Find Some Tasty Ways to Eat Better

Note: The following Live Well Polk column was provided by Atrium Health Floyd’s Sue Brown, the Clinical Nutrition Manager. – KtE

Sue Brown

Thanksgiving meals don’t always have to derail your health journey. There are a variety of fruits and vegetables that can boost the nutrients in your Thanksgiving feast.

Here are some fall foods and easy ways to include this year as healthy alternatives to traditional side dishes.


Pears are a nutritional bargain. At only 100 calories per serving, one pear provides 6 grams of fiber; that’s 20 percent of the RDA for fiber. They are also a good source of vitamin C and are known to be the least allergenic of all fruits. Try pears on the grill, pureed into soup or a smoothie, or simply sliced and tossed with a salad.

Simple Pear Salad Ingredients:

  • 2 Bosc pears
  • 1 orange, peeled, cut into sections
  • 1 cup green grapes
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon

Directions: Core and slice the pears, sprinkling them with lemon juice so they do not discolor. Add the oranges, grapes and lemon zest, and sprinkle with the grape juice.


Just one medium sweet potato provides more than a day’s worth of vitamin A and 35 percent of the RDA for vitamin C. Sweet potatoes are a source of fiber, vitamin D and iron. Try this recipe and add sweet potato power to your breakfast. Sweet Potato Breakfast

Spread Ingredients:

  • 1 sweet potato
  • ½ teaspoon olive oil or light margarine
  • Toppings: cinnamon, pecans, cranberries and honey to taste

Directions: The night before, bake sweet potato for 30 to 60 minutes or cook in the microwave 7-8 minutes, and then cool. Remove the inside of the sweet potato and place in a bowl, add toppings, mash well, cover and refrigerate. Before serving, take a spoon full of sweet potato spread and warm in the microwave. Add it to whole grain toast or crackers.


Kale is a nutritional powerhouse, rich in beta carotene, vitamins K, C, B and minerals calcium, potassium and iron. Kale chips are an easy and fun way to add the benefits of kale to your diet.

Kale Chips Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt

Directions: Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite size pieces. Wash and dry the kale. Place leaves evenly on baking sheet. Drizzle kale with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake until the edges brown but are not burnt, 10 to 15 minutes.


One medium orange meets the RDA for a day’s worth of vitamin C. But did you know that oranges also provide potassium, calcium, vitamin A, fiber and folate? Orange slices make a great addition to salads. Oranges complement the flavors of onions, olives and fennel.

Orange Salad Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of vinaigrette salad dressing
  • 1 bunch arugula
  • 2 oranges, peeled and segmented
  • 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons sliced black olives
  • ¼ cup sliced red onion

Directions: Place the arugula in the bottom of a salad bowl; scatter the orange segments, fennel slices, olives and onions over the arugula; drizzle the dressing over the salad to serve.

About Atrium Health Floyd

Since 1942, Floyd, now Atrium Health Floyd, has worked to provide affordable, accessible care in northwest Georgia and northeast Alabama. Today, Atrium Health Floyd is a leading medical provider and economic force. As part of the largest, integrated, nonprofit health system in the southeast, it is also able to tap into some of the nation’s leading medical experts and specialists with Atrium Health, allowing it to provide the best care close to home – including advanced innovations in virtual medicine and care. At the hub of these services is Atrium Health Floyd Medical Center, a 304-bed full-service, acute care hospital and regional referral center.

Atrium Health Floyd employs more than 3,400 teammates who provide care in over 40 medical specialties at three hospitals: Atrium Health Floyd Medical Center in Rome, Georgia; Atrium Health Floyd Cherokee Medical Center in Centre, Alabama; Atrium Health Floyd Polk Medical Center in Cedartown, Georgia, as well as Atrium Health Floyd Medical Center Behavioral Health, a freestanding 53-bed behavioral health facility, also in Rome; and a primary care and urgent care network with locations throughout the service area of northwest Georgia and northeast Alabama.

Kevin The Editor

The former Editor of The Polk County Standard Journal and a journalist with more than a decade of experience in Northwest Georgia, Kevin Myrick is the Editor and Publisher of Polk.Today. An Auburn graduate,...

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