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Thanksgiving Is almost here!
I pray you are all doing well! Can you believe that Thanksgiving is a week from this Thursday?
Ladies, do you prepare your food ahead of time, or the night before? I am one of those who prepares the night before. LOL
I love the hustle and bustle of the holidays! Still, Thanksgiving morning I watch the Macy's Parade, do you?
Once I see Santa at the end of the parade, I know I can go into full holiday mode!
How have all of you been doing? I have not been on since September, and I apologize for that! I am doing well, I had a setback, and started to gain weight..I am not happy with myself right now, however, I try not to beat myself up. I wish I could just stick to what I need to eat! Being a diabetic (type 2, and a stroke survivor) I need to be more careful with my choices, but lately, I have been eating like I have no medical issues. Hasa this happened to any of you? Any words of encouragement would be so appreciated! I am one who has to have things in black and white in order to follow a way of eating. I can't seem to stick to anything, and I am so frustrated! Love to all! Have a blessed day!
JeffB, November 20, 2019 11:22am EST
While I know you directed this to the ladies out there, I thought I’d answer the call as well.
This year I rented my partner and I a cabin in the backwoods, by a lake. Think remote. Campfire cooking. Hiking and stargazing. You get the idea. So yeah, this year we will be prepping things that we can cook over an open fire outdoors. Probably using a Dutch oven and cast-iron skillet. Still working on the menu. This is in part, a tit-for-tat because I took us “camping” in New York City the year before last. Or at least that’s what I called it. Anyway, that was the year where I sort of gave myself a break, for what it’s worth, diet-wise.
After my heart attack in 2015, I was terrified. I went full-on vegan and strove to do the low-fat thing, for 3 years. Yet, there I was on 57th street in a hole in the wall diner, we got a fancy hotel in the financial district adjacent to Central Park you see. NYC has a special place in my life. I love the density of people, the never-ending activity like electric current you can almost feel, the smell of the subway and the sheer magnitude of, well, everything there. We even ended up smack in the middle of the Macy’s parade which was totally amazing.
So yeah, I was sitting in a diner on 57th street. Watching orders of bagels with cream cheese, capers, tomatoes, and onions going out to other tables. I lamented to my partner that I wanted one but shouldn’t have one. He looked at me and said, “yeah, there’s that, but you really like those, and you are in NYC!” So I ordered one and remember it to this day as probably one of the best bagels I’ve ever had. Maybe it was the ambiance of the City. I don’t know. But it reminded me of what my dad told me, “it’s not the things you do every now and then that will hurt you but the bad ones you do every day that will.”
Thus, I ended my vegan fear-filled “you can cure heart disease” track. Poof. Up in smoke. Now, mind you, my numbers have not budged from sub 100 mg for total cholesterol since then, I keep an eye on that, but if they did, I’d respond accordingly. So, I allow myself to “indulge” every now and then, well, maybe a couple times a week really. Just not at every meal. I try to have 20% fat, 30% protein and 50% veggies/grains as a baseline. Less sugar but a desert when I want one regardless. Wine & beer when I want it and, recently, caffeine-like 3x a week in the form of a good cappuccino.
Thanksgiving is a time for family. Memory. Gratitude. As such, I plan to make things like a breakfast casserole my grandma used to make. With whole eggs, sausage and cheese. I’m not gonna eat the entire thing, but, I find that my life is more full of those things than not.
I no longer want to live in fear. Every day I wake up with breath in my lungs is a day that I want to enjoy and experience what I am lucky enough to be given or to pursue and achieve.
As far as being able to keep things up on a day to day basis. That’s why I, eventually, chose the moderation route over the fool’s gold “diet cure.” Now I mean no disrespect to those who are plant-based. Good for them. For me, however, it’s not as nuanced in my family history, heritage, or how I enjoy food at all. I love flavor. All flavors and textures. Plants are great, and a big part of my plate every day, but it’s not experientially balanced. There is no cure for heart disease. Given. So instead of living in fear and reacting to it, I’ve made the choices I’ve made.
The picture attached, btw, is of me out in front of Patsy’s Restaurant in NYC during that same trip. They’ve been doing family-style cooking since 1944 and Frank Sinatra used to hang out here among so many other folks. All I can tell you is that meal was super decadent and absolutely worth the memories and the experience of dining in one of the oldest Italian family joints in NYC.
To try to answer your questions, I say, let your traditions be your guide. Try to find opportunities to put some healthier choices in the mix but don’t beat yourself up in the process. You know what the guidelines are. If you can hold to those in the format of 80% in line with the guidelines and 20% more tailored to what your traditions are, then you are making an effort.
I hope you and your family have an awesome Holiday.
KimiT, November 21, 2019 2:53am EST
I love reading your posts and your blog, not to mention your recipes ! You make, well SO much sense about life !
Billiam, November 23, 2019 6:52pm EST
Whats happening ! Hope everone is on the mend. Toni, I get the weight dealio. I intially lost 50 pounds after the heart attack but have recently put about 7 back on. I stopped walking like I was and have been to a few parties where I have gone bonkers on the food. I had stopped eating beef, pork and dairy but recently have had a steak here and there. Thanksgiving is always a challenge for me. Its the butter, dark meat turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy and all of the other goodies that I try to avoid but have to help cook that drives me nuts. What I have been doing with one of the two the turkeys is I skin and bone it. I take cheese cloth and use an olive oil mixed with seasonings and herbs to coat the chees cloth. Then I take the boned turkey white meat that is cut up into bite size chunks and mix that with olive oil and seasoning and spread that on the chees cloth, roll it up, tie it off and bake it with the other turkey. This is the turkey I eat. Some in my family like it too.
I use the dark meat off the boned turkey in the dressing for the whole turkey that most of our guests will eat.
We still make mashed potatoes in the traditional style with lots of butter and most of our guests enjoy this. I make a small batch of mashed sweet potatoes for me and anyone that wants to try them. There is never any leftovers on the mashed sweet potatoes.
Veggies include green beans, carrotts and salad . I eat the green beans and carrotts. There are a few deserts that family members bring over. I try to only have a bite or two but sometimes that leads to a piece of something I try to avoid. Oh well, its Thanksgiving.
I hope everyone has a nice holiday !!!