Thanksgiving

Our Little Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, mostly because it is the perfect excuse to be off of work and hang out with family and friends. We spent the day at my parents' house, and it was such a great time. The boys played outside in the gorgeous sunshine, we ate amazing food (my mom is such a great cook!) and had plenty of leftovers, and we were able to just be together. The fellowship was just so wonderful. I love stopping and listening to my people, hearing about the ins and outs of their life, knowing what makes them tick. We are so richly blessed! 

A few pictures from the day.... 

This kid is SO fun right now. I say it at every stage, but my favorite stage of childhood is now ;)

This kid is SO fun right now. I say it at every stage, but my favorite stage of childhood is now ;)

This picture of E with his older cousin melts my heart! He adores the 'big boys', and they love him right back. He is also enamored with my sweet niece and loves to play with her!

This picture of E with his older cousin melts my heart! He adores the 'big boys', and they love him right back. He is also enamored with my sweet niece and loves to play with her!

I snagged a jar of my mom's homemade pickles, so so good! 

I snagged a jar of my mom's homemade pickles, so so good! 

Thanksgiving Thoughts

It is hard to believe that Thanksgiving is just two days away. This fall as simply flown by, and I am really looking forward to some time with my people. There are countless things in my life for which I am grateful, and I wish each and every one of you a happy and healthy holiday! 

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A few of my favorite things, Thanksgiving edition:

+ This table. Foraged branches + berries? Enough said. 

+ We stopped using scented candles a long time ago and rely on our essential oils for making our home smell nice. Also love these smudge sticks via Gardenista. You can even put a few drops of oils on pinecones or other kindling for a fragrant + uplifting fire.

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+ A great roundup of paleo and whole foods recipes for your Thanksgiving dinner. Specifically, this sweet potato casserole

+ Pumpkin pie is my favorite holiday indulgence, but the traditional recipe leaves me feeling less than stellar. I am making this maple-walnut pumpkin pie for the first time this year, and it sounds so amazing! 

A Paleo Thanksgiving

Holidays can be tough when you and your extended family have different ideas about food. Having  been through multiple holiday seasons being paleo, I think that we have a good balance figured out, so I thought I'd share it with you. Note that this is what works for us and that things are a little different on the years that we are hosting. Honestly it's easier to stay paleo when we do host, but here are my tips for a healthy, paleo Thanksgiving.

 

1 - Bring your own dishes

When we are going to another family member's home, this is sides and a small dessert. Bonus points if you get to bring the turkey! We take two side dishes that we like and are also crowd pleasers and if we want it, some cranberry relish. 

 

Here are some of my favorites:

Maple sage roasted butternut squash 

Brussels sprouts with bacon (I add dried cranberries)

Paleo green bean casserole

Cranberry orange relish (so much better than canned cranberry sauce!)

Paleo dinner rolls

Paleo pumpkin pie

Skillet apple pie from this book - a favorite!


I also make a grain-free stuffing to take to my mom's. This recipe is pretty killer as well.

And if you're interested, my favorite turkey recipe and cranberry butter.

 

It is definitely more work to make a few of your own sides or rolls, but we leave our extras at home and eat them over the weekend! You can find some of my favorite paleo holiday recipes here.


 

2 - Plan ahead

We go in knowing that our meat is going to be cooked in less than ideal ingredients and isn't going to be the best quality. This is just a concession that we make. We don't partake in the Honeybaked ham/turkey since they are laden with sugar and additives, but will definitely eat an oven-roasted variety. If we are going somewhere that we know there won't be anything we would eat, we eat at home beforehand and have a cup of coffee or cider at the gathering.

We also talk about what, if any, things we want to eat that are not paleo, and limit ourselves to one thing.


 

3 - Take a walk

It feels so wonderful to get outside and move around, especially after a day of indulging, sitting and chatting with family and watching football. Even if you don't feel like it and even if it's just for a ten minutes, go outside and take a walk. You will feel so much better!

 

Happy Thanksgiving week! Wishing you a wonderful week and a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

xoxo