Thanksgiving…my favorite holiday of the year. No gifts and no mayhem (well maybe some). It’s all about food, friends family, and the Macy’s day parade. I’ll be honest with you – I was brainstorming ideas for today’s blog, hoping to find something that would really hit the mark with Prescribe Nutrition readers for the holiday week. Sugar-free options, quick exercise tips, how to dodge awkward “food shaming” situations, gluten-free everything…and then I realized something. When it comes to Thanksgiving, what we’re all craving is quite simple: tradition.
We want this Thursday to be like the good times we had growing up, to feed us warm and satisfying food, and to definitely not make us feel stressed. This can be a little bit of a challenge for those who are recently (and even not so recently) started avoiding certain foods and for those who have put health into the spotlight in 2013. There’s a million routes you can take here – offering to host and/or bring foods you know you can eat, bringing or making a gluten-free pie, prepping with digestive support (probiotics, digestive enzymes, ginger tea, etc.) Today I want to offer the most simple, basic nutrition advice I can: just level up. Don’t stress. Fill up your plate with the incredible veggie based sides, eat what you can eat and make peace with what you can’t. If you know you want to indulge and have extra special items, DO IT, but just focus on the good stuff too! Maybe you always skipped the brussels sprouts and carrots in place for extra stuffing? Well then this year make a 1/3 of your plate dedicated to the green stuff. Maybe you KNOW you can have the green bean casserole, the turkey, the mashed potatoes…but you are CERTAIN if you mess with the dinner rolls or the stuffing you’ll feel off for 3 days. Ask yourself if you can live without those items or if you can’t, and if you can’t, bring a version that you can eat. Is it possible you’ll faint without gravy? (fyi I understand completely) Then bring a gluten-free gravy! Who cares if it’s weird. You’ll get over it, they’ll get over it.
The point is to simplify – don’t stress about what’s missing and instead focus on the items you love. Know what you can’t live without and make an ‘upgraded’ version, that’s still an awesome indulgence. Don’t go into Thanksgiving feeling stressed or deprived, go into it feeling thankful for all the healthy choices you’ve made this year and the people you have in your life.
Finally, I just want to share some of my Thanksgiving favorites, because why not. And because I love food.
Triple Pomegranate Smoothie: You need breakfast right? Coconut milk in place of yogurt if you want dairy-free.
Brussels with shallots Use ghee or coconut oil if you need to go dairy-free.
Persimmon, Pomegranate & Arugula Salad With hazelnuts…yum.
Sweet Potato & Apple Latke If you want gluten-free just a GF flour blend in place of matzo meal.
Rosemary Carrot Puree An unexpected hit.
Pecan Pie with Star Anise I make or buy a gluten-free crust and use coconut palm sugar in place of cane sugar. Honestly, this pie brings me questionable amounts of happiness. It’s kind of weird.