Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving on a Diet

Every year, the same holidays come and go. We have our traditional foods for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. Some years I have struggled because I was on some kind of a special diet and couldn't ("shouldn't") eat some of those traditional things. I still *wanted* them, but some years I made do with substitutes.

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!


timothy said...

I agree 1 day isn't a make or break for LIFE...but whilst I'm not gonna be completely on plan I'm gonna do 1 plate of whatever I want and forgo the customary seconds and feelin like a bloated hog! lolol have a great day with your family!

Anonymous said...

You know, Lyn, it's one day. If you had been AIP compliant for weeks, it would be different, but you haven't. IMHO, why knock yourself out cooking subs, and feeling deprived, at this point.

One must consider the source here, of course. It's me--the non-compliant one.

For Thanksgiving, here's my compromise. I purposely didn't buy the pies I like, but just bought pumpkin ones, which I'm not a fan of. I also did not buy ice cream or any other dessert. I can easily forego the rolls, have no idea what Snicker salad is tho I'm pretty sure the Pilgrims didn't eat it, and will easily skip the sweet potatoes.

But if anyone thinks I'm skipping the mashed potatoes, gravy, and turkey after having been on-again, off-again all month, they're crazier than I am. I'll go easy on the stuffing, tho, very easy.

And come Friday, we'll have all of that nice lean turkey for our restart. :)

Happy Thanksgiving, girlfriend. Don't let the trolls get you down.

Also a mother of sons who will be doing all f the cooking.

Karen said...

Happy Thanksgiving.

I stay on my food template 24/7. My family knows not to put flour in the turkey baking bag, etc.

Bad news: My auto-immunity, food sobriety, and binge eating won't take a day off.

Good news: I'll sleep well, eat meat and veg tomorrow, feel great all day and wake up on Friday also feeling well (higher power willing).

Only you can choose what is right for you. Many people do whatever they feel like and toss a bunch of meds at it. Each one of us will step back from the blog, our support groups, each one of us will choose.

Staying on my food template gives back more than any of the stuffing I used to binge eat. I choose that. No food thoughts, more time with the family, games, walking, photos.

Here's to owning what you choose and choosing what you own. It's a cycle. Onward.

Safe travels.

Karen said...

Okay... it's getting to me... what in blazes is Snicker Salad???

Lyn said...

LOL Karen, Snicker Salad is something we started making after we had it at a friend's dinner ten or so years ago. It's just diced Granny Smith apples, chopped Snickers bars, and Cool Whip. Tastes like caramel apples.

LHA said...

Lyn, I think this is a very sensible and workable plan. For those who can be compliant every day of the year, I say more power to you! If I deprived myself tomorrow by eating only some plain turkey and a vegetable or two, I would feel deprived. One of the things I have learned the hard way through decades of dieting is that too much deprivation leads to eventual overeating. My plan for tomorrow is something pretty close to what you are doing and I feel just fine about it. Since I only weigh once a month I don't worry about one day of higher carbs/calories. It won't derail a whole month of careful eating.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and all the people who comment here. I appreciate reading all of it.

Anonymous said...

I meant to include this in my original comment, but forgot. As far as what Karen said about being on plan 24/7--

I think she is exactly right. I do. She has found the plan that best suits her needs and she has been sticking to it. I think it would be foolish to go off of it for Thanksgiving dinner.

Deciding that the plan is how you are going to eat, period, takes away those internal arguments and rationalizations.

Just wanted to add that--and if I get on plan beginning Friday, I wont' be going off of it for Christmas. No decision will need to be considered--it will have alraedy been made.


Monique Noel said...

If your kids are adults, why not have them make or purchase the side dishes they want? Another idea: everyone goes out to a restaurant together and orders food they want.

Betsey C. said...

Dear Lyn, your last paragraph is so beautiful. Your big heart shines through. I am thankful for you and your blog, you have touched my life. A very happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. Enjoy, my dear cyberfriend.

Lori said...

Happy Thanksgiving, my friend. Enjoy yourself and your family. Don't let food take precedence over that.

Anonymous said...

Happy Thanksgiving! Gratitude is our best weapon in the fight to change our lives anyhow. I am grateful for your writing and willingness to share the tough parts.

Karen said...

Love Moniuqe's suggestion. Meat and vegetables = AIP. Boom.

I used to Buy All The Things because I told myself others would be disappointed. In reality, my binge brain loved my old thinking.

Gluten and Snickers will get you a certain outcome. So will meat and vegetables. Choose your outcome and own it. No wondering how the gained happen, get pain Meds and Pt as needed. The most I ever grew as an adult was when I owned my choices. Everyone got me, including myself.

David Dane said...

Lynn happy thanks giving. I have been doing something different. It helps to have this new job where I walk a lot. That said, Doctor Mercola has a video where he talks about beating the hyperglycemia or insulin resistance. Here it is simply put, don't eat until 3 hours after waking up in the morning. Don't eat 3 hours before bedtime. I have been doing this, and I am down to just over 208 from 215 in three weeks time. Now I have kept the calorie count down too. But, I have had some sweet goodies along the way . I hope that this helps.

Amy said...

It's about satisfaction, whether it is physical or psychological, if you are not satisfied, the feeling haunts you. I think you have a great plan, eat a little bit of those things to want, tomorrow is a new day whose focus has nothing to do with food! I hope you had an enjoyable celebration and made some great memories with loved ones!