5 Thanksgiving Survival Tips
What does this day mean to Americans beyond the faint memory of pilgrims and native Americans sharing a feast at the same table. Growing up I remember the stress of making a bigger than necessary meal for family we rarely see. Then eating until we felt like we would burst with too many days following of turkey and stuffing sandwiches.
With my family now, I search for the traditions to share and pass down. We still cook turkey and way too many sides. We still spend it with family that we rarely ever see, but we try to cherish the celebration with our kids and close ones.
Here are 3 survival tips I've found to get you through this special, stressful day.
1. Cook What You Like
It's crazy to prepare your meal like a line cook, meeting everyone's needs. If you're the chef, you have the right to choose recipes you love and allow the other's to fend for themselves. If people come with their own restrictions, offer them a chance to bring something they can eat. Trust me, I was a vegetarian for 10 years in my youth and I never starved through Thanksgiving dinner.
2. Eat the Skin
Believe it or not, the skin is the healthiest part of the bird. Science shows that the nutrient composition is most dense in the skin. If you wonder whether it's the turkey that puts you to sleep or the massive amounts you over eat, consider whether you eat the skin.
Animal skin contains glycine, a necessary component of methylation in the body. In plain English that means glycine converts to B vitamins, which convert to neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, and melatonin that make us happy, calm, and sleepy. Essentially the skin is a happy pill, which will come in very handy with the stress of Thanksgiving dinner.
3. Be Resourceful
Since we all most likely over spent our budget for this meal, let's make up for it. Your family may not crave turkey for a few days, so throw the carcass in a ziplock bag in the freezer and postpone making a deliciously, nutritious bone broth for a time when your well rested and recovered. Check out this Bone Broth video that takes you through the simple steps.
4. Be Grateful
We spend holidays slowing down and getting ready to have a SLOW FOOD experience. What does SLOW FOOD mean? Well it involves giving thanks for the food we eat, from the animals that sacrificed their lives, to the farmers that raised them. From the driver that delivers the food to the chef that slaved over the meal; there are so many pieces to the puzzle.
SLOW means eating food that was grown clean from pesticides, eating food that was hand cooked with a labor of love, and celebrating every bite. It's about relaxing, savoring your food, enjoying your family and being grateful for everything on your plate and in your life.
And finally don't forget to breathe! This Thanksgiving, take time for yourself. Even if it's just to sit down, close your eyes, and take 5 deep breaths. Remember that it's just dinner. People will eat, they'll be happy, and they'll be grateful that you cooked for them, offered your home, and had the mess on your hands.
There's my Thanksgiving survival tips. If you're worried about indigestion from your monstrous meal, check out my Thanksgiving Digestive Tips from 2014. I hope you and yours have a delicious celebration in honor of all that we have to be grateful for!