Podcast Episode 8 – Thanksgiving Meal Planning

Thanksgiving meal planning causing a bit of confusion? Perhaps you are worried about keeping to your health goals during this Holiday season? Or perhaps you just need a starting point? Today, we have a conversation about what we have planned for our Thanksgiving meals.

We reminisce about what we use to eat and discuss ways to make the same dishes, just in a healthier way. Thanksgiving meals don’t have to look that much different than what you remember from your childhood and years of the past.

Listen in on our meal planning, recipes, and how we intend to make it work with other family members who may eat a bit differently.

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If you haven’t done so already, download the Delicious “No-Fail” Salads Guide.

Show References:

More Resources:

Guide to a Vegan Thanksgiving (YouTube Video)

Free Recipe e-Cookbook for Thanksgiving

Shonda (00:00): And on that day, people, like you said, you just keep eating and eating just because, you know, it's just like the thing to do. So if you have these healthier options there and all the other stuff's running out, you know, Hey, there's more food they're going to pick on us. Like, Oh, well, I guess I'll try that.

Shonda and Patryce (00:28): Hi and hello. Welcome to the real food and drinks lifestyle podcast. We're building a community to talk about nutrition, lifestyle choices, and just feeling better. This is Shonda and this is Patryce. Let's just be real. [inaudible] Here's our disclaimer. We do not officially practice in any of the various subjects that we discuss. We are only sharing our personal experiences with you to a healthier lifestyle. Please do your own research before taking part in any of these practices.

Shonda (01:14): Holiday meals and planning around that. And I guess we're talking about what holidays used to look like, right? And how they're going to look just specifically for this year. So how have they been in the past? What'd they look like this year and how we plan on preparing some of those meals, you know, sharing recipes.

Patryce (01:36): Sounds great. We are already in November. So Thanksgiving is around the corner. I know in the past I have really looked forward to a certain kind of menu, a more traditional menu, and very, I would consider my more decadent foods or at least the preparation of the foods being more decadent. And for example, you know, most of us have the Turkey and or ham and, uh, can't forget the cornbread dressing. [Shonda: Is that a Southern thing?] That's a very good question. To be honest with you. Although I was born on the East coast and have a lot of relatives there, my family, my grandfather is from Alabama. So I actually totally familiar with the corn bread dressing, but, uh, there were a lot of other people who, and still do the whole just, is it called bread dressing? It's not corn bread. It's just dressing made... not with corn bread, which to me was like, that's not dressing. So maybe from the Southern roots, there's the more emphasis on cornbread dressing.

Shonda (02:48): We've got to talk about cornbread dressing is usually a little sweeter, right?

Patryce (02:53): Well, yeah. Especially when people use Jiffy. I used to use Jiffy all the times because it's cheap. It tastes good. Growing up I thought it's just, Ooh, this is some good corn bread, but, but it has a lot of sugar.

Shonda (03:06): I know I'm going to have to go back and look at that label and see what all is in there. Yeah. Just sugar, sugar probably the first ingredient. Right?

Patryce (03:15): Uh, I don't know if it's the first, but it's definitely, it's, it's more like corn cake.

Shonda (03:19): Right. Okay. What was, uh, your Thanksgiving like? It sounds similar to mine.

Patryce (03:24): Okay. Well then those cornbread, the cornbread dressing, and we used to put meat inside of it, whether it was sausage or lamb, you would add some meat and some drippings sometimes. [Shonda:Right, yeah.] And then you had the, uh gravy. Can't have the table without gravy.

Shonda (03:45): It's called, uh, Giblet gravy.

Patryce (03:50): Oh giblets, giblets.

Shonda (03:50): And that's Part of the like chicken, right? That's part of... Is that the liver?

Patryce (03:55): Okay. The liver, heart and gizzards and neck of the chicken. [Shonda: Okay.] And yeah, you're right. We used to use that to flavor your gravy, but I used to eat the giblets themselves sometimes, but, um, oh can't forget the Mac and cheese. I don't know about your family, but growing up and even I have one child who loves it and not just any kind, my sister loves to make her Mac and cheese with four cheeses, not just one. And I think some creams and it was one of the more decadent. And then that not just green beans, but the green bean casserole...Okay...

