By Kim Beavers, MS, RD, LD, CDE

Illustration by Michael Rushbrook

I have termed this time of year the “candy season.” Don’t get me wrong I do like candy—but seriously, do we need to see it at every turn?

Another characteristic common this time of year is over-eating. As a dietitian I have helped people identify their hunger level using what is called a hunger scale. Hunger scales typically use the numbers one through ten to describe hunger and satiety. The number one indicates starving and the number ten represents stuffed (Thanksgiving stuffed). Almost everyone understands that “too stuffed” feeling from Thanksgiving, but when you think about that “too stuffed” feeling does it remind you of a good feeling? No? I’d be willing to bet no one else feels good at that level of fullness either.

In an effort not to overeat remember that “too stuffed” feeling BEFORE you eat the big meal this year. And that hunger scale is also really good to keep in mind throughout the holiday eating season. If you would like to have an actual hunger scale to refer to see the handout at this website

This month’s salad recipe is perfect for after Thanksgiving. It still uses leftovers, is lighter than a sandwich and may sit better on an overworked digestive system. Secondly salads have the potential to help avoid overeating and can help deliver more vegetables to the whole family throughout the holiday season.

According to Barbara Rolls Ph.D., author of The Volumetrics Eating Plan, eating a vegetable-rich (low calorie) salad before a meal can help decrease the amount of total calories eaten at that meal. In other words, filling up on healthy low-calorie greens (lettuce, spinach, cabbage, kale, etc.) is a good strategy to help you feel more satisfied on fewer calories not to mention getting a few extra nutrients.

Salad greens have both fiber and nutrients but salads in particular are great vehicles for getting more vegetables in the diet. For instance, common toppings for salads include carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes. It can be easy to get in a salad rut, so shake things up a bit and try a few new veggies on your salad next time. Ideas to get you started are sugar snap peas, lightly blanched asparagus, roasted tomatoes, artichoke hearts, hearts of palm, broccoli slaw, water chestnuts or steamed beets.

One of my favorite recommendations is to encourage eating a salad daily. However, I must mention one note of caution. If loaded down with dressing and non-vegetable toppings, salads can be high in calories. Be sure that vegetables are the star ingredient. A vegetable-heavy salad lightly dressed with an olive oil-based dressing is a great way to get more vegetables, and decrease the risk of overeating throughout the holiday season.

Thanksgiving Salad
Customize this salad to include whatever you have left over from the day before. The idea is to not have to cook again but still enjoy the flavors of America’s holiday.


6 cups lettuce, washed and torn
2 tomatoes, cored and chopped
1 cup sliced cucumber
1 cup coarsely chopped celery
1 cup coarsely chopped carrots
1 cup sliced mushrooms
½ small red onion, sliced
8 ounces sliced turkey (leftover turkey)


¼ cup plain non-fat yogurt
3 tablespoons cranberry sauce (or cranberry relish)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Combine salad greens and vegetables in a large bowl (lettuce through red onion). To make the dressing, place dressing ingredients in medium bowl and whisk to combine. To serve, evenly divide salad greens between four plates top each salad with 2 ounces of turkey and 2 to 3 tablespoons of dressing.

Kim’s note:
If you don’t feel like making the dressing just add 3 tablespoons of cranberry sauce to 1/3 cup of your favorite store bought balsamic vinaigrette or poppy seed dressing.

Yield: 4 servings.

Nutrient breakdown:
Calories 240, Fat 7g (1g saturated fat, 4g monounsaturated fat), Cholesterol 45mg, Sodium 130mg, Carbohydrate 27g, Fiber 5g, Potassium 804mg, Protein 21g. Nutrition Bonus: 190% daily value for vitamin A, 50% dv for vitamin C, 10% dv for Calcium, 15% dv for Iron
Carbohydrate Choices: 2 carbohydrates, 2 lean meats


Kim Beavers is a Registered Dietitian and Diabetes Educator for University Health Care System. She lives in North Augusta with her husband and two children and she is the co-host of the culinary nutrition segment Eating Well with Kim, which airs at noon Monday, Wednesday and Friday on WRDW. To be notified of new recipes join Kim’s facebook fan page at To search for specific recipes go to You can also watch the segments at

This article appears in the November 2016 issue of Augusta Family Magazine.
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