“You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces –
just good food from fresh ingredients.”
~ Julia Child (1912 – 2004)

I love Thanksgiving and most of us love Thanksgiving Dinner. But do you love the way you feel at the end of a meal? Bloating and drowsiness can be familiar feelings at the end of a Thanksgiving dinner. I know that I have felt it in the past. Is this caused by over eating? Perhaps partially, but it is also caused by additives and all the extra things that we unconsciously put in our food. This year, I invite you to try a more conscious version of your Thanksgiving meal or at least try a conscious version of one or two dishes.

My sister and I have cooked Thanksgiving dinner together almost every year for the past 12 years. When people come to our table they rave about the food. Everything really tastes delicious, but I think what they are experiencing is the true taste of the ingredients. Sweet potatoes are an incredible food and they really don’t need much help. Mashed with a small amount of butter, a bit a cinnamon and a splash of milk, they shine.

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What amazes our guests as much as the taste of the food is that at the end of the dinner, they don’t feel the way the usually feel after such a big meal, even after they have had seconds and sometimes thirds. Yes, they are full and have enjoyed every bite but they don’t feel groggy or bloated. I wish that I could invite every one of you to join us this year to experience it with us but instead I will give you some ideas that you can use for your own holiday meal.

Here are some tips for a Conscious Thanksgiving Plate; one that will taste delicious and leave you feeling great.

  1. Start with an Organic Pasture-Raised Turkey (it’s worth the price) or if not possible for you choose one that is antibiotic free. We like to brine our turkey overnight but use a preparation that works for you.

      2. Think about what you are putting into your side dishes. Use real butter  and/or cream from grass-fed cows when possible. And use it to enhance the flavor of the main ingredient not to mask it. Please don’t think that this is about a reduced calorie Thanksgiving or deprivation because it is not; it actually tastes amazing and will leave you feeling nourished and satisfied.

      3.If you are choosing to use store bought prepared products read the ingredients. Don’t eat something if you don’t know what it is and consider making something fresh if it’s possible. Some things can be made much faster and easier than you think and if it takes a bit longer than you’d usually spend, it is a holiday, consider a bit more effort if you can find the time.

       4. Substitute Maple Syrup, Honey or Evaporated Cane Juice Crystals for white sugar. While moderation is still a good idea, it offers much deeper and more interesting flavor and provides nutrients instead of robbing your body of nutrients.

        5. Use cooking methods that bring out the flavor of your vegetables like roasting. This will extract the natural sweetness of the ingredients and you won’t miss the cheese or cream sauce that often disguises the true deliciousness of fresh vegetables. You may actually find that you prefer it or at least enjoy it as much.

Relax and enjoy your holiday! I will practice gratitude for everything I have both material and family and friends. If you need any support or suggestions about how to enjoy the holiday season without deprivation and without a negative impact on your health and appearance, I’m here for you. Feel free to email me at Randy@TheConsciousPlate.com