Thanksgiving was tough for me during the first few years of maintenance. Even at times when I was doing fairly well distinguishing the concept of nourishment from all of the other meanings I had assigned to food, on that one day it seemed that no matter what, food was love, food was family, food was belonging, and if I couldn’t eat all that stuff, I was alone and forlorn. I did manage to get past that, thank goodness. The last few years, what has worked best is to just be conscious and avoid a total pig-out. Being conscious means that I don’t eat something just because it’s there. Avoiding a pig-out means that I only take a second helping if it’s something I truly love.
Recently, we’ve decided to share the cooking duties for my family’s celebration. My mother does the turkey and mashed potatoes, my sister-in-law does desserts and appetizers, and I do the side dishes. This has actually been a great thing because I get to have fun with vegetables – you all know how much I love vegetables! The first year we did this, I made my favorite cold green bean salad. This recipe is nothing like the green bean and mushroom soup dish I mentioned above. It’s full of crisp veggies and fresh herbs, with a lemon vinaigrette dressing. Before I made it for Thanksgiving, I had thought of it as a summer dish, but it worked quite well for the holidays and so now I make it for Thanksgiving every year. Last year, I experimented with roasted Brussels sprouts. Another big hit. So much so that I’m going to add roasted cauliflower to the side dish menu this year. Having something delicious and lower-calorie on the table is a big help to keep the meal satisfying without risking a big weight gain.
All that said, I will still probably eat too much on Thanksgiving. I will also probably gain a couple pounds. The thought of that used to make me crazy because I equated gaining a couple pounds with regaining the entire hundred pounds that I lost. Now I know that as long as I get right on those couple pounds, I’ll be okay. You could say that this realization is something I give thanks for.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!