Shonda (04:33): I never caught onto the green bean casserole. I mean, I've heard about it many times, but I've really I've... It has like what mushroom canned mushrooms.

Patryce (04:42): Cream of mushroom canned cream of mushroom. And then you're going to put sometimes some cheese of some sort and then those, Ooh, those, what were those things? The little crispy onion.

Shonda (04:54): I don't think we had it that much. Yeah.

Patryce (04:56): We did. We did. And it's not, I didn't realize until I was older. Even those onions you put on the crispy onions, they're not good for you. Okay.

Shonda (05:07): We have some solutions to that. So I know that everybody listening is probably getting hungry and like, yeah, yeah, yeah. What changes? We can't change that, but you can change that and still enjoy some of those things. So we're going to talk about that, but go ahead. What else? We have macaroni and cheese and okay. Okay. I know what's next. I think.

Patryce (05:29): Well, after the green bean casserole there, you had to have the rolls. Some kind of rolls and those were good. And then you round it up with, you have to have something to wash all this down with. And I definitely think in Texas iced tea, sweetened ice tea, that's always been a hit, at least that was on our table. Some sweetened iced tea. And, uh, of course the finale has to be sweets.

Shonda (06:00): Uhmm, hmm

Patryce (06:01): And, uh, sweet potato pie, pumpkin pie. Uh, I can't... My sister would make red velvet sometimes cake, but not just one dessert, but an assortment of desserts.

Shonda (06:13): Yeah. More desserts than dinner. Additions, right? And then, than the other food. Yeah. The dessert, were like, okay, this is the part that everybody waiting for. And the thing that I never could understand is how can you have just eaten all of that and then still pile on dessert. I mean, don't, you need some time between that?

Patryce (06:37): It's amazing what we do to our bodies and how they somewhat bounce back. [Shonda: Yeah.]

Shonda (06:43): Yeah. After you sleep it off in the evening.

Patryce (06:46): Yeah. That's true.

Shonda (06:48): Well, Your sounds a lot like mine, you know, a lot, like I remember as a child and what I tried to emulate too having my own family, I guess those traditions were passed on? Yeah. We had fried turkeys and baked honey hams, Honeybaked hams.

Patryce (07:11): Well, I wonder though, you brought up something about maybe bouncing back some after we sleep. I'm just wondering, do you remember after these traditional type meals, how did you feel, or maybe during them, did, did you, at that time, were you ever aware of?

Shonda (07:28): Well you know I was tired.

Patryce (07:33): And I don't think you are the only one...I hear all the time...

Shonda (07:34): I do remember. I remember sitting at tables with my relatives, you know, and like, like just out of it, you know, brain fog, even then, although I didn't know what brain fog was. I didn't have it to interfere with anything just because I was a child. So when I became a parent, you know, my responsibility was to take care of my child where I couldn't do it if my brain wasn't working. So that's why I probably never really noticed it until I became an adult. Yeah.

Patryce (08:04): Yeah, I wanted to... Because you've always been a little more sensitive to listen to your body. And, and you're right about the whole being a child versus the adult where you have more responsibilities. But now that I think about it, even as a child and definitely as I got older, that whole overwhelming feeling of like, this is good, but I am full, but I'm still eating and I am definitely full, but I am still eating and I'm thinking, what was I doing? But, um, I think back, and even as a child, there were times where I'm like, after that first dessert, that probably was enough because I had that huge meal, but I just had the taste of next one and the next one. And so, um, and for me, I would get that whole, I don't, it's hard to describe like a cotton mouth. And I think that's because I've shared in the past, my whole not wanting dairy anymore of the feeling like allergies or cotton, mouth and sugar. If I have too much sugar, I just get the cotton mouth feeling, um, that I used to ignore as a younger person. But now looking back as we've been reminiscing about these meals, I think that I was experiencing it, maybe not to the same degree, but just ignoring it more or less. [Shonda: Okay, Yeah.]

