dairy free, digestive health, family, Family time, Getting to Know You, gluten free, health & wellness, healthy eating, Nutrition

My (Kinda) Healthy Thanksgiving

Hehehe, do you like how I threw in “kinda”? We all have to live a little, right??

Our family does a pretty simple Thanksgiving, but I know some people have an all out smorgasbord. What side of the party does your family fall on?

My family does the traditional turkey thing. We started getting a free-range fresh turkey the past couple years and it’s pretty tasty too! This is the second year I am “brining” the turkey myself. I did a homemade concoction last year and found a great option that was a little simpler this year.

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This is the brine I used this year.

Lucky me, I only have to do the prep part, my mom does the cooking the bird part. At 46, I am still blessed enough to have my mom fixing most of the important holiday meals in my family.

I will be fixing some of the sides to help out though. I’ve finally taught my daughter to eat sweet potatoes, so I get to make more mashed sweet potatoes than I usually do. I’m still working on that picky 15-year old I have upstairs. I will be making regular mashed potatoes for him and my dad, well kinda regular. Don’t tell, but I will be substituting cow’s milk for cashew milk and LOTS of real butter. We love butter and eat lots of it, give me all the good fats to keep me healthy!

We try to avoid dairy (cow’s milk) and as much gluten as possible. Dairy and gluten are inflammatory and my family has major reactions to both. We don’t have the typical “allergic” reactions people think of, ours are more subtle. Stomach aches the next day, unexplained fatigue, constipation, brain fog, vague complaints that are easily overlooked, but we know more now; so, we make accommodations, it’s not as hard as you think.

We will have homemade sweet potatoes biscuits from our local farmer’s market and we will also have pie as well. My mom likes to make sweet potato pie. I am not really a pie person, so I bought apple cobbler, it still has some crumbs (yes, gluten) and such (sugar), but that’s ok. 😉

We will have peas (my dad LOVES frozen peas), and green beans for a real green veggie, and I think I’ll make brussel sprouts too, we love sprouts, but that’s a new thing. If you’re family doesn’t eat sprouts, try a little onion and bacon, they might just change their mind.

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Sprouts w bacon and onions, OH MY!

We don’t do anything extravagant, our family gatherings have dwindled in size as people grow and spread out. I have some of the best memories of Thanksgivings with all my cousins when we were growing up. Games of Trivial Pursuit, chasing each other on trikes and 4 wheelers, driving around the driveway before we were old enough to drive… good stuff.

We will have one dish that is a staple, and yes, we will go all out and splurge, and yes, we will probably pay for it… but we WILL have homemade dumplings like my great-grandmother used to make. We’ve subbed gluten-free flour before, and it’s just not the same. Sometimes, you just have to go for the real thing. We are fortunate that we can splurge, but if we do it too often, we really see health problems. We should avoid it, or those health problems will worsen, but it’s SO HARD to be completely gluten free and dairy free.

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Dad’s ole faithful

A couple years in a row, I made some homemade cranberries, but nobody really cares, and my dad IS having his out of a can, (insert eye roll) but what’s it matter, it makes him happy. Now that I’m thinking about it, I’m kinda wishing I did get some fresh cranberries… hum… I think I still have time, so maybe I better cut this off here. 😉 

I’d love to know some of your family’s favorite dishes. It’s always fun to learn new things and other’s family traditions.

I hope you and your family have a happy and healthy day of thanksgiving and gratitude for the goodness in your life.

Be well & Enjoy the Journey!

Gobble, Gobble.

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