Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Canadians!
I love holiday weekends; an extra day off to spend time with my family and reset my system, connecting with our extended families and friends and beautiful walks in the crunchy and colourful leaves of Fall. It really is such a beautiful time of year where we live.
However, with all of the joyful celebrating often comes a lot of indulgence. Amazing appetizers of cheese, crackers, dips and spreads, sleep-inducing turkey, hard-to-digest ham, delicious scallop potatoes, fresh warm bread and butter, yummy green beans and carrots, squash, homemade apple and pumpkin pie, whip cream or ice cream (sometimes both) and no shortage of wine and booze.
I know…I am full just typing it:-)
While many of us use the excuse that its just once per year and and allow ourselves to have a ‘treat’ and indulge, they are also those of us that know all too well how awful we will feel later.
It really is true that the longer and more consistently you eat healthfully, the harder it is to stray away to the not-so-healthy stuff and not pay BIG-TIME for it!
Bloated, gassy, puffy, thirsty, headache, joint pain, tired, insomnia, gut rot, heart burn, constipation or diarrhea are just a few of the not so awesome side effects that can make up the ‘food hangover’ you might suffer from.
So how can you still enjoy some of your family tradition favourites and not feel awful for days after?
You need to plan and be prepared. If you are hosting the dinner this might be a little easier because you can ultimately create the meal plan, if you are the guest bring some healthy with you…even if you are not asked.
This way you can ensure that there will be something healthy for you to eat. I still want you to enjoy your meal and all the love that goes into everyone’s dishes but perhaps instead of piling your plate high of everything – you choose 1-2 of your faves and then balance put the rest your plate with veggies and salad.
Here are a few great ideas for things to make or take:
- Veggie platter and hummus
- Goat cheese, Mary’s Brown Rice Crackers and grapes
- Fruit Platter
- Fresh Salsa and organic nachos
- Fresh guacamole and organic nachos or veggies
- Vegetable based dips, tapenade or pates
- Large green salad with a rainbow of colourful veggies, avocado, goat feta and raw nuts and seeds
- Edamame and pomegranate salad
- Green beans topped with roasted red peppers, slivered almonds and goat cheese
- Baked spaghetti, butternut or acorn squash with sea salt, pepper, fresh herbs and Earth’s Balance butter
- Roasted brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes and cauliflower
- Kale, Red Cabbage, Beet and Carrot Salad (see recipe below)
Kale, Red Cabbage, Beet and Carrot Salad
(From my book The Simplicity Project)
1 large head of kale, washed, stem removed and chopped finely or you can use 1 bin of Organic Baby Kale pre-washed and ready to use
1 leek, washed and finely sliced
1 -2 cups, red cabbage (depending on the amount of colour and cabbage you would like)
1 washed and peeled beet and carrot, each grated
1/2 cup organic dried cranberries
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
In a large bowl toss together kale, red cabbage, beets, carrots, sliced leeks and cranberries top with raw sunflower seeds.
1/2 cup Olive Oil
2-3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tbsp dijon mustard
tbsp fresh orange or lemon juice (optional)
sea salt and pepper to taste
Place all ingredients into your blender with 1 ripe avocado and 2 tbsp of water for thinning and blend. Toss over the salad gently mixing through.
PS… Don’t forget to exercise! Do a yoga class, strike a pose in pilates, go for a jog or long walk or hit the floor for some pushups, squats, lunges etc.
Your body will be giving you thanks just for showing up!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving,