This blog is an accounting of my personal journey to find fitness. All the content on this blog should be read as a biographical piece of literature, not a medical resource. I am a physician, but I am in no way giving medical advice or establishing doctor patient relationships with my readers. I am simply keeping a diary. If you are starting a diet or exercise program or require medical evaluation or advice, please see your own family physician.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving: The Rodney Dangerfield of Holidays

Hello on this wonderful Day of Thanks.   I missed posting yesterday. Sorry about that. I was home with the kids all day and boy is that tiring. Between the trip to the store for the last few items I needed and cooking and entertaining the kids, there wasn't much left for me.

I am feeling better. But, still coughing and wheezing. No more fever, sore throat is better. This week I haven't gotten as much water in. Still getting the minimum, but this week with feeling sick, I haven't been able to drink it without feeling like puking. I also haven't been able to exercise so I haven't seen a loss yet this week. I just don't burn calories when I'm sick the same way. But, I'm really not worried. I'm staying the course. I know things are working because yesterday I wore a pair of size 14 shorts that I couldn't button a month ago. (Yes. Shorts! It was 80 degrees here yesterday. The kids were outside barefoot in short sleeves.)

I am staying home today and I'm cooking which is great because I have complete control over the menu. We're having turkey breast and dressing. I have a salad and a cranberry salad.  The cranberry salad is made with apples, oranges, pineapple and sugar free jello. I left out the sugar that the recipe calls for. I am roasting the sweet potatoes this year with splenda brown sugar instead of the mashing them with sweetened milk, tons of cream and sugar like usual.  I already made my sugar free fruit pies. They have cherries, pineapple and pecans, topped with fat free cool whip.  At 180 cals per slice that's a dang good dessert option. The boys wanted my rum raisin apple pie. So, I am making it as a crisp. Avoiding the calories and carbs of the double crust. I don't like apple pie much, but this recipe is good, make with only fresh apples and raisins cooked and marinated in rum. With the oatmeal crisp topping it will be many fewer calories.

I've always loved Thanksgiving. It is so great to hang out with family all day. I have the luxury of time to cook for them. And to top it all off, there is plenty of football.  As a kid Thanksgiving was always a lot of fun.  I have very vivid memories of waking up on Thanksgiving morning. The kitchen was already full of grownups and filled with yummy cooking smells.  I always got to help with the cooking until us kids started getting in the way.  Then we'd be shooed out to watch the parade.

When I was a kid the parade was more like a parade. Now they spend so much time on Broadway shows it's more like a variety show. I remember watching the floats and the giant balloons. All of us would be oohing and awing. The best part was seeing Santa at the end of the parade and knowing that Christmas was finally coming.

At lunch, we would say the prayer and dig in. This was one day I could eat what I wanted, even dessert. We would visit over dinner and catch up with each other. I didn't even mind sitting at the kiddie table until I was like 14.  After dinner, we would hang out and play cards or board games. If the weather was nice, we'd go outside and play frisbe, toss the football around and even play volleyball.  There was no schedule, just lots of fun and food.

Nowadays, the Christmas stuff arrives in the store before the Halloween candy is gone. Thanksgiving has been squeezed out of our schedules. Now it's more like the Day Before Black Friday than THE Day of Thanks.  On the news they've been talking about the shopping ad nauseum. They haven't done any spots on people volunteering or food pantries needing help or the like.  Plus, I got ads in the paper yesterday saying many stores will be open today.

When I was a kid, Christmas decorations and lights and lists were started the day AFTER Thanksgiving.  It was like a lovely quiet island before the hurricane of the holiday season began. No hustle or bustle that day.  The stores weren't open. There was no where to go. Nothing to do, but be forced to spend time with your family.  AND what exactly is wrong with that anyway?

Christmas has a WHOLE month for build up and excitement. Between parties and concerts and shopping and wrapping and cards and photo shoots and church activites, don't we have enough going on? Can't we give ourselves just one day to reflect on what really matters in life, on gratitude, on what Thanksgiving really means? 

I am determined to give Thanksgiving the respect it deserves. I am determined to show my kids what Thanksgiving means.  Therefore I NEVER bring out Christmas stuff until after. There are people in my neighborhood who will be eating Thanksgiving dinner surrounded by Christmas trees, ornaments, Santa figurines and wreaths.  To me that means Christmas has weaseled it's way in and distracted us from focusing on gratitude.

So today, we are surrounded by Pumpkins and Cornucopias and fall leaves. We will take this day to pause and be a family before the craziness starts.  We will spend time talking about the first Thanksgiving. And although I know it wasn't exactly like I was taught in school with Indians on one side of the table and pilgrims dressed in black hats with buckles on the other, my kids don't and they don't need to yet.  We'll talk about the Indians and how we have Indian blood in us and the bad things that were done. We'll talk about the Pilgrims and why they were brave enough to squeeze onto those little ships and sail across the ocean.  We'll talk about people who are less fortunate than us and how we have so much to be thankful for. Yes, we'll eat. We'll eat very well. Thanksgiving in our house will be about giving thanks.


  1. Not a smidge of Christmas here until after Thanksgiving :)

    Have a happy one -- and that apple rum crisp sounds amazing!!

  2. Yep - I've seen it in July...
    Oh, well.... Maybe Christmas IS everyday....
    in our hearts!
    Happy Holidays, Doc!

  3. I am thankful for so much, getting healthy in 2010 is near the top of my list behind family & friends.


  4. No Christmas here, either, until well after Thanksgiving. Enjoy your day with your family. Food sounds yummy, too.

  5. Happy Thanksgiving Doc! I hope you have a wonderful, perfect day with your family. Your menu sounds fantastic, so don't worry about food and just enjoy yourself & the family time!

  6. Happy Thanksgiving my friend!!

    - The Heavy Man

  7. I like it! And I take back what I said last week, that *was* a short post. ;-)

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  8. You are so right Doc, the holidays lose their meaning when commerce rams them down our throats for months in advance.

    Well done on healthy choices despite not being able to exercise as much as you would have liked...I love being the one doing the cooking too - if you want to eat healthy, gotta do it yourself.


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