Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! On Thursday, people across the country will gather with loved ones and give thanks for all that they have. If you are like most people in this country, Thanksgiving is also a holiday that’s tied in with eating a big, heavy meal.
For many Americans, Thanksgiving is the start of a holiday season filled with tempting treats. Unfortunately, this provides a formula for weight gain. In fact, Americans may gain between one and ten pounds between Thanksgiving and the beginning of the New Year if they are not careful.
Of course, weight gain isn’t the only issue. Regularly consuming the tempting treats associated with Thanksgiving and the December holidays can also lead to imbalances in your system that result in poor digestion, sugar cravings, loss of energy, skin eruptions, and many other symptoms.
It all starts with Thanksgiving. So what should you to do to get your holiday season off to a healthy start? Here are my tips for a healthy day.
1. Start out the day as you normally would.
Many people decide that as long as they are going to be eating a huge feast later in the day, they might as well just give up on their health habits for the entire day. If you use Thanksgiving as an excuse to get out of bed and eat a donut, however, then you may notice sluggish energy and poor digestion as the day progresses. You may also put your body in a state where you eat even more than you would have had you started out your day normally.
Instead of calling the entire day a wash, I strongly suggest keeping your morning routine intact. Start out the morning with a cup of hot water with lemon. Enjoy Glowing Green Smoothies for breakfast to start out on the right foot. This will start you in a great nutritional position, keeping you hydrated and prepared to veer off track only a little when you sit down at a food-laden dinner table.
2. Skip the appetizers.
In many families, it is customary to nosh on all sorts of appetizers while visiting and awaiting the big meal. Instead of munching, focus on taking with your family and friends and enjoying your time with them.
3. Approach food with awareness and thankfulness.
Your mental state when you eat is important. Don’t munch away without paying attention to the foods you eat. Instead, be present as you eat your meal with an attitude of thankfulness. This will help with digestion, and you will be more likely to be aware of the foods you are using to nourish your body.
4. Take digestive enzymes.
While eating with awareness will aid digestion, chances are you are going to eat some foods you haven’t had in a while. This can make it difficult for your body to digest these foods, so taking two digestive enzymes before your Thanksgiving dinner will help ease the process.
5. Talk turkey.
If your family eats turkey on Thanksgiving, encourage them to buy an organic, free-range turkey. Many specialty shops are happy to order the birds for you; or, visit a farm yourself that specializes in raising organic turkeys and choose one for your meal. If your family is particularly open-minded, you may even be able to convince them to skip the turkey altogether and instead enjoy a bounty of fresh, seasonal, organic plant-based foods. Family traditions after all, are what we make them.
Do you love turkey? It’s okay to have a little bit, but enjoy it with delicious vegetable options. (See the recipes below).
6. Practice moderation.
Let’s face it. Thanksgiving food is really good, and there’s a solid chance that seconds are going to happen. With so many delicious foods in front of you, it’s okay to be a little bit indulgent. A small portion of seconds is allowable, but avoid going in for a (glutinous) third helping. 🙂
7. Have a cup of tea.
Mint helps with digestion. A few hours after your meal, sit down and enjoy a nice cup of fresh mint tea.
8. Skip the leftovers.
Enjoy Thanksgiving in one meal, and leave the heavy leftovers to others. Instead, get right back on track with The Beauty Detox Solution so you can sail through the holidays in glowing good health.
Enjoy veggies this Thanksgiving! You’ll feel like you’re having a treat, but you’ll still be eating healthful, nutritious foods, as well.
Thanksgiving Baked Vegetables:
(Serves about 4)
Sometimes baked veggies are so yummy! As long as we are having plenty of raw greens and veggies every day, it is okay to have some baked vegetables in the mix. This is especially delicious in wintertime, when we naturally crave warmer foods.
