Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Our Paleo Thanksgiving Revisited!

Thanksgiving Dinner!

As it’s a week before the big Turkey Day 2012, I wanted to share our Thanksgiving post from last year. I hadn’t really started posting recipes regularly so some of you may have missed it. Since we will be traveling to Illinois to see my family this year I won’t be cooking, but I hope you give some of these recipes a try as they were fantastic. I’ve left my original content here and added a few new comments (in italics) and pictures to some of the recipes.

This is Dr. Carrie. Dr. Court usually writes these posts but I thought it might be interesting to switch it up. Since tomorrow is Thanksgiving I thought it might be fun to share our menu. Normally, I don’t get the opportunity to cook on the holidays as we usually travel to be with either my family or his, but this year we decided not to go anywhere. As some of you know we eat mostly meat, eggs, vegetables and low glycemic fruit which means we try not to eat a lot of grains, sugar or processed food. I guess you could say we eat a Paleolithic diet which he has posted about in the past (see Why Eat a Paleolithic Diet?). We aren’t strictly Paleo as we do include some dairy in the form of cheese, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese and for me cream in my coffee.

Now, I grew up in a fantastic Midwestern, Standard American Diet family and it is sacrilege to not have pumpkin pie and stuffing to go with your marshmallow sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes and gravy, turkey, cranberry sauce from a can and green bean casserole. So, you can see my conundrum when it comes to preparing my own Thanksgiving dinner. Do I make the traditional dinner and call it a cheat day? But then what do we do with all of those leftovers? I mean we’re only 2 people. Or do I stick to my principles and make a “healthy” meal that’s just meat and veggies and have some fruit for dessert? Boring….that’s what we eat every day! (This year I do plan to make the Brussel Sprouts and Bacon to take to my big family dinner…they’re so good they’ll never suspect it came from a Paleo cookbook!)

I did what every American does…I Googled it! I wanted to see if there were recipes for Paleo versions of traditional Thanksgiving fare. Thanks to the Crossfitters who endorse the Paleo diet there are now tons of recipes online. I was amazed at what I found including an entire Paleo menu. I am not ashamed to admit that I am using most of the recipes from the first website I came across but how could I pass up Mushroom Butter Roasted Turkey, Beef Celery, Walnut and Apple Stuffing, Cranberry Sauce and Pumpkin Pie! If you want to see the complete menu, visit PaleoDiet Lifestyle.

After one click I had most of my menu complete. I still needed a yam recipe. I turned to my favorite Paleo recipe source EverydayPaleo.com. If you receive our email newsletter, you’ve heard me rave about Sarah Fragoso’s book Everyday Paleo. I love her recipes. They are super easy and sooooo tasty! I found a recipe for Paleo Holiday Yams right away. Of course that’s not the only recipe of hers I’m using. I made one from the book called Brussel Sprouts ‘n’ Bacon a few weeks ago and wanted to have it again. I also really wanted to try a recipe she calls “meat candy” aka Sausage Stuffed Dates for an appetizer. (I made these already. I tried to resist but they kept calling my name…they are AMAZING!)

Here is our complete Thanksgiving menu (pics below):

Appetizer:

  • Sausage Stuffed Dates

Dinner:

  • Mushroom Butter Roasted Turkey
  • Beef, Celery, Walnut and Apple Stuffing
  • Paleo Holiday Yams
  • Brussel Sprouts ‘n’ Bacon
  • Cranberry Sauce

Dessert:

  • Pumpkin Pie with coconut milk ice cream!

We’ll let you know how it all turns out. So far, so good! The Sausage Stuffed Dates are a winner but I haven’t tried anything else. I have to save something for tomorrow. We have a lot of food to eat so it’s a good thing we’re going to Turkey Torcher at KDR Fitness tomorrow morning. (I’m bummed to miss the Turkey Torcher this year. It was a blast last year and a great way to kick of Thanksgiving Day! I think there are only 2 spots left but you should contact KDR Fitness if you are local and interested in participating.)

Your family might appreciate one of these recipes at your next holiday dinner! I hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving Dinner be it Paleo or Traditional.

In the spirit of the season we are so Thankful for each and every one of our blog readers and patients. Your questions, comments and feedback are always appreciated and welcomed.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Sausage Stuffed Dates

I’ve made these little gems a number of time since last Thanksgiving. They’ve become a requested appetizer for get togethers! This was the large version but you can also make a smaller one bite version that’s just as addictive! (Sausage isn’t something that we recommend you eat a lot of as it typically has a lot of preservatives, but it’s fine to have once in a while especially if you buy an organic, preservative free version.)

Mushroom Butter Roasted Turkey

While the mushrooms on this turkey turned out a little crispy it tasted fantastic! I think I left it uncovered a bit too long.

Beef, Celery, Walnut and Apple Stuffing

This stuffing was so good that I’d make it as a meal! I’m glad I revisited this post so that I can do that! The texture is close to regular stuffing but a little different. Now in my family they usually make dressing, so the texture is quite different from that but it has all the right flavors!

