The Good Ole Days .
I miss my great-grandma’s Sunday fried chicken. I miss her creamed corn and homemade bread with gravy. I miss the First Christian Church in Anadarko, Oklahoma where my great-great-grandmother was a charter member. I miss working in my grandparents’ pawn shop and walking down to the bowling alley for a Hershey bar on my break. I miss the toy poodle Santa put in my stocking as I peeked through the crack in my bedroom door. I miss my uncle who pretended to be Santa, stomping on the roof and jingling bells like a lunatic. I miss my grandpa teaching me to drive on our farm in his old Ford pickup. I miss hugs that knocked the wind out of me and people attentively responding to my stories with, “Sure ‘nough?” I miss kindness, courtesy, and heartfelt care. I guess the current societal climate has me yearning for some down-home goodness.
Food is comforting. Thanksgiving is comforting. Cooking, to me, is not so comforting. Four generations of women who preceded me were stellar cooks and yet I wasn’t blessed with the culinary gene. I keep this image of my roasting and toasting mamas in my kitchen for inspiration. God willing, someday they’ll rub off on me.
As delicious as their dishes were, there was a downside to their tantalizing grub. Every dish was loaded with unhealthiness. Lard, butter, and sugar ran amuck. As a child, I had no idea nor care what was in the food. My only interest was that it. tasted. good.
I’m uber grateful my great-great grandmother’s handwritten cookbook has been passed down to me. I find myself thumbing its tattered pages each year as the holiday season approaches. It warms my heart, but I can feel my arteries clogging as I read it.
The Diet .
My diet was poor most of my life. I wasn’t a fitness buff, either. I was tall and could aesthetically manage the quarterly ten-pound fluctuation… until I got sick.
I’ve been a perfectionist overachiever since I can remember, so when my doctor diagnosed me with IBS in my early thirties, I wasn’t surprised. I read an absorbent number of articles and tailored my diet by eliminating many foods, but it didn’t help. Shortly after giving birth to my first son, I found myself in fetal position on the floor, unable to hold him much less nurse him. The pain was debilitating.
A colonoscopy revealed rather than IBS, I have diverticulosis. My dad has it. My father-in-law has it. Many older men have it. And this girl has it. There isn’t a definitive cause, but many doctors suspect a life-long habit of poor diet is the culprit. Since the diagnosis, I’ve had three bouts of the diverticulitis infection. My G.I. warned I was toying with the prospect of a colon resection, sometimes resections aren’t successful, and a colostomy bag could very well be in my future.
No. Can. Do.
I’m fairly certain I read every article written on the matter. I became determined to choose food so wisely that the only bag I would be carrying was a Chloe. This meant no popcorn, nuts, tomatoes, gluten, dairy, or meat, to name a few.
Do I fall off the wagon? Absolutely. Do I feel like utter crap when I do? Hell yeah. So, as soon as I come to my senses, I resume an alkaline diet of mostly vegetables and fruit with a smidge of fish here and there. Friends think I’m dietarily rigid, but I’ve discovered so many delicious, healthy options and feel so much better, I prefer this sustenance regime.
Thanksgiving Treats .
We’ll spend this Thanksgiving with our hilarious neighbors. I’m assigned sweet potato duty, thank goodness. As I scoured my Pinterest Wellness board, I thought it might be helpful to share a few simple side-dish and dessert recipes with you. This is the absolute best season to go alkaline. Think butternut squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, etc. If you’re pondering an alkaline diet, I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Melting Sweet Potatoes + Maple Pecan Sauce via Dessert For Two .
Roasted Brussel Sprouts + Cinnamon Butternut Squash via Julia’s Album .
Garlic-Butter Carrots via Diethood .
Pumpkin Pie via Primally Inspired .
Banana Cream Pie via Sarah Bakes Gluten Free .
Oh, and I discovered the greatest little Thanksgiving cheat sheet.
Don’t forget the special personalized touches like these DIY place cards by B. Lovely Events.
My pre-holiday gift-to-self is an essential oil diffuser. I’ve used it for everything from my son’s cough (eucalyptus) to my insomnia (lavender) to making my home naturally smell amazing. Here’s a great way to use it during Thanksgiving…
Don’t forget to have everyone sign a gratitude pumpkin. It’s like a hostess gift to yourself. ❤︎
I’d be remiss to close without sharing how thankful I am for family, friends, kindness, courtesy, simple indulgences, and for YOU reading this. Sharing is my form of gratitude and the (coconut) cream on top is that it will help you in some small way.