- 3-4 carrots, peels and cut into chunks
- 2 large sweet potatoes, cut into chunks
- 1 small cauliflower, cut into ½ inch florets
- 2 large zucchinis, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 5 cups bok choy greens, chopped into into 1 inch pieces
- 3 Tbs. fresh parsley
- 1 Tbs. fresh, minced rosemary
- 1 Tbs. fresh, minced thyme
- 1 tsp. fresh sage
- ¼ cup low sodium tamari
- ¼ cup raw coconut oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Smear the coconut oil over a glass oven-proof casserole dish with lid, and place all vegetables, parsley and rosemary, mixed up, inside.
- Mix the coconut oil and the tamari through the vegetables.
- Cover and place in oven for about 55 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
- Add a bit more tamari to taste, if desired, and serve with a salad.
Give Thanks Sweet Potatoes:
(Makes about 3-4 servings, multiply recipe for as many people as you have!)
- 2 pounds organic sweet potatoes, washed and cut into medium sized chunks about 2” long. (For the average sweet potato, there should be about 8 pieces).
- 2 Tbs. coconut oil
- 1 Tbs. fresh minced rosemary
- 1 Tbs. fresh minced thyme
- 1/2 tsp. fresh minced marjoram
- ½ tsp. fresh minced sage
- High quality sea salt, to taste
- Black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Toss the cubed sweet potatoes with the coconut oil, herbs, and salt and pepper. Adjust seasonings to your taste.
- Bake in oven for 1 ½ – 2 hours.
Colored Grateful Stuffed Peppers:
(Makes 6 servings)
- 6 red, yellow, orange or green peppers, or a combination, seeded and hollowed out
- 3 Tbs. of raw coconut oil
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2 cups of broccoli florets, cut into small pieces
- 4 cups of kale, chopped finely
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 1 cup basil, chopped finely
- High quality sea salt, to taste
- Black pepper, to taste
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 3/4 cup dried quinoa
- Fresh thyme, for garnishing
Pre-prep: Be sure to soak the quinoa overnight in water and rinse well before using.
Instructions for Preparing seeded and hollowed peppers:
- Make an incision at the rounded top of each pepper, about 1 – 1 ½ inches from the stem.
- Cut all around the stem in an even circle, then pull out the stem and the seeds.
- Discard stem, and save the rest of the pepper top to chop and add to the filling
- If necessary, clean out any remaining seeds from inside the pepper and discard.
- In a saucepan place 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add the quinoa to the hot water, and simmer until the water is absorbed and the grains become translucent soft (about 10-15 minutes). Pour through a strainer and set to the side in a bowl.
- Saute garlic in coconut oil until gently cooked, then add onions, and stir until the onions become translucent. Add the broccoli, carrot, chopped pepper tops (from preparing the peppers) and basil and cook gently for a few minutes. Add the sea salt and other seasonings to the veggie mixture and stir it up.
- Add the cooked quinoa and mix everything together well.
- Adjust seasonings to your taste. The mixture should taste slightly saltier than your taste, as the seasoning will be less concentrated when you stuff the plain bell peppers.
- Once you are satisfied with your filling, spoon into each pepper, right up to the top.
- Place peppers tightly next to each other in a glass dish so they remain upright.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
- Garnish with fresh thyme just before serving
Raw Pecan Love Pie
- 2 cups walnuts
- 3 cups of pitted dates
- 1 cup coconut flakes, finely ground
- Pit the dates yourself, extracting each pit and discarding.
- Add the dates, coconut flakes and walnuts to the food processor and mix on high until thoroughly mixed.
- Press the mixture into the bottom and sides of a pie tray. Set to the side.
- 2/3 cup filtered water
- 1 cup raw pecans, soaked about 15 minutes
- 1 cup organic Thompson raisins
- 1 Tbs. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/3 cup coconut nectar
- 1 tsp. Celtic sea salt
- Blend all the filling ingredients together in the blender until smooth.
- Pour onto the crust of the tray, and garnish with fresh, raw pecans.
- Set in freezer overnight, or for at least 5 hours before serving. Slice up and enjoy!