-fry. Adding carbs like rice or noodles for an after holiday workout treat can be fuss free as well.

Most of you don’t have a surplus of time when you can make a gourmet meal every night. If you are one of the outliers that can blink their eyes and whip up a 5 start meal, then start sharing! If it’s not, time to get creative. Building healthy, nutritious and flavorful meals with little effort can just mean reusing holiday leftovers. They’re said to be the gift that keeps on giving, right? Happy holidays!