Toxins vs.Tradition – What Will Win On Your Thanksgiving Table?

Thanksgiving is by far one of my favorite holidays – there is something so special about the sense of community, thankfulness, family tradition, and overall togetherness it brings each year.

It’s also a perfect day to teach and influence your family to eat less processed food and make better choices at the grocery store. I know it’s tricky messing with handed down time honored traditions but using canned mushroom soup that is full of GMOs and MSG to make grandmother’s green bean casserole recipe just has to stop.

42% of us will be obese by 2030, our children are expected to have a shorter life span than us and 41% of us are going to inevitably get cancer. This doesn’t have to happen. We can alter this trajectory if we spread as much information about the chemicals in food as possible – specifically the chemicals that can be directly linked to obesity and cancer and that are slowly poisoning us and making us suffer as a society.

This is why I think it is absolutely critical to detail out the ingredients in popular holiday meal products that are on sale and lining conventional grocery stores all over the country right now.

Turkey

Let’s talk turkey…. choosing a conventional turkey is a bad idea because it’s pumped full of preservatives, natural flavors and antibiotics.
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Thanksgiving Eats & Aches…

Thanksgiving Morning started out so great….

I started off my morning with the usual hot cup of water with lemon, a big cup of green tea, a Hari Shake and…. an unusual roaring oven set to 500 degrees….

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Got the nicely brined organic turkey in the oven to crisp the skin for 30 mins….

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Enjoyed another cup of green tea while watching the oven roar….

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Turned down the heat to 375, set up the turkey thermometer with an alarm to go off at 161 degrees and then headed downstairs with Mini me (my cousin) to get in a workout before the big feast….

We ended up doing iMax Cardio Conditioning from the Insanity DVDs…I felt a bit off and we ended stopping a little early…I figured all that cooking the day before and getting up early in the morning to put the turkey in must have worn me out…

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After working out and showering, we enjoyed watching the festive Carolinas’ Carrousel Parade parade on the balcony while waiting for the turkey timer to beeeeeep!

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I enjoyed a big nice pressed juice while jamming with all the band beats – Dandelion Greens, Lacinato Kale, Cucumber, Celery, Garlic, Ginger, and Lemon….

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Gnomes like Green Juice too…

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Turkey done – now time to get the drippings, make the gravy …

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Stirring the gravy is the hardest part…

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My Mom and Dad were hosting Thanksgiving this year – it’s a tradition to have it at their house, but the last couple of years we got thrown off a little from our traditions…it was so wonderful to have everyone back together again at the place of so many childhood memories…

Before we packed up the steaming hot turkey and gravy – I got a stash of digestive remedies together just for emergency purposes….the last couple of Thanksgivings, I remember completely overdoing it and ended up in stomach agony.  I wanted to be prepared this time!  One year at my in laws house, I remember having 3 pieces of pumpkin pie and felt so bad that I actually literally got sick – like really sick…like not holding down my pumpkin pie sick. SO EMBARRASSING. Since then I haven’t been allowed to have more than one piece. True Story.

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We got to the house right on time….Everyone contributed to the feast – my brother walking in with my sister in law’s famous made from scratch mash potatoes and mac and cheese. I was happy to find out everyone had gotten mostly organic ingredients for the feast – (I couldn’t help but smile…thinking that this blog must have had some influence in my family’s purchasing decisions)

:)

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My Mom set an absolute gorgeous table – Here she is with my Aunt and Uncle awaiting the feast…

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My contributions to the meal were made possible by the help of Mini Me – my amazing and adorable cousin.  She and I spent the day before and all morning making sweet potato casserole (2 ways – one with vegan marshmallows and one with pecans), Corn Bread Stuffing, tomato soup and the turkey and gravy.  I also made my Cranberry Sauce and
Pumpkin Ice Cream Cake earlier in the week… My mom, sister in law, and aunt made everything else…

IMG 2546We ate over 2 and half hours – it was such a lovely meal… it all started with a huge array of 4 different kinds of salads, lots of raw veggies, homemade breads and rolls, and a spicy tomato soup… (recipe to come!)

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My Mom’s traditional spicy corn bread…

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This is was my starter plate – my favorite part was the huge radish, asparagus, spicy corn bread and…at the bottom of my salad bowl was a scoop of my aunt’s amazing salad – so many crunchy additions like marcona almonds and rice noddles – it was so mmmmm good!

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The sides are always my favorite at Thanksgiving…My mom makes the BEST vegetables.

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This was plate – I loaded it up with everything – Lots of green beans, corn, broccoli, mash potatoes, sweet potatoes, garlic roasted potatoes, Corn Bread Stuffing, turkey (OH I haven’t had it in SOOOOO long…), Cranberry Sauce, and gravy…. I tried to finish my whole plate – but totally couldn’t. Fail. Major Fail. This was so strange – all of Thanksgiving pasts – I could eat two plates like this…

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After eating, this is all I could do – I started to get really achey – my legs could not stand up any longer and I just wanted a hot cup of ginger tea and a blanket…. We sat in the family room forever catching up and chit chatting about everything while the boys watched the games and others looking through sale ads.