Shonda (09:16): So we've grown up a little bit, we've experienced life. And we decided, I think both of us decided we want to make a change, right? Because we wanted to have better health and you know, and it's been a step of progress along the way. You know, I feel like I've arrived at where I want to be right now, uh, where I intend on staying, you know, I guess for those who are listening for the first time or who haven't heard me say, so I'm full whole plant-based. So I no longer eat any animal products. Uh, it's been for three years now. And, uh, uh, just what my body appreciates. It causes me to eat more vegetables before eating any other foods, vegetables are upfront now. Whereas when I would eat meat, I would put my vegetables as sides. You know, so now when I cook for my family, because they still eat meat and many times it is a, a vegan meal that I prepare for them. And they're responsible for maybe doing their own meat sometimes, you know, meat is a side. So that's how I approach it. So you can share how you design your , your meals.

Patryce (10:29): Well, I can just piggyback off of what you just said. Um, unlike you, I'm not a hundred percent plant based diet, but I do treat the meat as the side and not the main. So the meat compliments, the vegetable packed or plant-based diet more so. And the types of meats I, I have decided, um, and even as a family, we do more lean meats. We, we, there are certain meats we just abstain from, we just choose not to do the pork and the beef. And instead we do the bison and lamb and, um, and we, we do salmon in my family. Uh, so we do have a few meat products, still in my family, but they are not showcased in the meal. They're the compliment. And for example, bison is a choice because, um, from our research, they're in the wild. So they're more responsibly... Not even raised, but they are killed in the wild.

Patryce (11:31): And then they're, they're less processed, more responsibly raised because they're not in these, you know, unhealthy environments being shot up with perhaps steroids or hormones and the salmon, the same thing we go out of our way to find as best we can the. Um, I'm able to get at Trader Joe's, the, the frozen, what do you call wild, Alaskan salmon. So we try to be as responsible as we can about where is it sourced and how is it processed. So if I can find a co-op and I have in the past where I know they're raising their own chickens and they are doing it the responsible way, the old fashioned way, then we would buy those chickens.

Shonda (12:15): The old-fashion way, right? [Patryce: Oh, Yeah.] The way it's supposed to be done. Right? Okay. So that's where we both are. Um, what are your plans for Thanksgiving week or day?

Patryce (12:30): Um, I do try to do a little planning with thinking high level about what what's going to be put on the table or offered on the table so that, um, I've have my eyes open for coupons or, or just suppliers of, uh, what I want to put on the table. So maybe a week or two before, uh, Thanksgiving, I'll think about the menu. And for example, if we're going to have duck, I'll make sure I make a trip to the farmer's market to get that duck from the provider and feel like they responsibly raised that duck, especially with the meat that I arranged in advance, to be able to procure that. So, um, it's, it's just being intentional about my shopping, but when you do spend the holidays with any friends or family, Hey, solicit them, bringing what they want to bring too. That's been a great help.

Shonda (13:22): You know, that's what I'm doing this year. I have suggested to each one of them that they make a dish. [Patryce: Super.] So I'm still going to do some of those same things. I'm going to make my cornbread from scratch. And then I'm going to use it to make cornbread dressing with cranberries, and it's going to be fresh cranberries. It will not be the cranberry jelly, whatever. I'm sure my son is going to bring that cause he loves that stuff, but you know, if that's what he needs.

Patryce (13:51): Hey more power to him. Bring it. Let him bring it.

Shonda (13:55): So, I am going to make a sweet potato pie. I've already tried that one and posted it. My daughter has tried it and she liked it. So that's a keeper. Um, I will be making, I have not made this yet, uh, from the same website that I got the cornbread dressing is going to be a, uh, a beanie loaf. And this one is made out of walnuts and chickpeas. Oh yeah. I'll make sure and link that one up and I'm going to make a salad and it's going to be probably not as much of a meal salad as I normally make, because I have the dressing, you know, I have the beanie loaf, so it's probably just going to be like a kale salad with carrots and maybe some more dried cranberries and probably cucumbers on the side. I just like cucumbers, but I want to kind of premake the salad, you know, and kale is tough enough to premake and you can sit it in there with the dressing and kind of let it marinate. So I'm just going to throw in a lot of, it's just mostly going to be a vegetable salad. So that's my plan. I don't know what they will be bringing or what they intend to make, but I think I've covered everything that I would like to have to eat. That's going to satisfy me as a holiday meal.

