3 Festive Thanksgiving Feast Ideas to Boost Flavor and Nutrition

happy tday

Watch here! My mindful eating tips to enjoy your Thanksgiving Feast, plus festive holiday food ideas.

Thanksgiving is almost here! I love this time of year because it’s all about gratitude – celebrating with good friends, family – and of course, FOOD, which is a meaningful part of our traditions.

Don’t waste time on thinking about “food rules” and what you can or can’t eat. It’s not fun, AND most people don’t realize, you usually end up overeating because your brain gets too tired out from resisting tempting foods! Instead, focus on savoring your food and slowing down – or Mindful eating helps you enjoy what you really want, and get satisfied without putting you into a food coma.

I’ve got some food ideas and recipes to help boost the nutrition value for your festive food choices to make your celebration healthy, happy, and memorable.

What to Serve While Everyone is Waiting on Dinner

When you’re entertaining, it’s nice to take some shortcuts. But instead of putting out potato chips, offer up satisfying snacks that won’t spoil your guests’ appetites before the big feast.pistacio

Wonderful Pistachios are just as easy to serve to your guests, plus they have three times the protein, fiber, and portion size per serving! Just put them out for crackin’ and snackin’ on and around Thanksgiving.

If you’re on the road, Wonderful Pistachios come in convenient 100 calorie packaging or you can make your own–you get 49 nuts in a serving of pistachios – more than any other nut. Try tasty varieties including the classic roasted & salted, lightly salted for just a touch of salt, and great flavors such as sweet chili and salt & pepper.

pumpkin-hummus-ck-xMany people love hummus and there are so many ways to serve it. Try an easy variation – warmed pumpkin hummus – just stir in ½ cup pumpkin puree into your hummus and warm it up for a few minutes and top with toasted pumpkin seeds.

Two heaping spoons of Sabra hummus a day will have you eating 1 ½ cups of beans in a week, increasing your fiber intake, plus boosting the veggies you eat – not to mention when you serve Sabra hummus as part of your veggie platter it can serve as your “scoop vehicle” for the hummus. It’s a win-win.

What to Serve to Drinkpom spritzer

Serve up a festive cocktails and mocktails using pomegranate juice. POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice contains the juice from two whole pomegranates, and nothing more. I love using this for holiday beverages – like Spiced POM Cider, or try mixing with sparkling wine or sparkling water at your holiday table.

 Everything but Turkey – Colorful and Creative Sides

For the holiday table – we all know we’ll be enjoying some mashed potatoes – one of my family’s favorites. Add a “secret ingredient” to your spuds by using hummus instead of butter and cream, which cuts about 15 mash spudsgrams of fat per serving and adds a zesty flavor and creamy texture that your guests will find delightful.pom brussle

As you plan your holiday menu, think color! Pomegranate arils offer a delicious flavor and a perfect festive color for your side dishes like these Roasted Pomegranate Brussels Sprouts. You can buy Wonderful Pomegranates whole, or try POM POMs, a convenient package of ready to eat arils.

What to Eat for Energy

Be the host with the most, but don’t get stuck ravenous. Stay on top of hunger and keep up your energy up between meals with nutritious snacks.Kind bar

KIND bars are smart snacks, made with real, wholesome ingredients and use 50% less sugar compared to the average snack bar, only 5-6g per bar. Pair them with yogurt or cheese for added protein to keep you powering through your to-do lists, or enjoy them with a piece of fresh fruit for some quick energy while on the go.

If you’re looking to satisfy your sweet tooth while still snacking healthy try KIND Nuts & Spices. Nuts and Spices come in a variety of delicious flavors, including Maple Caramel Sea Salt, Madagascar Vanilla Almond, Dark Chocolate Mocha.

Hear it From You

Let us know! What festive Thanksgiving dishes will you be serving up? Please share below or tweet to @ScritchfieldRD! We’d love to hear them!

Find out more about these products and topics through Twitter at @POMWonderful, @getcrackin, @Sabra and @KINDSnacks!

Tasty and nutritious, add some of these festive ideas to your Thanksgiving menu and you’ll be sure to add some health as well!

Disclosures: I was compensated by Sabra, KIND snacks, and Wonderful (pomegranate and pistachio) for my work on the TV segment, but was not compensated to write this blog.

