Friday, November 27, 2009

I survived!!

Well...I survived my first Thanksgiving without eating ANY turkey or anything laden with cream, butter and pork lard! LOL I did get a wee bit of the Spanish Inquisition during meal #2, and I'll tell you more about that...but let me share some pictures from my preparations pre-Thanksgiving!

First...I can't start talking about Thanksgiving without sharing a picture of my favorite part of my boys!

We always have two Thanksgiving meals. The first is in a small country town that my husband's mom grew up in. Several generations of family, included extended cousins, aunts, uncles, and MANY people we have no idea who they are, gather together around noon and have ourselves a big ol' time. These are country cooking folks. No waistlines are considered when eating here. In years past I'd be licking my lips to get to the meal...good stuff! Or so I thought!

Funny story though...I'm here in this small town and the conversation comes up from my sister-in-law that she heard from someone else that there is this blog called "Chocolate Covered Katie" that she said has lots of great healthy recipes! Katie...your infamous, even in remote parts of the USA, your name is sparking up during people's Thanksgiving meals...too funny!

For this stop on our Thanksgiving tour, I decided to bring some marinated tomatoes. Included is red tomatoes, yellow peppers, sweet onions, fresh basil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, EVOO and a tsp of agave nectar. I let them marinate overnight...this was a GREAT dish. So glad I brought this b/c it was THE ONLY raw thing on the VAST table to eats!

Little side note: While I was doing all the Thanksgiving prep on Wednesday night, this was the kids dinner: Thai lettuce wraps and organic blue chips! :)
While I was cooking I decided to have some of this. I've heard so many people drinking these that I thought I would give it a whirl! I had no idea what flavor was the best, or most popular. I ended up popping open the cosmic cranberry one first and poured it into a wine glass. Note: Do not shake this prior to opening. I learned the hard way.
Is it just me or do these taste very vinegary?? I'm not sure what I was expecting, but it wasn't what I tasted. I ended up putting a few sprinkles of Stevia in it and enjoyed it much better that way. What say you? What's your favorite flavor? Do you drink it the way it comes? Do I just need to bear down and stop being whimpy? Does it matter if I doctor it up?
Then I got on with business and made some really yummo things! First I decided to use the Raw Chocolate Fudge Babies recipe as a crust for a Raw Chocolate Berry Pie!

First I blended up all the Fudge Baby ingredients and poured it into a pie tin. Press it down evenly, packing it as firmly as possible.
Then, to make the "syrup" that goes next I blended several fresh strawberries, a few dates and a 1/4 cup of water.
Pour that in the bottom of the pie. The night before I had sliced 2 pints of strawberries up and sprinkled some stevia over them and a tad of water and allowed them to "marinate". Next, arrange the berries over your syrup in whatever fashion floats your boat!
I decided to sprinkle a few vegan chocolate chips over the top too!
Here is a piece I sliced up for myself last night. It was sooooo good! Everyone raved about it and couldn't believe it wasn't bad for you! :)
Next I made Angela's This Ain't Granny's Sweet Potatoe Casserole. This is OUT OF THIS WORLD GOOD! And so easy too!

This picture is prior to cooking, so the top isn't nice and golden and glowing!
I also made a favorite...broccoli cashew salad. The ingredients included: two heads of raw broccoli, 3/4 cup of raw cashews, organic raisins and cranberries. For the dressing I used vegannaise, apple cider vinegar and agave nectar all blended together and then poured over the top.

Here is my plate at meal number one: pole beans, green beans, marinated tomatoes, Ain't Granny's sweet potato, cup of fruit! This meal was so satisfying. I did not miss out on anything as far as my palate or my tummy is concerned. I felt GREAT! While everyone else was moaning about how stuffed and tired they were, I felt like a million bucks!

Always for meal number 2 we go to my Dad's house and eat again. I had escaped any type of questions about my food preferences these days while at meal number 1. We were all scattered about and everyone eating at different times since there were so many to go thru the meal line that no one seemed to notice that my plate was missing the customary bird!

However, at my dad's with a more intimate setting, it didn't go unnoticed.

I really didn't want to draw attention to myself. I haven't even told my mom about how I've been eating...and we are really close. I know I even used to have this stigma about vegetarians, especially vegans, and I was sure they wouldn't understand. At one point my dad says to me "now I don't want you going and getting all unhealthy on me!" I about laughed and cried at the same time! REally? Are you kidding me! I am eating about as healthy as I have EVER eaten! I assured them that I'm eating ample food, quite the variety, color and taste and that they have nothing to fear. The inquisition only lasted about 5 minutes, for which I'm thankful. But there were a few turkey jokes and some bantering with me about them shoving in some meat in their mouths. Overall though they know I've got a sound mind on my shoulders and were accepting of my new decision. I'm hoping to inspire some of them with my results and how I feel.

The day went really well. It was the first Thanksgiving where I didn't come home miserable and with a belly ache. I'm no longer fearful of the holidays and what they mean in terms of an expanding waist line. Now I can truly just focus on enjoying the parties, the people, my family and friendships.

How was your Thanksgiving? What type of comments did you get from your healthy food choices?


  1. Your meal looks heavenly! I'm so glad you enjoyed your holiday and that you didn't get too much flack. Isn't it funny how our perceptions change? I remember thinking that it would be crazy to try to go vegan too. ;)

  2. I absolutely LOVE Kombucha's!! I also eat vinegar on everything so maybe that's why :) They really do give me a buzz.

    Strawberries with chocolate...heaven!

  3. April...the Kombucha's are growing on me. I had another one my wine glass too! :) The strawberries with chocolate WAS heavenly!!! Thanks so much for stopping over here! It means a lot! ;)

    Sarah...It IS very funny how my perceptions have changed! When I was doing BFL the thought of NOT eating a piece of chicken 18 times a day (LOL) was ghastly!

  4. I've been drinking kombucha for about a year now, and I agree it's an acquired taste. The first flavor I tried was cranberry too, and I choked it down a bit. My roommate tried it and called it "garbage juice" because of the smell, so I've always jokingly refered to it as such since then. But now I make it myself because it's way too expensive to buy in a jar, and it's so simple. I grew my own scobey from scratch last month using an unflavored commercial kombucha and it's the healthiest one I've ever seen! (All you need additionally is a couple black tea bags and sugar.) If you're buying commercial, however, try the superfruits. It's the only kind I'll still buy while out running errands.