Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Another season come and gone – the beginning of another Christmas season. A time for families to unite and rejoice – yet at our table there are several empty spots. No grandpas and grandmas to tell stories of long ago to the grandchildren. Ones we’ve all heard a million times and wish we didn’t have to endure again. And then suddenly, they are gone. No more family stories or memories, except those that we can remember. Another generation lost to the next. Heart disease, obesity and diabetes are more than silent killers – they are family thieves. They come when we are too busy and too distracted to pay attention to our health, too lazy to get off the sofa and exercise and too stubborn to admit that our lifestyle choices are not healthy. This Thanksgiving, we are celebrating the life we have and the choices we’ve made. We have decided to take charge of our health – preventative health - and enjoy the fruit of our choices. Choices to liberate our taste buds to the wonderful flavor of unadulterated food and engage our minds in expanding activities and move through life with ease and flexibility that regular exercise affords us. In order to do that, we keep Thanksgiving joyful, stress-free, focused on the right things, simple and also delicious. We all snuggled in bed today - laughing and sipping our coffee. My 6 and 7 year old are so excited that they finally figured out how to make coffee for us – just the way we like it. I always dreamed about being served my first cup of coffee in bed and it’s finally come true – certainly in the way I never imagined. It was wonderful having everyone snuggled together on a cold day, laughing and talking and planning our activities for the day. We didn’t have to rush out of bed trying to get all of the preparations done. There is plenty of time for that today – and the memories we made this morning by making the time to relax and bond together as a family are priceless. They are certainly worth our decision to keep Thanksgiving dinner easy and tasty. Not that we don’t love elaborate and creative dishes some days- but it sure is nice having all of the comforts of down home cooking – with a really healthy twist. Like the pumpkin pie I fixed this morning. My 6 year old helped and just loved to lick all of the extra pie filling from the Vita-mix container. Yum, Yum! According to him, it’s the best pumpkin pie he has ever tasted.

Pie Crust:
1 ½ cup + 3 T flour (we use all whole wheat – but you can use whatever you like
1 ½ tspn sugar
¾ tspn salt
½ cup cold-pressed oil
3 T soy milk
Mix dry ingredients together in pie plate.
Mix milk and oil together in measuring cup, until fully mixed.
Add oil/milk mixture to dry ingredients, blending with fork until crumbly and thoroughly mixed.
Press pie crust onto bottom and sides of pan.

Pumpkin Pie Filling
1 - 15 ounce can of pumpkin
1 package of extra firm tofu, well drained
½ cup sugar or natural sweetener
1 ½ tspn cinnamon
½ tspn ginger
¼ tspn all spice
¼ tspn nutmeg
1/8 tspn salt
1 T cornstarch
Place all ingredients in blender or Vita-mix or food processor, processing until well blended
Pour filling into pie crust and bake at 375 degrees for 50 minutes.

I hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving. Take some time for fun and laughs. Elaborate cooking is fun when you want to take the time, but it’s wonderful not to be held in bondage to it. And remember, eating healthy can be fun, fast, easy and most of all tasty.

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