Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate personal gratitude and sharing with and being with others.

Of course food is a great big part of this celebration and this holiday is especially near and dear to me since I am such a “foodee”. I look forward to the dedicated time I get on this day to prepare and serve some truly nutritious and enjoyable dishes.

Thanksgiving does not have to be a time of overindulgence and sickness from food. Here are some tips to make the most of this cherished day that can easily apply to everyday eating.

Some healthy options that would actually be more inline with the original feast and certainly more healthy.

Turkey- Since it may not be practical to shoot your own wild turkey, try an organic, local or heritage turkey, or one raised without antibiotics. Don’t waste that carcass! Boil it down and make bone broth. Bone broth is one of the most nutritious liquids and has many uses. Venture into some different territory when it comes to protein selection. Some great ones include rabbit, venison, goose, game hen, buffalo, fish, oysters to name a few. For a source of other game meats, look here at Spruce’s compilation of some wild game resources.

Cranberry sauce– Select only the organic ones since this is a heavily sprayed crop. Make your own low sugar version from fresh organic cranberries and give yourself a high five for creating a more nutritious version of this common seasonal dish.

White potatoes make EWG’s Dirty DozenTM list because of high pesticide loads. Try opting for organic to reduce your exposure to potentially hazardous pesticide residues. Sweet potatoes are a good option here.

Stuffing– These are two variations from PaleoOMG: This is my favorite and this simpler version. I vary the ingredients each year and it always gets eaten quickly. This link is the basic recipe. Feel free to change it up as you see fit. Be liberal with walnuts, pecans and mushrooms.

Gravy– It’s an easy thing to make your own. It is rare to find a commercial Paleo gravy that is not laced with unsavory chemical characters. Use the drippings from that wild or pastured selection of meat and use arrowroot powder or beaten egg white to thicken.

Green beans– Use fresh or frozen and avoid the canned version. Other vegetable favorites: Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, collards, kale.

Gluten– Watch out for hidden sources, especially around the holidays. Gluten lurks in many common and unsuspected foods. Always read the labels on all commercial food products. Here is a list of some of the most common hidden food sources:

  • Commercial soups and broths, i.e. cream of mushroom soup.
  • Commercial sauces and gravies.
  • Restaurant mashed potatoes (usually have flour added to thicken)
  • Cream based dishes can have gluten based thickeners added.
  • Turkey- Read the label carefully and make sure the turkey has not been seasoned or marinated with gluten laden injections or brining. Also don’t buy any turkey that is filled with bread stuffing.
  • If eating out at restaurants, be aware of scrambled eggs and omelets as they sometimes use pancake batter to make them fluffier. 
  • Watch out for some holiday tea blends as they may use barley malt as a sweetener.

Be sure and check out this link to a very informative video on the history of Thanksgiving. Be sure and share some of this trivia during your feast.

A little known fact about the first Thanksgiving “festival”

Be grateful and enjoy all the nourishing and satisfying ways that can come from this day.

Bon Appetit!

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