Paleo Holiday Yams

These were yummy and reminded me of traditional holiday yams. With on a 1/4 cup of maple syrup they were sweet! You could probably just drizzle a little on there or leave it off entirely if you wanted.

Brussel Sprouts ‘n’ Bacon

I’ve also made these a number of times since last year! They’re tasty! I’m making them for my family for Thanksgiving this year.

(P.S. I’m also making my family Paleo Breakfast Bread and Chunky Apple Muffins to have at my baby shower…don’t tell! I don’t think they ever know they taste so good!)

Cranberry Sauce

Some how I forgot to take a picture of the cranberry sauce. It was good but of all the things I made last year I would tweak this recipe a bit. It was really tart. I would maybe take the maple syrup out of the yams and add it to the Cranberry Sauce.

Paleo Pumpkin Pie

Oh, now this was a hard one. I love pumpkin pie! My family loves my pumpkin pies and my grandfather used to request my pumpkin pies at Thanksgiving. Now that’s a big deal because my grandmother was an amazing cook! So, when it came to pumpkin pie it was hard to decide if I’d try something new or stick to the traditional. I ended up trying something new and was not disappointed! It was really good. It’s a little different but all the flavor that I love was there!

I encourage you to give one or all of these recipes a try for your Thanksgiving Dinner next week.  I think you and your family will be pleasantly surprised at how delicious they are and how great you feel when you’re not loaded down with all that bread and sugar. I know we felt great last year!

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Thanksgiving Weight Gain – Fact or Fiction?

The First Thanksgiving, painted by Jean Leon G...

Image via Wikipedia

It’s the start of the Holiday Season!  I love the holidays.  Food, fun and family.  It’s a great time of year for those things. It’s not a great time of year for most of us in terms of our health, however.  But, instead of focusing on the bad things, I want to fill you in on a health myth that surrounds Thanksgiving.  Hopefully I can put your mind at ease and you can enjoy your Thanksgiving just a little bit more.

Myth – I will gain 5 pounds from eating too much this weekend

This blog comes from something a patient said to me this morning about gaining weight this weekend.  I thought it would be a good topic to analyze and share with you all.

Weight gain is an interesting subject.  People are often very concerned about how much weight they gain over the entire holiday season from Thanksgiving to the New Year.  If you look at the statistics, most people are rightfully concerned.  The average American will gain 12 pounds over the holiday season!  That’s a lot to gain in just 6 weeks.

If the average American gains 12 pounds over 6 weeks then how could someone gain an entire 5 pounds over the course of this long weekend?  Is it possible?  If you ask many men and women across the country they will tell you it is.  I’ve had many patients tell me that they have weighed themselves before and after Thanksgiving and found they’ve easily gained 5 pounds in one weekend.  Fortunately, they are confusing what the scale says with actual weight gain.  Let me explain.

In order to gain 5 pounds of fat in just 4 days a person would have to consume an inordinate amount of food over that 4 day span.  One pound of fat contains 3,500 calories so five pounds of fat contains 17,500 calories.  You might be thinking, ‘I could eat 17,500 calories over this 4 day binge no problem.’  That may be the case but you have to remember that you will burn calories as well.  These calories are required for your heart to beat, for you to breathe, for your brain to function, etc.  The list could go on and on.  Essentially, given an average metabolism, you would have to consume an extra 17,500 calories over a 4 day period.  This does not apply if you are insulin resistant or have other hormonal problems.  Although it would still be difficult to gain 5 pounds in 4 days, keep that in mind.

Let’s put that into perspective –

The average person will burn about 2,000 calories in a day.  So over this 4 day holiday weekend a person would burn about 8,000 calories assuming no exercise is taking place.  That means to gain 5 pounds you would need to consume a total of 25,500 calories over the 4 day weekend.  That’s 6,375 calories per day!  That’s a lot of calories.

According to the American Council on Exercise, the average American will consume 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving day.  That’s no where near the required 6,375 needed to jump start this 5 pound weight gain.  And remember, you’d need to consume 6,375 calories everyday over the weekend to gain 5 pounds.

‘So then why does my scale read 5 pounds heavier on Monday?’ I hear you saying.  This is likely from water retention.  Between the meal, the alcohol and the lack of physical movement water begins to accumulate in all areas of the body.  Water weighs a lot and this is reflected on the scale when you check it.  Basically, it is a physiologic impossibility to actually gain 5 pounds of fat in 4 days.  Remember, the scale is only measuring your weight, not fat.  Many factors will affect your weight.  Try not to confuse what you weigh with actual weight gain.  In this case one does not equal the other.  Phew!

Now, this is not to say that you will not gain any weight over the holiday weekend.  You might, but it can be avoided.  Stay active and make your worst day Thanksgiving.  Don’t continue it through Sunday.  If you return to healthy eating habits and exercise after Thursday there is no reason for weight gain over this weekend.  Keep that in mind and enjoy!

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