If you're going somewhere as a guest, it is a good idea to bring something that might not otherwise be on the usual menu. While I'm not a big consumer of artificial sweeteners, there are times when it makes sense. Thanksgiving is one of those times. When I brought a sugar free pudding pie in a reduced fat commercially prepared graham cracker crust to my inlaws, all the kids wanted it because next to apple, pumpkin and custard pies, mine seemed most "different" and appealing to them.
I kept saying this is DIET and not for you--making care to tell their parents it contained aspertame or nutrasweet or whatever the AS was, but the kids wanted it anyhow so the the next time I made 2 - a regular pudding pie and a sugar free pudding pie, complete with 2 different cool whip toppings. This year I'm considering the skinnytaste.com no-bake cheesecake!
So that's an idea. You can always bring some sort of reduced sugar or sugar free dessert so when the pies come out you can enjoy it too.
Perhaps baked pears or apples?
Generally, for most get togethers, I'll bring a tray of raw veg and dip. Since my recent discovery that I absolutely love greek yogurt, I'd substitute that for the reduced fat sour cream. In the past, I'd never tell anyone that the dip was low cal--and they never knew the difference. I like to make it with dried spices, but add fresh parsley and chopped scallions for freshness. Delicious!
Also, I like fresh salsas. They are so easy...just for some recipes online. Basically, you need lime juice, onion, cilantro and salt. I really like pineapple salsa...adding the previous ingredients, plus a pinch of red pepper flakes. This pairs really well with chicken -- never tried it with turkey, but it possibly could be an alternative to traditional cranberry sauce???
Lastly theres the old standby "fresh fruit platter" as a good takealong.
As to the usual thanksgiving fare, years ago I traded the sweet potato casserole for plain baked sweet potatoes. No one even misses the sugar and the marshmellows!!!
My thanksgiving focus is on a lot of fresh veg, minimally prepared. I roast a lot of veg, boil a lot of veg, etc.
The "worst" offenders at my thanksgiving table are the gravy and stuffing. I tried using healthier grainier bread, but it just isn't the same. However, I did swap out turkey breakfast sausage (precooked links...way less greasy) instead of pork breakfast sausage and we all seem to like it better. I also cut down on the butter and instead add chicken boullion granules and a little bit of water to replace some butter.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of all. Ya think it has something to do with the fact that it is food centric? LOL