Try This: “I had a long day” Recipe Stuffed Sweet Potato


This sweet potato recipe is easy to make after a long day where all you want to do is sit down and relax. This spin on a favorite comfort food could be the main course of your dinner or split between the family for a tasty side dish.

When I eat this as a meal, I add chopped chicken or beef for a boost of protein and satisfaction. Anything goes – Use what works for you.

Stuffed Sweet Potato
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves 1
Serves: 25 min
  • 1 Sweet potato
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • ¼ cup of dark greens (spinach, kale, chard etc. )
  • ⅛ cup finely chopped carrots
  • ½ chicken breast, cooked and chopped (optional)
  • ¼ cup shredded cheese (I love cheddar!)
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Scrub sweet potato and cut a ½ inch deep line around the middle.
  3. Microwave for 7-10 minutes, or until cooked all the way through.
  4. Scoop out flesh, and leave the skins to the side (don’t throw them away!).
  5. Mash the sweet potato in a bowl with milk and butter.
  6. Stir in greens, carrots, chicken, and half of the shredded cheese.
  7. Put the filling back into the sweet potato skins, and put on a tray or in tinfoil (I find it is more stable if I make a boat out of tinfoil for the sweet potato!).
  8. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top, and bake until the cheese on top is golden, which takes about 8-12 minutes!
  9. Enjoy!


What are your favorite foods to make after a long day? Share below in the comments.

Join the #Spring2Wellness Challenge Today (3 more weeks left)

Spring (1)Since the start of spring, over 1,000 people have been enjoying their time learning new tips for motivation, recipes and workouts absolutely FREE with my latest challenge, “Spring 2 Wellness.”

It’s not to late to join in. We have three more weeks left of weekly challenge emails. Sign up here.

After you complete it, I’ll be sharing my 7-day “feel good guide” (also free). Then you’ll get messages from me ongoing 1-2 times a month, with some of my favorite tools, tips and resources right to your inbox.

Read on if you would like to catch up and get some wellness in your life instantly! Next challenge goes out Friday April 25th,

Spring 2 Wellness Week 1

Week 1 was all about goal setting.

Your intention is your commitment to take action. Start by (1) get a clear on what you want and why you want it and (2) WRITE IT DOWN or it isn’t happening.

I will ______ on (or by) ________.

Check out this link for more goal setting tips 9 Habits For a Happier Healthier Life

Sign up for the challenge

Spring2Wellness Week 2

Week 2: plan, plan, plan.

You know the saying “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Even if you can eek by without planning, imagine how much more could you get done with healthy living if you plan. You save time, you’re more clear on your goals, and you’re more likely to stick to them when you feel like bailing.

Learn how to meal plan like a boss.  Meal planning makes grocery shopping much more efficient (saving you time and money), and keeps your mind set on eating healthy.

Sign up for the challenge

Spring2Wellness Week 3

Week 3: Move to the rhythm of the work out

Turn something dreadful into something less dreadful.  Let’s face it, you may not feel like working out at all.  It’s tiring, takes up time or uncomfortable.  It’s OK.  Do it anyway.

Use music as a distraction and it can make your workouts more fun.  Think of some of your favorite songs, create a play list, and I dare you not to move to them!

Sign up for the challenge

Spring2Wellness Week 4

Week 4’s challenge was all about meditation.

While I love yoga, I could never seem to get into meditation. My brain is constantly thinking, moving from one idea to the next. Trying to control or stop my thoughts seems like the opposite of what I am supposed to do.

However, after trying to give my self 1 to 5 minutes every morning to just do nothing, I could see how it helped me feel more positive and energized for a great day. I got a real boost to my health and happiness.

I wrote an article published on US News: Health, check it out, it talks more about Mediation and how and why you should try it.

Sign up for the challenge

Spring2Wellness Week 5

Are you dying to know? Sign up for the challenge and you’ll see what’s up my sleeve next.

Fun Food Ideas for Fall Tailgating, Getaways, and Entertaining

Yesterday I appeared on Baltimore’s WBAL to share some great fall food ideas for the season’s events! Fall is here and that means football parties, weekend getaways, and outdoor entertaining. Click below to watch the full clip, or read on for highlights on some fun and flavorful ideas to blend a little health and happiness into your gathering!

