Thursday, November 25, 2010

Moderation Schmoderation and Holiday Gift Idea No. 3: Cranberry Apple Chutney

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! This is perhaps the hardest day of the year for some of us, and also the beginning of "The Holidays," a time when even "normal" folks are challenged by all of the unhealthy food choices that are suddenly everywhere at all times. So what are some strategies that I am going to employ to get through it?

1) Always think that it is the family and friends and NOT the food that are the reasons for the holidays. When you are at your Thanksgiving dinner tonight, it is easy to get sucked in and then down by all of the toxic food choices. But if you can remember that you are there to enjoy the people that you are with and make the food a distant second, you will be well ahead of the game.

2) If you are not preparing the whole Thanksgiving dinner, make sure there are many healthy food choices available for you, even if you have to bring the healthy options. When you are at the dinner, have a nice big glass of water or sparking water with lemon/lime in your hand at all times and sip on it . . . it's amazing how it really doesn't matter what you are putting in your mouth as long as something is going in it! Make it something you won't regret.

3) Get prepared mentally. What if your family and friends are the type to pressure you into indulging? What if your mind is telling you that it's okay, I can eat all this holiday stuff in moderation and still be okay? Well, here's an interesting article from Dr. Fuhrman's website about the myth of eating in moderation. Click here. Have you ever considered exactly what moderation is and why people seem to be so convinced that (1) everything in moderation is okay and (2) there is such a thing as "moderation"?

I know that my mind is definitely playing some heavy tricks on me right now and reading that short article really helped set me straight again. So I'm revising my own plan for how I am going to handle Thanksgiving as I write this. Instead of my original plan of, "Oh, I'll just wing it and try not to eat too much" I am now committing to myself that I will bring a delicious green salad that will be the bulk of my meal. I'm also bringing braised brussels sprouts, cranberry apple chutney, and, in all honesty, a non-vegan pumpkin gingerbread trifle.

Speaking of Cranberry Apple Chutney, it's one if the recipes that I tried out from Terry Walter's Clean Food and it's a winner! I did hear from a friend that it was a little too sweet, so I went ahead and increased the proportion of cranberries by 50% (instead of 2 cups, I used 3) and it was perfect. I made a double batch and froze some, gifting a quart to my friends for their Thanksgiving meal. It is is great dish for Thanksgiving, Christmas and even as an accompaniment to any savory vegan meal. I plan on making it again soon and freezing it as cranberries are in season for a short time. Then I can have it all year round, it's that good. Yum!

This and other amazing recipes can be found in Clean Food by Terry Walters.

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