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Roasted Brussels sprouts

Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Cinnamon Butternut Squash, Pecans, and Cranberries – this easy Thanksgiving side dish is not only delicious and bursting with Fall and Holiday flavors, it’s also healthy, gluten free, vegetarian, and packed with fiber!


Roasted Brussels Sprouts:

3 cups Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed, yellow leaves removed
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt, to taste

Roasted Butternut Squash:

1 and ½ pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed into 1-inch cubes
(Yields about 4 cups of uncooked cubed butternut squash)
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons maple syrup
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Other Ingredients:

2 cups pecan halves 1 cup dried cranberries
2-4 tablespoons maple syrup (optional)


Roasted Brussels sprouts:

Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly grease the foil-lined baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Make sure Brussels sprouts have trimmed ends and yellow leaves are removed. Then, slice all Brussels sprouts in half. In a medium bowl, combine halved Brussels sprouts, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt (to taste), and toss to combine. Place onto a foil-lined baking sheet, cut side down, and roast in the oven at 400 F for about 20-25 minutes. During the last 5-10 minutes of roasting, turn them over for even browning, the cut sides should be nicely and partially charred but not blackened.

Roasted butternut squash:

Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly grease the foil-lined baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. In a medium bowl, combine cubed butternut squash (peeled and seeded),1 tablespoon of olive oil, maple syrup, and cinnamon, and toss to mix. Place butternut squash in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning once half-way through baking, until softened. Note: You can roast both Brussels sprouts and butternut squash on 2 separate baking sheets at the same time, on the same rack in the oven.


In a large bowl, combine roasted Brussels sprouts, roasted butternut squash, pecans, and cranberries, and mix to combine.

(OPTIONAL): For more sweetness, add 2 or 4 tablespoons of maple syrup, if desired - do not add all maple syrup at once, start with 2 tablespoons, then add more, if desired, and toss with the salad ingredients to combine.

Tips when eating out…below is a true story (cautionary tale)

A woman sits at a restaurant studying the menu with furrowed brow. She has begun an exercise routine and knows that her frequent meals out could slow her weight loss results if she wasn't careful.

When the waiter comes she is still deep in thought over what to order. "What can I get for you?" he asks with a smile. She looks up and frowns, no closer to arriving at a decision. On a whim she blurts out, "I'm trying to eat healthy but I have no idea what to order. What do you think I should eat?"

The young waiter looks startled but quickly rattles off his idea of a healthy meal. "The eggplant and roasted pepper pasta is filled with vegetables. You could get that with a salad."

The woman smiles. Yes, vegetables do sound healthy. So she orders the veggie pasta with a side salad and a diet soda, then sits back to enjoy a few slices of bread.

That's a true story. Not surprisingly the woman was unable to lose weight even though she was exercising regularly.

It is said that 80% of your weight loss results are derived from diet, and the remaining 20% from exercise—so you can see how important it is for you to stick with a healthy eating plan.

Use the following tips as your guide to eating out right:


Appetizers are a great way to start out a leisurely meal, but can also derail your good intentions with a quickness.

Don't Order:
  • Anything fried. Fried foods are a favorite, but will do damage that even the most intense workout won't undo.
  • Creamy dips. These are filled with fat and usually come with something fried to dip in it.
  • Bread. It comes smothered in cheese or seeped in butter, and even when it's plain it fills you up with more carbohydrates than your body needs.
Do Order:
  • Green salad. Ask for very light dressing and no croutons.
  • Antipasto. A plate of thinly sliced meats, olives and cheese will start you off with some protein.
  • Lettuce wraps. These are delicious, protein-filled and low in carbs.


Don't Order:
  • Regular or diet soda. On one hand you're drinking corn syrup through a straw, on the other you're drinking chemicals that cause you to crave sweets. It's a no win situation.
  • Sweet cocktails. Many restaurants are advertizing sweet cocktails –resist the urge. Sugar plus alcohol equals loads of unneeded calories.
  • Sweetened tea. You may feel righteous for ordering iced tea, but if it's sweetened then you may as well be drinking fully loaded soda.
Do Order:
  • Water. Don't laugh! Water is the best beverage of all.
  • Unsweetened iced tea. Don't ruin it by adding that packet of sugar. Learn to enjoy the natural sweetness to the tea.
  • Red wine. Stick to one glass, and drink responsibly.


This is where the real damage is done. When you order something carb-loaded you leave the restaurant feeling heavy and lethargic—you may not even realize this until you start eating better and experience the light, energetic way you'll feel after eating a healthy meal.

Don't Order:
  • Pasta. I don't care if it comes with red sauce or white sauce, meat or veggies. If you're trying to lose weight and maintain a lean body then never, ever order a plate of pasta.
  • Pizza. Another dish that has far more carbohydrates than you need. If you're craving the pizza toppings then simply order those over a salad.
  • Burgers. If you really want a burger then ditch the bun and the fries, and have your patty wrapped in lettuce.
Do Order:
  • Lean meat with vegetables. Fish, steak, chicken, take your pick and pair it with green vegetables.
  • Salad with protein. Ask for very light dressing and make sure you have a nice piece of protein on it.
  • Soup and salad. Stick with broth based soups that contain protein and pass on the breadsticks.

Not Another Diet!

Once you have reached your goal weight choose to eat lean proteins, seasonal vegetables and whole grains and avoid sugar, fried food and processed carbohydrates on a daily basis and enjoy living life at your ideal weight.

In the words of Aristotle,
" We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."

"Remember, we do not sacrifice quality for price, we just eliminate the middleman!"

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