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Grand Fitness

Keep Health and Fitness Top of Mind This Thanksgiving

Keep Health and Fitness Top of Mind This Thanksgiving

Traditionally, Thanksgiving is the ultimate cheat day, but according to our director of personal training, Renee Barnhill, Thanksgiving can and should be a time to focus on what is most important: friends, family, and fitness.

Below, Renee shares her favorite heathy recipe as well as some best practices to get you through.

Holiday party Makeover Tips:

Avoiding the Party pig-out during the holidays can be challenging. In case you need a reminder, never arrive hungry, and always be sure to drink plenty of water. Having a pre- party snack and adequate fiber and protein is your best strategy for avoiding guilt after the event.

Now that you are thinking with a clear head, here are some simple swaps so you can eat, drink and be merry without adding the extra pounds.


  • Baked Brie
  • Sugar and Spiced Nuts
  • Spinach and Artichoke Dip
  • Pigs in the Blanket
  • Cheese and Meat Platter
  • Cocktails
  • Cake, Cookies, Cream Puffs, Pie                                  


  • Fruit and Cheese
  • Plain Mixed Nuts
  • Guacamole and Salsa with Vegetables
  • Bruschetta with Vegetables or Seafood-Based Toppings
  • Shrimp Cocktail and Chicken Kebabs
  • Red Wine
  • Fruit with Whipped Cream, Berries with Mascarpone

Kale Salad with Harissa Dressing, Toasted Nuts, Mint, & Pomegranate

Shared from Encyclopedia of Food

Hearty kale leaves are massaged until tender, dressed with a spicy-sweet harissa dressing, sprinkled with fresh mint, and topped with crunchy nuts and juicy pomegranate seeds.



  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp plain yogurt
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp harissa paste
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt


  • 4-5 cups kale leaves, coarse stems removed (once massaged, will reduce to about 3 cups)
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled into fine ribbons, or grated
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate arils (seeds)
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves, fresh
  • 1/2 cup walnut halves, toasted
  • 1/4 cup pistachios


Prep Time: 20 minutes   Cook Time: 0 minutes   Yield: 2 servings

For the dressing:

First, make the dressing: Add olive oil, yogurt, vinegar, maple syrup, harissa, garlic, and salt to a jar and whisk until emulsified. Set aside as you prepare the salad.

For the salad:

In a large bowl, place de-stemmed kale leaves and, using clean hands, begin to massage them. Do this for a minute or two, or until leaves are floppy and softened. To this same bowl, add carrot ribbons, pomegranate seeds, mint leaves, walnuts, pistachios, and dressing. Toss to coat, and serve immediately.