[originally published November 2014]
So, we’re 1 week out.. And what are you bringing to the table this year?
Lots of fall veggies and real food dishes?
And a little bit of the things that you LOVE [even those that are not nutrient dense]?
Like wine. And….. maybe another glass of wine. Or the cheese plate.
Or, let’s say, the pumpkin pie insides. I mean, if we’re listing them in order from best to good.
But you know I don’t only mean what you’re physically bringing to the table, right? It’s mental too. And emotional, for most of us, whether you care to admit it or not.
So, as we head into the swirl of this week and the kick off of celebration of some of the best things in life: good food, good wine, good company and a little pause to reflect on all of life’s blessings with a little side of gratitude, it’s time to get your head right.
I was just re-reading my post from the last few years, when I offered you guys a little advice on what can be an overwhelming day for some just starting out on this healthy lifestyle journey. [Read it here: Thanksgiving: How To Not Blow It (A Guide) [November 2012] and some from the year before here: Thanksgiving Thoughts + Healthier Recipes [November 2011]}.
Is that you this year?
If so, let me just add in one more tip to that little list.
#1. Give yourself permission to approach each holiday, party, event and situation with fresh eyes. There is almost ALWAYS a way to make your favorite things in a real food way with upgraded ingredients. After all, the idea of that combination of ingredients must have originated from somewhere.
So just do the real thing. [Hint: Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup with canned fried fake onions is not real food. But a real cream, real mushrooms, real green beans and pan fried onions in great oil/healthy fat is]. Guess which one probably tastes better too?
# 2. There is also almost ALWAYS clutter food or drinks that you probably have consumed in the past just because tradition says, or because you always have. Well, if those things are not serving you well, or you don’t really care about them, or they make you feel worse, guilty, or get you stuck in a bad cycle, enough!
Get rid of them. Out. Done. No more. Why bother? You only have limited room in your stomach anyways, so just stick with the things you love and lose the rest.
I know this may seem obvious to some of you. But the human brain is funny.
Sometimes we all just do things because they are comfortable and familiar. Not because it’s what we really want, really care about, or really actually need.
The path of least resistance. Which never usually leads to any kind of place that’s enjoyable being [a simple truth in life too].
So, just a little reminder to think about it now, even a week before the season truly starts. Prep your head.
To come into each situation with a clean slate. To be mindful and fully present in the day. To ask yourself what you really love, and then just ignore the rest. So you can enjoy and love the day, not stress or get overwhelmed about the unending amount of food around.
Stay hydrated. Workout. Get fresh air. Eat vegetables. Pay attention to your body’s signals. Know that you will eat and drink again, and probably really soon. Value good quality food over good quantity of food no matter what you eat.
So what’s on my menu this year? I’m still trying to decide between a lot of favorites.
Like these, just to mention a few.
Real-Food Ideas for Thanksgiving:
Sesame Stuffed Tuna Peppers (cookbook, page 267)
Curry Roasted Cashews (cookbook, page 285)
Spiced Maple Pecans (cookbook, page 293)
Spiced Sweet Potato Chips (cookbook, page 290)
Healthy Party Mix (cookbook, page 282)
Homemade Parmesan Crisps with Roasted Tomatoes (cookbook, page 268)
Cucumber-Hummus Boats (cookbook, page 270)
Baked Dates with Blue/Goat Cheese + Almonds
Roasted Potato Bites with Chive-Parsley Tapenade (cookbook, page 272)
Turkey Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms (cookbook, page 275)
Greek Chicken/Turkey or Lamb Meatballs (cookbook, page 192)
Healthy Spinach + Artichoke Dip (cookbook page 276)
The Best Butternut Squash Soup (cookbook, page 144)
Vegetables, Sides + Main Dishes:
Roasted Rosemary Potatoes
Smashed Potatoes (cookbook page 249)
Twice Baked Yams with Pecan Crumble (cookbook page 261)
Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes (with garlic or herbs) (cookbook page 241)
Autumn Millet Bake
Sweet Apple + Cranberry Sauce (The Best Cranberry Sauce!) (cookbook page 324)
Roasted Bacon Maple Brussel Sprout Hash
Roasted Nutmeg Delicata Squash (cookbook page 238)
Roasted Carrots or Parsnips with Honey, Cilantro + Lime (cookbook page 243)
Roasted Spiced Cauliflower (cookbook page 254)
Sausage and Winter Greens Gratin
Hard Cider Sangria (hot or cold)
White or Red Sangria
Coconut Orange Rum Cocktail
Chai Infused Whiskey or Bourbon Cocktail
Sage Gin Fizz (cookbook, page 337)
Cucumber Lime Basil Gin + Tonics (cookbook, page 334)
Aperol Spritz (cookbook, page 331)
Ginger Tequila Cocktail
Jalepeno Margarita (cookbook, page 339)
Fresh Grapefruit Greyhound (cookbook, page 342)
Lemon-Thyme Lemon Drop
Mini Coconut-Almond Macaroons (cookbook, page 356)
Sarah’s Peanut Butter Cookies (or Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip) with Vanilla or Coconut Milk Ice Cream (cookbook, page 354)
Sarah’s All Time Favorite Chocolate Chips Cookies (cookbook, page 348)
Chocolate Olive Oil Molten Cake (cookbook, page 363)
Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Toffee
Pistachio + Chocolate Covered “Ice Cream” Bites (cookbook, page 351)
Homemade Ice-Cream Cake with Cookie Crunch (cookbook, page 361)
Order the Simply Real Health Cookbook here!