What if?

What if you’re not in control of the Thanksgiving Feast? What if someone else is in charge of all the cooking, and you have no say over what is going to be served? What if the person doing the cooking doesn’t think the same way you do about food and healthy nutrition?

What do you do?

  • Do you fight and whine?
  • Do you just give up and go with the flow?
  • Or do you have a plan?

Admission:  control freak here. And I find myself in the position I described in the first paragraph–I am not in control of the Thanksgiving meal! And then I found myself going through the process I listed above. Gah!  It was almost like going through the stages of grief!

All of us are in different places in our relationship with food.  And most of us have found ourselves in different stages at different times in the journey. Right now I am at a point where I am very serious about trying to lose some weight and eat as healthily as possible.  So after I got over being mad/sad/whining/giving up, and after my good friend reminded me that it was my responsibility to moderate my intake, not my hosts, I made a plan.

I looked at the menu and noticed that there was no fruit.  I will ask nicely if I can bring a fruit salad.  I have all the fruit ready and have a terrific recipe in my head. I also bought a bag of baby carrots to add to the hors d’oeuvres’ platter. If they don’t want a fruit salad, I will bring an asian pear or an apple with me, and eat it in the car on the drive over. I used to do this way back when I first started Weight Watchers. I would eat a piece of fruit in the car on the way to meet my friends at a restaurant for lunch. That way I wasn’t too hungry and it was easier to make good choices.

Part 2 of my plan:  Since I am not doing the cooking on Thanksgiving, I am planning on cooking a modified Thanksgiving meal for myself, so I will have ‘leftovers.’ I bought a turkey breast to cook (how much leftover turkey does one girl need?) and of course I have a cauliflower in the fridge to make some cauliflower mash.  I would like some cranberry sauce, but I don’t want to have too much hanging around the house. Maybe I can figure out how to make a mini batch.

If all else fails (meaning, I eat too much,) I will be kind and remind myself that it is one day. And that is what it is. I am not eating differently up to the day, and I will not eat differently after the day.

Oh, and maybe I should spend a little more time thinking about the real meaning of the day…

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15 thoughts on “What if?

  1. Sweety in the grand scheme of things it is only ONE day……….enjoy yourself……take spoonful of everything she lovingly prepared and move on……..Thanksgiving is not a week long….its just one day…..no matter what you decide to do girlfriend have a wonderful holiday…..Hugs! deb

  2. I bought a turkey breast to cook so we’d have leftovers too! Gotta have my turkey sandwich at some point.

    The scenario you’ve described is exactly why I always just plan to eat what is available, even if it is in Tablespoon portions. I think this comes from growing up as a PK and we were often invited over to people’s homes for Sunday dinner. My mother refused to let us say that we didn’t like something and pretty much taught us to eat what was there when we were a guest in someone elses home.

    My in-laws often have quite unbalanced meals at get-togethers so I’ve made it a practice to offer salads, vegetables, and fruits as well. Not often do they say no.

    I especially like that last part where you remind yourself that it’s just one day of 365. Not saying I think you’re going to overeat, but I would like you to RELAX. Enjoy the fellowship – and the food – and relax!

    Happy Thanksgiving Debby!

    • I was a PK too!!! I loved going to other people’s houses to eat dinner. But my poor brother! I could write a whole post about the look on his face when he was told we were having reindeer meatballs!

      And you kind of keyed in on one of the other elements of my anxiety. It is not really a relaxing situation that I am going into.

  3. Debby, I’m so glad you are going with a plan. It’s sooooo important to give yourself 100% responsibility for eating and health. Very smart friend. I too, will be on plan this weekend. My body does not know that it is Thanksgiving. Come Monday Thanksgiving will be a memory , health lasts your lifetime.
    Happy Thanksgiving.

    I made a turkey breast from Trader Joes in the crock pot. Dump in some baby carrots , onions , cup of cranberries, half cup of water. Poultry seasoning, and a few sliced oranges. Low for 6-7 hours. Just the right amount of left overs for a small family. Best turkey I’ve ever made. I’ll rotate that recipe during the next year.

    Here’s to a plan and safe travels this week. At meals and on the roads.

  4. Since you are the type of person who can get back on track after a day of indulgences, I think you would be safe to have small amounts of whatever is being served. I would bring the fruit salad no matter what – who doesn’t love fruit salad? You have a plan and you are prepared – that’s half the battle right there! 🙂

  5. Happy Thanksgiving, Debby! You can make wonderful cranberry sauce from the recipe on the back of the cranberry bag (Ocean Spray). Hmm, maybe too much sugar for your taste, but maybe you can substitute non-caloric sweetener. Anyway, just measure out some fraction of the total. The whole bag makes about 2 cups, I think.

  6. I always remind myself that while I might not have control over the menu, I do have control over ME. Sometimes that even works. 🙂

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your furry family, Debby!

  7. I’m going to enjoy my day and all the food but what I’m going to do is eat the Turkey and Ham first! They are packed full of protein, low calories and low carb! So then when I finish all the turkey and ham I want then I will eat just 1 spoonful of stuffing, candied yams, etc. ONE SPOONFUL of any sides I want. Then 2 bites of pumpkin pie and I’m DONE. I get to taste everything but not go overboard. I set a limit 100% specific and I’ll stick by it!

  8. What a well written post! I immediately empathized with you on the dilemma in your mind – and I love not only your solution, but also your kindness reflex as well. Being good to yourself in all situations, good and bad, is so important.

    Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, my friend!

  9. Unfortunately, I have NO control over Thanksgiving Day menu. This is my MIL’s non-negotiable holiday. I’ve even learned the hard way NOT to bring something and expect it to ever see the table. I just try to do the best I can, mostly shuffling food around and avoiding questions about what I’m NOT eating and why. It is very frustrating, but just the way it is and as someone else mentioned, it’s only one day out of 365.

  10. While you don’t have control of the menu, you do have control over how you feel about what you eat. Enjoy the food that is provided and the fellowship.
    I eat a lot on Thanksgiving. My family always has way too much food and I just accept that now. 😀

    Have a wonderful day, Debby! I am thankful we are internet friends 😀

  11. Great post! I ventured off plan a bit. Mostly, my mom’s cornbread dressing and a slice of pie were my indulgences. But it was for one day and I have no regrets, really. I was worried I would wake up this morning ready to binge, but that hasn’t happened. I enjoyed the good food and ate within reason. A first for me!

    Hope your time with family was truly blessed.

  12. Orange Ginger Cranberry Sauce

    1 pint organic cranberries
    2 cups 100% orange juice (for sweetness)***
    1 inch piece fresh ginger, minced (you can keep the peel on, no need to peel the thin skin off)
    The zest of one orange
    2 cinnamon sticks
    1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

    Combine all of the ingredients in a sauce pan. This a good one for the kiddos to help.

    Bring the sauce to a boil and then reduce heat to medium.

    Allow the sauce to simmer until thickened, about 45 minutes.

    Cool slightly and taste. Add orange juice concentrate if needed.

    taste-preference note: my husband has informed me that no one loves ginger as much as I do. So if you are not a fan of ginger, skip it!

    Make the sauce weeks ahead of time and freeze or refrigerate for up to two weeks.

    Brenda notes:
    I add 2 oranges and a cup of fresh raspberries so that I can add less OJ to the mix. (I probably use a cup of orange juice, depends how tart it is)

    and also make sure to remove the cloves and cinnamon sticks before serving.

    the original should have said it but didn’t. Cloves will never soften, could be dangerous on a tooth

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