I love the holidays. Once Halloween arrives I start getting excited for the holiday season. Sometimes here in Los Angeles, it is difficult to feel the holidays around the corner when the weather is still in the 90’s. Today it finally got chilly out & I started getting excited. Thanksgiving is a couple of weeks away, & usually by this time I have put my plans into place regarding who will come over to eat with us & what I will make. This year with COVID it is smart to not venture out of your “safe bubble” as they call it, or to have anyone over that is not in your bubble already, which means many will spend the holidays very differently than before. Many will be alone, many will be without all of their family, and many will have to cook at home after being used to eating out on this day.
Maybe COVID can be a big instigator for people to finally learn to cook healthy meals at home. I know many of you may have already started cooking more meals at home during the quarantine, and that makes me really happy because preparing your own meals at home is the #1 way to get well and stay well. Before the quarantine, millions of people were used to eating out on a regular basis and I think most don’t realize just how many hidden fats are in those meals. ONLY when you make your own food can you take control of the fat in your diet. And since Thanksgiving is around the corner so I want to give you some good tips & ideas on how to make your Thanksgiving delicious & healthy.
Here are my favorite tips:
- Wake up and use the entire day to reflect on all you have to be grateful for. 2020 has been such a tough year for many. Some lost love ones to the virus, others lost their job and hence their income while others have lost their business they dedicated their entire life to. No matter what, we all have plenty of things to be grateful for so let’s try to focus on those. Put down your work, your phones & computers and use this day to reflect and feel in love with those you will spend your day with & enjoy them.
- If you are not 100% plant-based or vegan try to have a vegan Thanksgiving. This will inspire you to learn some great recipes & show you how delicious Thanksgiving dinner can be without having killed any animal for your meal. See my recipe ideas below.
- Make a few of your dishes a day or two ahead to save you time and so you leave yourself time to enjoy your Thanksgiving day. It is best to make your stuffing in advance because it will taste better the next day. Also, it is easy to make a sweet potato casserole & pumpkin pie in advance if you wanting one. Even cranberry sauce is easy to make ahead of time. That way you only have to make your main dish…. see my ideas below.
- We all tend to overeat on this day so use this day to have ONE big meal instead of 3 meals or your usual food intake.
- Go for a nice long walk or hike Thanksgiving morning to move your lymphatic system & prepare for a big meal.
- Try to be hungry for dinner instead of being stuffed from snacking & tasting (LOL), but even more important stop eating when you are full not when your desires are full! This is a hard one because many eat with their eyes and continue eating even when full. Thanksgiving leftovers are delicious & such a treat so stop when you are full and save the rest for leftovers.
- Turn off the news for 24 hours. Use this day to have a conversation that is not about politics. Try to have a wonderful conversation with those you will spend your day with and then watch a good movie. Have you seen the movie: The Ultimate Gift starring James Garner? If not watch this one… it is a great movie for Thanksgiving & to remember what is important.
- Take a plate of food to an elderly person that is alone or is not so able to cook.
- Take a family who lost their jobs a bag of groceries.. giving to others will give you the greatest joy!
- Make the decision to be happy & have a great day no matter what. Smile, laugh & enjoy your day. You deserve it!
Lastly, here are my ideas for the main dish on your Thanksgiving plate.
- Bake a kabocha squash & fill it with stuffing. Any squash is lovely filled with stuffing.
- Make a tofu turkey. There are many recipes out there that show you how to make one.
- If you don’t want to make your own vegan turkey, buy one frozen from the market now and bake it up on Thanksgiving and cook all the other stuff.
- Bake a sweet potato and layer homemade stuffing all over the top.
- Form your stuffing into meatballs and serve with gravy and mashed potatoes for a delicious treat on Thanksgiving.
As you might know, I started a healthy YouTube channel named SOL Canyon Kitchen.with my friend Margo. Check out this week’s video where we make the Best Vegan Thanksgiving Stuffing. I learned to veganize the recipe of my mom’s that I loved so much growing up. Be sure to try it.