Modifying Original Recipes to Fit Your Needs!

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November 23, 2012

Health For The Holidays - Thanksgiving Wrap Up!

Welcome back to another happy and healthy day on It Really Works!

Being the day after Thanksgiving, I thought it was only appropriate to share some of the best and most beautiful Thanksgiving dishes from all around, and also a few tips and tricks on how I managed to still be "mostly comfortable" after two Thanksgiving dinners and dessert!

Now... if that didn't real you into read this post.. I'm not sure what will ;-)

Enjoying a festive and delicious Thanksgiving at two houses (with my family and the boyfriend's), would be sure to make anyone happy. However, if you stop to think about the amount of food that is served at any one Thanksgiving affair - you might realize that eating twice is quite a lot of food.

I have a feeling that I'm not the only one who splits their holiday, which is why I decided to share a few of my own tricks to avoid that "I-ate-WAY-too-much-and-now-just-want-to-sleep-it-off" feeling.

Take a gander at the food offerings before you start to pile it on your plate. If there is a dish you absolutely love and one that you could do without, skip the 2nd and splurge on that once a year item you dream about. People tend to think that just because there are extra side dishes, you have to take a spoonful of each one.. well my friends, that just isn't true. Take a few bites of each dish that you know you'll enjoy (healthy or not) and know that this isn't how you eat every day of the year. Suppressing your cravings when they are right in front of you will leave you more fulfilled and not needing to go back for seconds. 

Revisiting the multi-side dish extravaganza... I have a theory about why we overeat on this special day. My theory, is that people take the same amount of a side dish they would take at any other meal, not thinking about the fact that there are three to four times more side dishes than would be at a regular dinner. So, rather than taking smaller amounts of each dish to account for the plethora of offerings, we tend to stick to our habitual portion sizes for all of those glorious sides, soon to find our plate overflowing and our mouths watering. Now, if you fell into the trap this year, have no fear, you'll have a chance to practice moderation next year and the many more Thanksgivings to come!

We've talked about the main meal and shared two helpful tips, but what about dessert? That's right, the sugar laden pecan pie (of which I must admit... I am guilty of making this delectable treat), the classically creamy pumpkin pie, apple or berry pie with crusts to die for... get the picture? Dessert is one thing we have a hard time turning down, even when we already feel like we've eaten enough food for the next three days. My trick for this one? INDULGE. You heard me, take a small slice of each or an adequate portion of your ultimate favorite and treasure every single bite. Like I said, it is not every day that we eat in this way, and it's definitely not every day that we have multiple pies to choose from. Eating a little out of the ordinary, or out of your typical healthy habits for one day isn't going to cause any harm. If you want some pie, by all means, have some pie.

 Alright... enough tips and tricks for one day, let's take a look at the dishes that were enjoyed and highlight a few that I'll definitely be adding to my "must-make" list for next year...

My aunt cooks a mean turkey.. I mean, look at that color!
Dad's homemade gravy, nothing will ever top it.
Cranberry Pear Sauce from The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen - the second year I've made it... truly delicious.

Salad with homemade dressing, pears, cranberries, candied pecans and blue cheese - need I say more?
Turkey (white and dark meat), stuffing cooked in the bird, stuffing cooked separately, fresh green beans, creamed onions, mamma's homemade mashers, lovely cranberry sauce, and my sister's to-die-for orange sweet potatoes. A feast it was, and it was all DELICIOUS.
Last but not least... my very own, homemade, Gluten Free Triple Berry Pie... I based the filling off of a recipe from, and followed this recipe from Simply Gluten Free for the crust-

½ cup unsalted butter or solid, all vegetable non-dairy shortening
2 to 4 tablespoons cold water (used 3T)
*1¼ cups All Purpose Gluten Free Flour Blend plus more for rolling (King Arthur)
1 teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
2 tablespoons sugar
dashes of almond extract

“Cut” shortening into flour; add salt and sugar and “cut” again; then add water and extract and mix.
Press between 2 layers of parchment paper with extra flour top and bottom.  Transfer to pie plate and press into sides and bottom.

Bake 20 minutes before filling.

Not that you aren't already wanting more, but here are a few recipes I plan to make next year, or perhaps, within the next week just for fun!

Gluten Free Dairy Free Ginger Snap Biscotti by Dixie Crystals Bake It Forward
Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie Bread by Gluten Free Goddess 
Gluten Free Stuffing Rolls by Living Without Magazine
Maple Pumpkin Blondies by Chockohlawtay

What recipes were your favorite this year? How about a recipe you'd love to turn into being gluten free!? If you share I ust might give it a go... :)

Happy eating!

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