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Later in the evening – everyone went for dessert – but I still couldn’t even look at any.  I was so full from earlier and kinda lost my appetite.  There was so much dessert too – My Pumpkin Ice Cream Cake, 3 pies (pumpkin, pecan, and apple), pumpkin bread, apple bread, watergate salad, my aunt’s famous tres leche, and more…

Later when most of everyone left – I finally got enough energy to get up off my butt and try a slice of pumpkin pie and apple pie – I had one measly bite of each before putting both down.  Something was seriously wrong….and then my aches and pains got worse.

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My husband and I got home late in the evening. I originally had plans to visit my best friend Nicole and her family before going home but instead had absolutely no energy to do anything else but get home and curl up on the couch. The serious chills and aches continued to get worse – my husband sat next to me, felt my head and said you are “REALLY” hot… I said…”ut oh….do you know where the thermometer is?”  - both of us had no clue.  I hadn’t had a fever in probably over 15 years. We talked about using the turkey thermometer – but luckily we found a human one in an old box of expired medicines under the guest bathroom sink. He took my temperature and it was a whopping 102! Holy Crap…. All I could think was…..”I just made a LOT of food for my entire family…. a sick person who now has 102 degree temperature….oh $hit!!!! ” This was probably one of the worst case senarios I could ever imagine. I prayed for several minutes after …. praying for my family’s health and well being and praying they don’t get sick from me.

So what did I do naturally to feel better? I wasn’t taking any greenish blue bills called Advil and there was no way I was taking any liver damaging Tylenol…. After calling my parents to tell them why I didn’t move off the couch….my Dad immediately wanted to talk to my husband to tell him what they used to do in India when someone had a fever – he said I needed to start with remedy of a cool cloth on the forehead… Which worked to reduce my temperature by a few points within an hour to 101.5. I also took a major dose of Yin Chiao Chieh Tu Pien - 6 tablets before bed, 4 in the middle of the night, and 4 more in the morning… I also put hydrogen peroxide in each ear like Dr. Mercola explains is a remarkable cure to the flu. The night was ROUGH – very achey, lots of tumbles, turning and waking up my husband with moaning… (poor thing – he didn’t get any sleep)… I woke up at about 11am with a much lower temperature of 99.6 and as of 6pm tonight – I am back down to 98.4 – Yes .2 degrees below normal.

I also had more green juice in the morning (with lots of garlic!!!) and I’d like to report I am feeling much better! So better that I am writing this post right now!  I am pretty amazed how fast I have turned around in the last 12 hours.  I am totally convinced natural remedies work. I was really really really worried I had gotten the flu or something worse. Maybe I do have the flu? Who really knows? All I know is my body fought back hard and won!

And I’m excited to report – My appetite is finally back. Thank goodness for left overs.

Hope your Thanksgiving was painless

:)

Love,

Food Babe

P.S. Thinking about a Flu Shot? Read this. Or want to boost your immune system naturally? Read this.

Stuff yourself with Stuffing Part 2 – A Vegan Thanksgiving

Last Thursday, I attended a cooking class at Home Healthy Market with my 2 favorite RAW VEGAN chefs in town – Rian and Ami. The theme of the evening was Thanksgiving of course! My favorite dish was this raw stuffing… The crunch of the pecans and savory cauliflower, celery, onions and carrots is just dynamite! Everyone one in the class oooooed and awwwwed all over this dish. I was really really impressed with it – so impressed that I had to share it with all of you!

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If you have never taken one of these classes at HHM – I highly recommend it – I learn something new every time and I always leave with a pretty full belly!

$5 bucks for a healthy & nutritious cooking class is an absolute steal, don’t you think? This just might be one of the best kept secrets in town…Oh no… If the next class gets crowded because I let the cat out of the bag – Nobody better take my seat in the front row. I mean it.

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Enjoy the recipe!  If you make this – I want to hear about it!

Food Babe's Raw Stuffing Courtesy of Ami @ Home Healthy Market
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Serves: 15 - 20
Ingredients
  • 8 cups of pecans soaked for 2 hours, then ground coarsely
  • 4 cups cauliflower shredded to consistency of rice
  • 2 cups carrots diced
  • 1 cups onions diced
  • 2 cups celery diced
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp truffle oil
  • 2 tbsp dried or fresh rosemary minced
  • salt & black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients into a large bowl and mix
Notes
Makes approximately 15-20 servings and stays fresh in an air tight container for up to 3 days. Warm in a dehydrator or serve at room temperature. ***Please buy all organic ingredients if possible***

 

The stuffing recipe was inspired from Pure Food & Wine’s Sarma Melngailis’ book “Living Raw Food”

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Just seeing this picture again makes my mouth water …. Crunch Crunch Crunch… YUM!

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Raw Pumpkin Pie made with Carrots in the Vitamix…

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Rian making Marinated Kale Salad…

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Our Raw Thanksgiving Meal – Raw Stuffing, Marinaded & Dehydrated Mushrooms, Marinaded Kale Salad, and Pumpkin Pie

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Next recipe to come…Pumpkin Ice Cream Cake…oh yeah.

XOXO,

Food Babe

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