Thanksgiving is definitely my favourite time of year. Surrounded by food and family, love and laughter, desserts and wine. What else can you ask for? I was unable to go back home to Edmonton due to school and work commitments, but luckily my second family drove up for the weekend. The first night my boyfriend made a delicious traditional Lebanese dish, chicken shawarma, along with homemade hummus and tzatziki, and I made a Lebanese salad. It was very authentic, very garlicky, and a perfect along side a glass of pinot noir.
The next night, after working a long day I came home to an amazing seared tuna salad with a light sweet chili dressing, and fresh cucumber and avocado! Also, a crisp glass of Summerhill sparkline wine, cipes brut. I will definitely be remaking this and adding this to the weekly menu. So fresh. So light. The tanginess of the dressing paired perfectly with the champagne. I could have sat there for an hour savoring every bite but we had to race off to watch the Kelowna Rockets game, who unfortunately lost.
This morning while the boys golfed, us gals hit up the farmers market. I have to say the Kelowna Farmer’s Market has the most beautiful organic produce! I jus hatd to snap a picture of these gorgeous carrots.
We picked up most of the produce for our Thanksgiving, and headed back home to prep everything up. Our menu consisted of mashed cauliflower, roasted root veggies (golden beets, tri-colored carrots, and turnips), sauteed black kale, and a big ol’ roasted turkey and stuffing! As you know, I don’t usually incorporate bread into my diet (for the record I am not a diagnosed celiac or diagnosed as gluten intolerant, I just prefer leaving out refined flour and processed foods from my diet), but stuffing is just something you can’t leave out on Thanksgiving dinner! Craig’s mama made it with some rye bread crumbs we picked up from the farmer’s market, and it was delicious! I am also proud to say that I finally stuffed my first turkey, and will definitely b e the first of many. Not only was this weekend filled with good food and good company, but I got the pleasure to cook along side my boyfriends mama, who is such an inspiring and knowledgeable woman in the kitchen.
Weekends like these remind me what truly is important. You can’t beat a home cooked meal, and sitting around your kitchen table with loved ones, can you? A year ago, this weekend, I competed in my first bikini competition. Although I worked my buns off and was so proud of accomplishing my goal, there were some definite hard times afterwards that I didn’t see coming. Constant macronutrient counting and myfitnesspal logging, over exercising, negative body image, binge eating behaviour, and just overall very unhappy with myself and my body. It was hell, and I am so HAPPY I only lived it shortly and was able to heal myself. I cannot imagine the girls that struggle with this disordered eating behaviour for years. Truly practicing self love daily and learning to let go and eat intuitively is what saved me from a very dark, and scary path. As a mental health professional I am fortunate to have had the tools to reach body freedom. Today, I get to dream up delicious recipes with real, whole food, and not give a crap about a number an ingredient or food represents. To be honest, I really only care about a few things when picking my meals for the week. I base my meals on 1: how tasty it’s going to taste, 2: how nutritious it is for me, and 3: how picture worthy it is! Yes, food is fuel. But food is also our foundation, our building blocks that keep our lungs breathing and hearts happy. If you approach a meal with apprehension, and finish it with guilt, you then have guaranteed yourself an evening filled with food anxiety and thus the hormonal changes that go on as a result of those thoughts. Trust me, it’s a thing. Mind over matter, you are what you think, etc. etc. Listen to your body, and answer it’s needs. Let go of those negative thoughts and feelings. Do me a favour and enjoy all the turkey, all the mashed potatoes, and all the pumpkin pie!