TWIN FALLS, Id. ( KMVT/KSVT ) The average American consumes 24 grams of saturated fat a day, and this Thanksgiving, national reports are predicting the average American will consume 4,500 calories in a single day.

Author and Vegan Chef Jill Skeem says there are a few simple tricks you can do to help limit those calories.

  • First, be sure you're sitting at a table when you eat.
  • Second put on some slow music during dinner.
  • Research says if slow music is played while you eat, you eat slower.
  • Also, be sure to set your fork down in between bites.

"You'll get more nutrients out of it, you'll eat slower, and you won't eat as much and you'll be more satisfied with your meal. Digestion really starts in your mouth and that's chewing your food really well," said Skeem.

Lastly, bundling up and setting out for a walk in between meals and treats helps digestion as well.

For tips on healthy recipes, check out

For those having vegetarians or vegans over for the holiday, be sure to tune into her podcast which will be posted Monday on Web Talk Radio.

Regarding actual preparation, Jill said, "There are two really easy ways you can make your dishes healthier and it would also accommodate any vegans or vegetarians that are coming for the holidays. For your dressing, which is always a nice main course, instead of using chicken stock or beef stock, you can use vegetable stock. Also, switch out the butter for olive oil. Those two switches alone will make your dressings healthier and also if you don't add meat to it, it's good for vegans and vegetarians. When you do mashed potatoes, you just use the reserve cooking water to get them to the consistency that you like. You add a little salt, pepper, a little olive oil. You can also top them with caramelized onions to give it some more richness. You will not know the difference.

Another thing you can do is roasted vegetables. I know people like green bean casserole, and it's usually because of the cream of mushroom soup and the crispy French onions that are on top. If you roast your vegetables, and coat them with olive oil, salt, pepper, rosemary, sage, whatever you like, and you roast them for 30–40 minutes in a 400 degree oven, they're really rich, and it brings out the carbohydrates.

Cranberry sauce. I came up with this great recipe. It's so easy, takes 10–15 minutes. You can get frozen cranberries or get the fresh ones. You just bring a cup of orange juice, not from a concentrate and no pulp, and a cup of maple syrup. Bring that to a boil, add the cranberries, and you just start to bring that to a boil before they break down."


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