Fall Foliage is Here – Hit the Road!

You can’t miss the colors of fall. Plan a day trip or a weekend getaway to take in the beauty that nature has to offer.  In the D.C. area alone, I love visiting Rock Creek Park and Great Falls, Virginia. (I got engaged in Great Falls in October many moons ago. It was beautiful).

You know that feeling when you need to get gas, eat and hit the road in a span of 5 minutes? Well, you can hit 7-Eleven and be on your way.

Fresh Food Line at 7-Eleven

711The Fresh Food line at 7-Eleven makes it convenient to eat a healthy bite while on-the-go. The Fresh Foods line offers sandwiches, wraps, salads, whole and fresh cut fruit and yogurt parfaits, all made fresh.

  • Fresh Salads: 7-Eleven’s salads are available in 4 different varieties all under 500 calories. They come in easy and portable packaging, which makes them a great lunch option. Plus, they’re very affordable at $3.99.
  • Sandwiches: 7-Eleven’s sandwiches are all prepared locally and delivered fresh every day. They are made with fresh ingredients including premium meats and fresh-blended spreads.
  • Seasonal Fruit: 7-Eleven has several quick and healthy snacks options to grab on the go including fresh cut fruit and whole fruit, including everything from pineapple and mixed melon to grapes and bananas.
  • Snacks: 7-Eleven has a fresh selection of snack options including hard boiled eggs, yogurt parfaits, and carrot and celery packs with dips.

Next time you’re in your local 7-Eleven, forgo the doughnut and grab one of these great new options!

Tailgate with Flavor Using McCormick Recipes

McCormickWith special dietary needs such as eating gluten-free, parties can be a special challenge. For tailgates, like the big Ravens game this weekend, the seven-layer fiesta dip made with McCormick Taco Seasoning is great. Now available gluten-free, this is something you can bring or serve and enjoy with the rest of the crowd. It pairs perfectly with tortilla chips or other gluten-free snacks. Or, try the Chicken Lettuce Wraps, a nice change of pace from traditional tailgating fare. Made with McCormick’s Gluten-Free Turkey Gravy mix, it’s loaded with colorful toppings like shredded carrots, red bell pepper and peanuts. With Thanksgiving coming, Turkey Gravy is a great seasoning mix to have on hand for a foolproof gluten-free gravy in just five minutes. Have your gravy at-hand with ease and without worry.

Also, if you’re entertaining and looking to try a new recipe, McCormick has a digital service called Flavor Print that creates personalized recipe and flavor suggestions tailored to your likes and dislikes. Take the thinking out of the process and focus on the fun!

Entertaining your Friends and Family with Zespri Kiwifruit

ZespriBring one last burst of summer flavor to the table. Zespri Kiwifruit are only available through the end of October, so now is the time use them. “Wow” your guests with this tasty kiwifruit and prosciutto crostini. It’s easy and delicious! Just top crostini with herbed goat cheese and prosciutto-wrapped kiwi. Green kiwifruit is probably what you’re familiar with, but there’s also Zespri SunGold variety. It has a sweet, refreshing tropical flavor and it’s newly available in the U.S.

Zespri kiwifruit are nutrition “powerhouses” and two kiwifruit have more vitamin C than an orange and as much potassium as a banana. Two SunGold kiwifruit have 2.5 times the daily-recommended amount of vitamin C.

You can even use kiwifruit in cocktails and mocktails like this Southern Cross SunGold Kiwifruit Cocktail. It’s so colorful and flavorful, the perfect recipe for a fun evening! Be sure to take advantage of this delicious fruit while you still can!

A Healthier Halloween with Wonderful Pistachios

WonderfulPistachiosFor snacks when you’re entertaining, nothing could be easier than putting out a bowl of Wonderful Pistachios. A recent Neilsen Survey showed that Americans love salty snacks like chips and cheese most. Pistachios hit the spot because they taste salty, but they also deliver on nutrition. They are among the highest protein and fiber content nuts with three times the protein and fiber compared to chips. And with Halloween around the corner, pistachios are a great pre-trick or treat snack to energize them with something healthy.

