Celebrating The Day

What really makes your Thanksgiving feast a feast? Is it the turkey and dressing or is it the pumpkin pie, or possibly the cranberry sauce? For me it's the whole thing; the turkey, the stuffing, potatoes, pie, all the traditional dishes and then some. Although we all look forward to our feast, for some of us the day turns into a struggle -- a battle of wills trying to resist what we think we shouldn't be indulging in.

We arise on Thanksgiving morning assuring ourselves that we will not be tempted by Aunt Thelma's pecan pie. We may even skip breakfast hoping to trim the day's calorie count. By dinnertime, which is usually late because Harry and the kids were late, we're like everyone else -- starving! By this time our desire to be ''good'' has slipped away, we've had crackers and dip, olives, a taste of pie, and now we're about to sit down to that wonderful meal. Our good intentions gone along with the paté.

Unfortunately, for those of us who chronically struggle to win the battle of the bulge, not only did we lose the battle at the dinner table, the negative self talk we sipped like an after-dinner drink gave our self esteem a major hit as well. Our attitudes and beliefs about ourselves are our most important tools in fighting any kind of addictive or self-defeating behavior.

So what can we do to stop this behavior? First of all, Thanksgiving is for celebration -- not a time to be a hard nose to yourself or anyone else. The best diet programs all allow for days of celebration and feasting. Don't make yourself the exception. For this day, enjoy your feasting, have the pumpkin pie -- a piece, not the whole pie! Then return to your program the next day with renewed drive. Do not weigh yourself the next day! Remember you're not going to beat up on yourself any more.

If you are the cook this year, you can do everyone a favor by trimming the calories where you can. Most turkeys are pre-basted, no need to add more fat with basting. Allow meat drippings to cool, then skim the fat off the broth. Use herbs such as nutmeg and cinnamon on squashes or yams with a tablespoon of maple syrup to bring up the flavor. Try doing garlic smashed potatoes boiled in chicken broth rather than whipped with milk and butter.

Omit or cut down on sugar in recipes. Use fruit juice or purees, maple syrup, stevia or brown rice syrup to sweeten desserts. Serve water with a spritz of lemon or lime rather than serving sweetened drinks.

Try at least one dish made completely with organic natural foods. Just one artfully prepared tasteful dish on a holiday table can transform everyone's idea about what's possible using organic natural foods. Live natural foods so colorful and bright can be the zest that brings balance to your feast and everyone's taste buds.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone, may your blessings abound! Rebecca

Uploaded to The Zephyr Online November 14, 2001

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