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In this article, I’m going to share how you can make your favorite Thanksgiving dishes more high vibe, healthy, and have them well-received by all of your friends and family.

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to give thanks with friends and family and eat LOTS of delicious food. After the pie plates are licked clean, you will most likely be left feeling lethargic, heavy and dense for days. One of the best things that you can do to lessen the dip is to trade out certain ingredients in your favorite Thanksgiving dishes for options that are more healthy, nutritious, and easy to digest. Good news…you don’t have to sacrifice the flavor you love or the typical recipes you’re used to using.

It’s terrific to make healthy alternatives first and foremost so that you have something you can count on at Thanksgiving that is satisfying and matches your dietary and vibrational preferences.

5 Simple Switches To Make Your Thanksgiving Dishes Healthier!

There are many different schools of thought on the pros and cons of the 5 categories we are about to discuss. Some of these schools of thought are based on scientific studies while the others are most people’s fixed habitual preferences. Generally speaking, most people’s dietary challenges, especially around the Thanksgiving menu, originate from the categories we are about to go over. Below I list how you can switch out classic ingredients for healthier alternatives.

1. Fresh and Organic: The easiest way to make your Thanksgiving healthier is to use fresh organic ingredients. Classic Thanksgiving recipes frequently call for canned cream of mushrooms, green beans, pumpkin, and cranberries. Even being raised in a healthy home, I had used fresh cranberries or the meat of fresh pumpkin for pie. :O Switching to fresh organic ingredients has a higher nutritional value and is grown using less pesticides, which will lead to more flavor and a higher vibration.

2. Wheat and Gluten: Many people are allergic, to varying degrees, to gluten and wheat. Gluten and wheat can cause inflammation and challenges with digestion if not adequately fermented, even without pesticides and GMOs. There are great alternatives available for everything you wish to make, believe me, I’ve tried it all! For bread, I recommend buckwheat flour (this is my favorite brand – it has less of a rustic flavor), almond flour, and arrowroot flour. The delicious alternatives for deserts and pies include (ideally organic blanched) almond flour and different kinds of nuts (cashews, almonds, pecans, walnuts) and seeds for desserts and pie crusts.

3. Dairy, Eggs, and Butter: Many people are lactose intolerant, which again creates inflammation, mucus, problems with digestion, especially when pasteurized. Great neutral-flavored milk alternatives include cashew milk, almond milk, macadamia nut milk, and coconut milk, which you can make yourself or buy at the store. When it comes to butter, some great alternatives include coconut oil and high heat oils like grapeseed oil or avocado oil. The best butter alternative is palm butter (always buy sustainably harvested brands), but limit using it as much as possible because it is one of the most significant contributors to rainforest deforestation (along with soy and cattle). A great alternative to eggs can be made with chia seeds or flax seeds. All you need to do is blend one tablespoon of whichever seed with 3 tablespoons of water to make one “egg” for baking. 

4. Sugar: Need I even say the reasons for reducing your intake of sugar? ;). Sugar feeds yeast, bacteria, and parasites. It also creates inflammation, mood, and blood sugar imbalances. Great low glycemic sugar alternatives include coconut sugar, monk fruit, and birch derived xylitol. If you’re not as sensitive to sugar, you could use organic maple syrup or honey.

5. Alcohol: There are many detrimental physical and spiritual effects that result from drinking alcohol. Culturally, it can be challenging to be that person without a drink in your hand, but I’ve done it for a decade, so it’s possible for you too. My favorite alcohol alternatives include sparkling water with cranberries or fermented drinks like Jun or kombucha. 

Switching out ingredients to healthier and more digestible alternatives will keep your spirits high and ensure your immune system stays boost so you can stay healthy all winter long. 

When looking for recipes online, I suggest googling recipes with the terms “vegan” and “paleo”!  Another option is to switch to a more healthy ingredient and use classic recipes! I’ve made the latter approach with dozens of recipes from bread, to casseroles, to cranberries. It’s very doable and fun!

How To Approach Friends And Family Who Eat Differently Than You 

Here are some helpful things to remember and useful approaches that I’ve honed over my decades-long experience of being a “weird eater” when bringing alternative dishes to functions with “normal” friends or family. 

  • You can’t change anyone and trying to change other people’s dietary choices will make them more defensive and closed off. 
  • A well-received, classic vegan approach is to bring an alternative dessert to festive functions.  You can make alternative desserts using coconut cream, maple syrup, and rich nuts like cashews, so they’re very well received as the first step into alternative, healthy eating. 
  • You will not win your family over with tofurkey or loudly enjoying your salad in the corner on Thanksgiving. Meet others where they are at and don’t take away their whipped cream topped pie or beloved green bean casserole. Your best approach is to switch out a few ingredients in classic recipes so everyone can experience the nostalgia and tastes they crave. 
  • One of the best approaches I learned by being raised vegetarian in the 1990’s in Utah (which it was very strange to be vegetarian during that era) was to approach these kinds of events with kindness and graciousness towards other people’s belief systems and food choices. By having an open heart and not being pushy, others may be drawn to ask questions because your energy is delightfully inviting. 

I hope that these tips help you to have a more balanced and fun Thanksgiving dinner. 

I wish you a wonderful holiday season full of joy, compassion, and most of all… a happy belly.

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