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Helpful Holiday Hints (& Musings)

As I sit here planning the first thanksgiving meal that I will be completely responsible for (in maybe forever!!), I have some random thoughts shaking around in my head that I'd like to share with you.

Primarily I realize how lucky I am to usually spend this day with my whole family, and even though I'll miss us all being together this year, I am still so grateful for all that we have, whether together or apart.

Secondly, I'm pondering the idea of health. It definitely means different things to everyone, and even within our family of five, there is a pretty big range. Navigating the food different food preferences of my 3 kids + 1 usually food-adventurous husband takes some finesse. As I choose the apps, the main, the sides & dessert, I want to make everyone (including me!)!happy AND have delicious food. (Side note: I may be guilty of sending out a TG food survey and making my other 4 vote... Don't judge. You know you like surveys.)

My last mulling is one of awe and even more special appreciation for my mom, who's made sure to carry on traditions that we grew up with and teach us all the importance of family. For the record, she does this all year long- not just on Thanksgiving. Mom- even though I may not be making Nana's ladyfinger cake, both you and she will be definitely be strong presences at our table.

Now, how to keep our family eating a healthy and delicious thanksgiving this year. I always (read: hardly ever) love a good challenge and so we will be dining dairy and gluten free, as well as entirely plant-based. For a preview of what I hope will be on our table, click here.

How about some helpful healthy hints for anyone, regardless of your food preferences.

  1. Don't stray from the fray. Just because it's a holiday, doesn't mean that you need to stray from healthy eating. It's not the end of the world if you stay on your healthy eating plan. We don't need to deviate just because, and you might even feel better because of it.

  2. Plentitude of plan. Decide what you plan to eat, and what (if anything) you plan to indulge on. In addition, decide how much. Honor your commitment & sticktoitness.

  3. Pleasing portions. Each serving you have does not have to be huge; half of a serving spoon is perfectly acceptable, and it's ok if there is extra space on your plate. Keep in mind the serving size doesn't have to be the same for everyone

  4. Think- don't drink. Ok ok, I know you'll prob drink. But think about it. Make a mindful decision about what and how much. Try mixing some wine with a sparking water to cut your calories, sugar, and alcohol in half. Water in between drinks will help keep you hydrated & feeling full.

  5. Just say no. Just because everyone else is doing it (pouring a 2nd or 3rd glass, or taking 2nds or 3rds of dinner...) does not mean that you have to.

  6. Savor the scrumptiousness. Seriously - enjoy every bite. Chew slowly. Take. Your. Time.

  7. It's the brood, not the food. Remind yourself to really focus on the people you're chatting with, and acutely notice expressions, mannerisms, and quirks. These are priceless. This is why we get together. The food is secondary.

  8. Be a goal getter. Keep your goals in mind. Check in with yourself periodically to assess how you're doing and readjust if you need to. Be honest.

  9. Move to the groove. When dinner is over, throw on some funky tunes and be active while helping clean up. And then rally a few loafing unsuspecters for a post-meal walk.

  10. Keep on keepin' on. Tomorrow is another day. (Get the Scarlett O'Hara reference?) When you wake up the day after, don't let yesterday's holiday derail or define you. No judgement. No shame. New day-- new you-- new opportunity!

Katz Thanksgiving Plan- 2015

Pomegranite Spritzers or Martinis

Vegan Caesar With Chickpea Croutons & Cashew Dressing

Lentil Mushroom Walnut Balls & Cranberry Pear Sauce

Lentil-Stuffed Delicata Squash with Cashew Raita

Corn Bread Stuffing

Maple Cinnamon Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Pumpkin Pie Squares

Some of these are recipes from online bloggers I love, that I adjust to our taste(s).

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