On the big night, hand out snack size packs of Wonderful Pistachios. It may not be candy, but everyone loves pistachios. If they need convincing, tell them pistachios taste great with a bite of chocolate. Look for the single-serve packages that are perfectly portioned to satisfy savory snack cravings, a mini-sized (1 oz.) pack of Wonderful Pistachios having 80 calories, 3 grams protein and 2 grams fiber. Kids have fun cracking them open, and these portable and convenient packages are also a smart snack for a weekend getaway road trip. Have them ready to go or pick them up along the way at most gas stations and markets.

For more information on these delicious, healthy and easy options, visit their websites at www.mccormick.com, www.ZespriKiwi.com, www.getcrackin.com, and www.7-eleven.com. Remember to follow them on Twitter using @McCormickSpices @ZESPRIkiwifruit @getcrackin (for Wonderful Pistachios) and @7eleven.

I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or send a tweet to @ScritchfieldRD to share your favorite fall recipes and activities.

Disclosures: I was compensated by Zespri Kiwifruit, 7-Eleven, McCormick Spices, and Wonderful Pistachios for my work on the TV segment, but was not compensated to write this blog.

September 30-Day Challenge: Take Care of Your Heart


I love the heart. For one, we all need our hearts to live and we need our hearts to love.

If you know me, you know I’m all about self-care and self-love. Most of my clients, family, and friends are so good at taking care of others, yet many of them struggle with taking care of themselves – yours truly included (hello, mom of two fabulous and energy-draining girls under two years old.)

We obviously need a healthy heart to live a long, happy life and enjoy the ride. Six years ago my mom suffered a near fatal heart attack. She’s had two more minor ones since then and quadruple bypass surgery. While she has heart disease, she has been able to quit smoking and she enjoys water walking.

As you can imagine, healthy hearts are personal to me. When it came time to come up with a new monthly challenge for September and I realized it was National Cholesterol Education Month, I decided to honor hearts everywhere – my mom’s, mine, and yours!

The focus of this month’s 30-Day Challenge is THREE SIMPLE WAYS you can take care of your heart (yes, only three!) and help keep your cholesterol in a healthy range. And maybe even more importantly keep your heart healthy for years, and years, and YEARS of love.

So What IS Cholesterol?

Our bodies actually need cholesterol in order to make vitamin D and hormones like estrogen and testosterone. We get some from out diet, but most of it is made in our liver. HDL (“good” cholesterol), is the kind that helps to protect our heart and carries cholesterol to our liver for our bodies to get rid of it. This is the one where a higher number is a good thing.  LDL (“bad cholesterol”) is the kind that carries cholesterol from the liver to other parts of the body. The problem is that when your LDL cholesterol gets too high it can end up accumulating in your arteries which can lead to serious issues like heart attacks and strokes. The goal is to have a low LDL and a high HDL to help keep your heart healthy.

What Are Some Ways I Can Take Care of My Heart?

The good news is that there are things each of us can do every day to help bring our cholesterol into a healthy range. 3 things you can do EVERY DAY are:

  1. Eat well — this means eating a balanced and varied diet full of color and wholesome, nourishing foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low fat dairy and lean proteins. Emphasizing heart healthy fats like avocado, olive oil, canola oil and nuts and seeds is important too. Cooking at home lets you control the ingredients of your meals, so set a goal to get in the kitchen more — even have your kids help out! Check out this list of 10 foods to break your low cholesterol diet rut to help keep your meals exciting and prevent boredom. The American Heart Association has a great collection of heart healthy recipes if you need some ideas to get you started.
  2. Exercise regularly — exercise has been shown to help improve your cardiovascular function, and it can help lower your cholesterol. Choose whatever kind of movement feels fun and makes your body feel good (yoga, hula hooping, walking your dog, playing outside with your kids, a dance class, etc.) and aim for 30 minutes per day (about 2.5 hours per week).
  3. Not smoke — smoking is the number one cause of heart disease and heart attack. Your body gets healthier even within 24 hours of quitting, so why not choose today to quit? For resources and support for how to quit, you can visit http://smokefree.gov.

I want to hear how YOU take care of your heart!

  • Share your heart healthy recipes, favorite workouts, and other inspiration with me on Facebook , Twitter or Pinterest. I’ll also be posting motivations, tips, and responding to your questions EVERY SINGLE DAY.
  • If you have a blog, write about your experience and share those links.
  • I’m using the hashtag #heartsmart