Tuesday, November 30, 2010

One Day at a Time

As the holidays approach, I must say that I feel a bit scared of the coming test of my will. This is my favorite time of year. The house is decorated, the pantry is stocked with all the staples to bake the most delicious cookies and multiple parties will be attended. I have to admit that I have failed in one area - I have not exercised since early October. I started off great, then I got busy with a fundraiser and then Halloween, then just plain got out of the habit. I, however, have not slacked off in the least with my healthy food buying or cooking habits.
I'm still reading every label of ingredients and not just how much fat is in something. I don't look at that at all. I'm looking for junk. I have managed to abstain from anything containing HFCS, hydrogenated oils, MSG and other preservatives that are chemically created and packaged as food. Yeah! It's been hard to give up my favorites, but the health benefits far outweigh the taste of a chemical-laden Pop-Tart. In fact, I've found a lot of Organic substitutes for Pop-Tarts and Spaghettios! I also found this great natural food store and bought Oregano Oil and elderberry juice (immunity boosters).
One evening I experimented with making my own mayonnaise, remoulade, cole slaw and back fin crabcakes. All so very yummy, thanks to my neighbor (and mentor) Amy Butchko ( She gave me a quick cooking lesson.  It's fairly easy, but I will say that I blew through an entire bottle of sunflower oil to make all of that. So, it's definitely more expensive to make it yourself.
Thanksgiving was fun. I made all fresh sides, nothing out of a can and nothing packaged. I even made homemade marshmallows to go atop my Candied Yams. I use the recipe from Alton Brown on  They are SO easy to make and the taste is phenomenal compared to the bagged version. While decorating the tree, we enjoyed a mug of hot chocolate with the mallows on top and they just oozed and slid into the cocoa like hot butter. You gotta try it just once! I won't buy the bagged ones again.
Leftovers have been fun too. I made Turkey Pot Pie with homemade pie crusts on the top and bottom. And I'll be making Turkey Chili this week too. And my all-time fave is the Thanksgiving Sandwich - spread fresh cranberry sauce on both sides of bread, top with a slice of stuffing and slab of turkey and voila - yumminess!

On a personal note, our family's Thanksgiving was dotted with a little sadness. My Grandad passed away on Thanksgiving morning. Then, yesterday, a mom in my playgroup passed away. I lost a dear friend on Halloween and my other Grandfather in September. I really don't think I can take another loss. So please take care of yourselves, eat well, exercise, don't smoke, drink in moderation and remember to laugh.
And a big congratulations to my cousin Macy who has lost 75 lbs. and is cooking and eating whole! Kudos to you! Very proud!
For now, I'll be taking the holidays one day at a time, connecting with friends and family and enjoying my children's anticipation of Santa Claus.

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