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Appreciation of food, family, and friends on Thanksgiving Day

By Kaori Kay Cheslock, RHNC

Thanksgiving is around the corner — as this holiday approaches this year, it is important to appreciate all we have more than ever. Yes, this Thanksgiving is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the physical and mental wellness we have today.

Family gatherings may be minimal and limited to your immediate family this year – however this shouldn’t prevent us from enjoying the moment and appreciate the delicious and comforting familiar meals. What does enjoying food with your loved ones mean to you? Food is much more than supplying the essential nutrients to your body.

If you think about it, most fun get-togethers, family gathering, or social events involve food and/or drinks of some sort. When you eat food or enjoy drinks with people you love to spend time with, it not only feeds your body nutrients but also your soul with feelings of joy & happiness that come with smiles & laughter. 

Looking beyond all the good times that lie ahead with this holiday (and those to come) is an obstacle many face: the overconsumption of food and drinks. It stands out that the fast paced world we live in often takes a toll at this historically busy time of year – the responsibility from work/school/family, feeling there is no excuses to be “offline” due to tremendous ease of access to email, social media, and the internet in general….it can overwhelm our schedule.

With already mounting stress levels at this time for many, resisting the temptation to reach for high calorie meals and desserts (and going back for seconds… and thirds…) can bring us back to the challenge of overeating and/or stress from the restrictions if you are eating a certain way to achieve a specific goal.

Well, what if we told you that there is a way to eat without the added stress of worrying about too many restrictions, while eating to gain traction on your goals? It is definitely possible, if you know how much of and what type of food you can have and still reach your goals.

There are so many ways to make lighter and healthier versions of traditional Thanksgiving meals.  For example, if you are hosting the party, you may be able to make both traditional and lighter versions of meals to entertain all taste buds/ food preferences. If you are invited to the party, you can make your own dish(es) and give the opportunity to people around you to enjoy your versions of Thanksgiving-style dishes.


If you don’t know where to start with recipes – we’ve got your back. There are many great ideas already on our website (including a sweet potato casserole, stuffed mushroom appy, pumpkin “cheese” sauce, and an old fashion pumpkin pie recipe). To add to this, today we would like to introduce you to reduced fat turkey chili and leftover reduced carb turkey risotto for you to enjoy the next few days of turkey meals!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!