Patryce (15:15): Well, it sounds delicious to me, and I'm excited that you're sharing some of these recipes on your website and it sounds similar to ours. Um, what I'm hoping, uh, on top of the protein, then we're going to have a cornbread dressing as well. And I make it with a lot of vegetables, celery, onions, carrots, and rosemary, and I've made it with and without the cranberries as well. So I'll decide later on on that, but you know what I'm excited about this year, I want to do a vegan Mac and cheese, and I have a very good friend who says that she has friends even pay her to make her make them a delicious one. So if I can't convince her to make me a vegan Mac and cheese, I'm going to ask for her recipe,

Shonda (16:01): There are so many different ways to make a vegan cheese. You know, I used to just make it with like nutritional yeast and some cashews and, and, and plant-based milk, but I mean, you know, throwing in some carrots in there for more color and using actual potatoes instead of like a starch. Yeah. Okay. So I may make that for them because you know what I have made one that they did not argue about and it used butternut squash.

Patryce (16:30): So I'm looking forward to the whole vegan Mac and cheese this year, but also my family likes potatoes. So we're going to do the Japanese sweet potatoes. That's probably a mainstay at our house anyway. And then, you know, instead of that traditional green bean casserole, we just, we just steam green beans these days, or we'll have steamed broccoli, one of those. And then I like yourself make a kale salad. But with ours, it's complimented or we have the quinoa mixed in the kale salad. And you know what, I won't be making ice tea. If someone wants to make it, they can, but there'll be water. And maybe we'll splurge with some juice spritzers, um, fruit juice base spritzers or something like that. But, um, there's nothing wrong with just even having just water to wash this all down with yeah. The sweet potato pie. I'm going to make the one that you have the recipe for on your website. And then I like to offer fruit. That's a wonderful way to have dessert. So I sometimes make these little fruit kebabs, and they're very popular. You just put some pineapple, strawberries, grapes, whatever vegetables, uh whatever fruit you like. And that's another way for a yummy dessert.

Shonda (17:42): Yeah. Okay. Yeah. And you know, that, that website I'm talking about that even have a green bean casserole recipe. Yeah, they do. So, um,

Patryce (17:53): I'll have to check it out. This is going to be so similar and this is, what's so exciting these days, Shonda, you know, people keep thinking, if you're changing things up majorly, it's like, Oh, you're, you're messing up the holidays or you're restricting yourself. And woe is me or woe is you... And no, I don't want to do that. But if you just will try, it's amazing what, how your eyes are open to new things, tasting just as good.

Shonda (18:23): They can or even tasting in a different way, but still good. You know, there are new tastes to be explored. And, you know, the thought just came to me that because we're doing Thanksgiving differently due to COVID 19 and social distancing, this can be the perfect opportunity for many of our listeners to, you know, go ahead and, um, try a different plan this year because it's just, you know, it's just mostly them and you won't be concerned about other family members saying, Oh, I don't want that. Or commenting or whatever the case. It may be difficult for some., But this would be a good opportunity to try something new,

Patryce (19:10): Excellent opportunity. And I love that reminder because like you said, even within your own family, because some of us have older or adult children, if they really feel like, well, I want this and this, well, then they can make it.

Shonda (19:24): And you know what? And on that day, people, like you said, you just keep eating and eating just because, you know, it's just like the thing to do. So if you have these healthier options there and all the other stuff's running out, you know, Hey, there's more food they're gonna, they're going just like, Oh, well, I guess I'll try that.

Patryce (19:43): That's a good idea too. I love it. I love it.

Shonda (19:47): You know, I feel better that I have a plan. And, uh, from talking with you now, I, I feel definite. So, um, thank you for today. [Patryce: Thank you.] So be encouraged everybody try something new for your health this year, and it's going to be a great start.

Patryce (20:06): And if you do try things or have ideas, please feel free to share them with us. We'd love to know what you guys area planning to do too.

Shonda (20:13): Thanks for listening. We hope you enjoy today's podcast. Remember you can catch show notes and additional details at realfoodanddrinks.com under the podcast menu. Also subscribe to our podcast if you aren't already a member of our community. And if listening through anchor, please send us a message of topics you would like to hear us have conversations about until next time. Let's just be real.

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