When I was counting calories, I used low fat cream of mushroom soup in the green beans, made gravy without any fat drippings, ate only white meat, and didn't put butter in the stuffing. When I was low carbing, stuffing was completely off limits as were the sweet potatoes, pies, and dinner rolls. On Medifast, there were none of the traditional sides... but I could have turkey and plain green beans and mashed cauliflower. Going gluten-free means the stuffing, pies, and rolls would need substitutions, and on AIP there would be nothing in my traditional menu that I could eat except turkey, plain steamed green beans, and baked plain sweet potatoes.
As I was planning for Thanksgiving dinner this week, with the kids coming home and expecting their favorite dishes, I contemplated just what to do with my menu. Some of it is easy: roasted turkey is always great for everyone, and I can make the gravy gluten-free and low fat easily. I can mash potatoes and bake dinner rolls and pies for the kids and not eat any. But what about the rest? Green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, Snicker salad... all can be made healthier as I discovered my first year blogging. My big decision was whether to try and make those things gluten-free and/or AIP compliant. I still have not returned to the AIP elimination phase and I have not been all that careful about gluten this week either.
I decided to just make them healthier and enjoy smaller portions. It's not so much because I want those foods *so badly*. My favorite Thanksgiving food is stuffing. Everything else I can take or leave. I just don't care enough about those foods to do all the extra work to make them AIP/gluten free, when I am 1) the only here who cares and 2) the only one doing all the cooking and associated work. I am going to make this as easy and non-labor-intensive for myself as possible and enjoy the time with my family, along with some turkey, gravy, green beans, and stuffing. If I feel like having other things I'll have them in moderation. It's one day. I am not going to stress over it trying to be perfect when I am not perfect any other day anyway. I want the focus to be not on the food, but on family and gratitude. That is what will bring me joy... not the food.
I hope all of you will take time on Thanksgiving Day to reflect on what you are thankful for, enjoy the positive things and beloved people in your life. I am thankful for my family and my home, for my friends and for all of the wonderful people I have met blogging. You make the world a better place by your kindness! I thank you and truly believe you will be blessed for the way you have lifted me up in my times of difficulty, with your words, your thoughts, your prayers. I am so happy to be associated with so many people with good kind hearts and I hope I can somehow return the kindness to you, and I pray blessings on your families! Happy Thanksgiving!