THANKSGIVING: HOW TO AVOID FEELING LIKE A STUFFED TURKEY

Potential causes of the holiday belly blues, and suggestions on how to avoid it:

TOO MUCH STARCH

Starch-laden foods like potatoes and bread can challenge the digestive system when eaten in large quantities, and when we’re in the holiday spirit, feasting can be expected. Give your digestive system some slack by replacing some of these starchy foods with delicious alternatives such as mashed cauliflower “potatoes,” or biscuits prepared with coconut flour. Make colorful meals with vegetables as the foundation, rather than one of grain.

MASHED CAULIFLOWER
1 head Cauliflower, cored
2 cloves Garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon Sea salt
1 quart Chicken or beef broth
2 tablespoons Butter, ghee or olive oil
¼ cup Parsley, chopped
Sea salt & crushed pepper to taste

  1. Place cauliflower, garlic, sea salt & broth in a lidded pot
  2. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the vegetables are very soft
  3. Drain broth from the vegetables. Enjoy the broth as a snack
  4. Using an immersion blender or high-powered blender, blend the cauliflower and butter or oil until very smooth
  5. Stir in chopped parsley, and salt and pepper to taste

GRAIN-FREE BISCUITS
1 C Almond Flour
¼ teaspoon Sea salt
1 teaspoon Baking powder
4 Egg whites
2 tablespoons Very cold organic butter or coconut oil (cut into pieces)
1 teaspoon Garlic or spices (optional)

  1. Preaheat oven to 400°
  2. Grease a cookie sheet or muffin pan with coconut oil or butter
  3. Whip egg whites until very fluffy
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the making powder into the almond flour
  5. Cut in the butter and salt with a fork
  6. Gently fold the dry mixture into the egg whites
  7. Dollop the dough on to the cookie sheet and bake for 11-16 minute

TOO MUCH SUGAR

Oh, the dessert table. We always dream that it won’t win us over, and over, and over. But it simply does. Too much sugar, especially baked goods containing little protein or fat and large amounts of processed sugar and grain, dysregulate our appetites, making us crave more. Enter repeat visits to this suddenly conveniently-placed spread. If you truly want to avoid this trap, a plan is necessary. Plan ahead by preparing some treats made with whole, unprocessed ingredients. This way, you’ll get the nutrition that your body craves, wake up without a sugar hang-over, and also truly enjoy yourself. Pairing sweets with healthy fats helps to slow the absorption of sugars.

FRUIT CRISP
¼ cup Ghee, butter or coconut oil
1 tablespoon Cinnamon
Honey as desired

  1. Preheat oven to 400°
  2. Melt ghee or coconut oil in a small saucepan
  3. Once melted, add honey and cook until it just barely combines
  4. In a large bowl, toss chopped fruit in honey combination with cinnamon
  5. Place fruit mixture in an even layer in a glass baking dish
  6. Bake for 30-45 minutes, or until the edges of the fruit begin to brown and the fruit is soft
  7. Serve with whipped coconut cream, whipped cream, or whipped homemade sour cream

DATE & CASHEW DELIGHTS
1 cup Dates, pitted
1 cup Cashews
½ cup Shredded coconut

  1. Blend the cashews in the food processor until they are chopped very fine
  2. Add the dates, and blend until very combined and the mixture is smooth
  3. Roll the mixture into small balls, about 1 tablespoon of mix each
  4. Roll the balls in coconut flakes & serve

OVEREATING

Do not “save room” for the impending feast by starving yourself all day! This is a very bad idea if you do not intend to plow through food until you feel ill once the long-awaited feasting time arrives. Make sure that you eat a rounded breakfast, and even lunch if your clan usually feasts in the evening.

MINI CRUSTLESS QUICHE
1 lb Meat (ground meat, chopped bacon, chopped chicken, etc)
1 Onion, chopped (white, green, red, leek, etc.)
1 teaspoon Sea salt
1 Bunch Greens, stems removed then chopped (kale, chard, collards, etc. )
¼ lb Cheese, grated
12 Eggs
1 tablespoon Butter

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Sautee the meat and onions in butter & salt until the meat is cooked through and the onions are beginning to brown
  3. Add the greens and cover the pan to wilt the greens. Allow the meat mixture to cool
  4. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the cheese
  5. Combine the cooled meat mixture to the egg mixture
  6. Spoon into lined muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a dry fork inserted into the center of the quiche comes out clean
  7. Allow to cool and store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Warm up 2-3 quiche in the toaster oven for a quick, nourishing breakfast. 

Avoid snacking between meal times. With hors d’oeuvres and samples a standard feature of the holidays, it’s easy to look back and realize that you have been eating all day. Sticking to a (loose) meal schedule will help you to enjoy all of the amazing foods, in adequate quantities.

TOO LITTLE DIGESTIVE CAPACITY

If you often feel overly full, or have digestive discomfort after eating rounded meals, you may have a deficiency in stomach acid, slow moving bile holding up fat digestion, or an enzyme deficiency. Resolving this issue will help you with holiday feasting, and long-term health in countless ways. You can work with a practitioner who is trained in improving digestive capacity, and the work you do here could very well change your life.

For general support, adding a probiotic food to your meal works as a beautiful digestive aid. Cultured foods help to regulate stomach acid levels for adequate protein digestion. These foods also provide an array of probiotics, which will keep your gut happy and healthy. A small amount of cultured food as a condiment works wonders. Try this amazing cultured cranberry sauce provided by Tamara Mannelly, blogger at Oh Lardy!

CULTURED CRANBERRY SAUCE
3 cups Fresh cranberries (1 bag)
½ cup Honey or maple syrup
1 teaspoon Sea salt
½ cup Whey
½ cup Apple cider
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
½ teaspoon Ground cloves
Juice from one orange & one lemon
½ cup Raisins

  1. Combine all ingredients except raisins in a blender
  2. Pulse until the mixture is slightly chunky
  3. Mix in the raisins
  4. Put mixture into a one-quart mason jar
  5. Leave at room temperature to ferment for 48 hours

All of us at Siskiyou Vital Medicine wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

This blog was written by Siskiyou Vital Medicine resident nutritionist Stacie Bailey. She has formal training as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and as a GAPS Practitioner. Stacie has extensive experience working with gut healing diets and creating delicious gut healing recipes. She works in the world of nutrition from the ground up as an organic gardener, certified nutritionist, fresh food chef, fermentation artist, and real food advocate & educator. 

Stacie’s focus as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, GAPS Practitioner, and chef is directed toward the digestive system, the roots of our health. Digestive health is foundational to overall health, and focusing attention here results in thorough, lasting improvements in health. Approaching health foundationally, from the roots up, inspires a lifestyle change that brings us closer to the earth, our community and ourselves. Stacie provides the guidance, support and recipes needed to enact these lasting nutritional habit changes. After all, a nourished belly makes a happy life.