Technically, my first holiday after my surgery was Christmas. I had my surgery on December 15th. Ten days later my family and I were sitting down to a tremendous meal with all the fixings and pies and everything else…and I had cream of chicken soup – strained. Doesn’t sound too appetizing, but it did hit the spot for me. Being only 10 days out from surgery I could not eat solid foods yet and it really didn’t bother me a bit to watch everybody else eating this amazing meal. Now that I’m almost a year out – things are different. I can eat whatever I want, and with the Holidays upon us I was a little bit worried about how Thanksgiving would go for me. In the past – I would just eat until I was uncomfortable and my pants were too tight. This was obviously not an option this year! So, Thanksgiving was like my first real holiday post-surgery and to be honest, I think it went really well!!
We stayed home this year and invited my Hubby’s mother and step-father down. I was in charge of cooking the meal – which quiet honestly – is exactly how I like it. I feel awkward if I’m not cooking or baking. I am one of those people who would love to host 25 people for a holiday meal. Call me crazy, but, I love entertaining! I started prepping the dinner on Wednesday night after one last crazy run to the local Hannaford. The place was a total zoo – but that’s normal on any holiday eve. On Wednesday night I baked all my pie – pumpkin, homemade chocolate cream, and one of my Hubby’s favorites – dutch apple. I also prepped the stuffing and some of the other sides. While making my menu, I decided to make all the traditional Thanksgiving options. However, I added a few things that I knew I would enjoy and be able to eat. One great thing about Thanksgiving? The main course has all the protein you need – Turkey!! Lucky for me, I LOVE TURKEY!!
In terms of sides we had: stuffing, mashed potato, carrots, peas, corn, Brussel sprouts with bacon, mashed sweet potato, and a delicious whipped cauliflower casserole with cheese and bacon!! My mother-in-law brought her delicious rolls and that was pretty much dinner!! I wanted to make sure that everyone had something they liked to eat. I also wanted to make sure that I had some things that I could eat. Truthfully, I could eat everything on my menu. However, I wanted to make some healthier #lowcarb options for myself – that’s where the cauliflower mash and mashed sweet potato come in. I will provide the recipe for the mashed cauliflower casserole next time…but holy, that was delish. I definitely will be making it again.
On the morning of Thanksgiving I got up really early and took my crazy little dog for our typical walk. She really enjoys it and I actually do too. It will be sad when it becomes too cold and snowy to hit the roads with her. We did about 2.5 miles and then I came home and made the stuffing and stuffed our 20 pound bird. I got that turkey ready for the oven and did some other prepping. At around 8:30am I headed off for my first ever Turkey Trot. I have always wanted to do a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning – and this year I scheduled it into my plan for the day and I DID IT. It was simply beautiful as it was right on the ocean in Roques Bluffs. I ran the 5k in 28.88. It was untimed – but I kept the time on my Fitbit. It was an awesome way for me to start my day. I felt good about myself and accomplished after. I felt like I had kept up my end of the bargain to myself to stay on track.
After the race, I came home and headed back in the kitchen. I put out a couple appetizers for people to munch on since lunch wasn’t until about 2pm. I chose really easy appetizer options. In the past, I’ve done lots of dips and crackers. This year we did deviled eggs, a couple kinds of cheese, salami, and some pickled things! I also cut up some veggies so that I could have some cheese with veggies instead of crackers. I did not eat a deviled egg – although it would have been a good option for me. I made them with a lot less mayo than usual. I do love cheese and had a few pieces.
When the timer popped on the bird it was time to let the festivities begin!! The Thanksgiving meal went over well and was really good. I was satisfied with what I put on my plate. In the years past, I would have easily stuffed myself with the appetizers and then over stuffed myself with the main course. This year, I did not do that. I ate until I was full but not stuffed. I have been working on paying attention to the cues that my tiny tummy gives me. I know when to stop and that for me was half the battle. I skipped the stuffing, mashed potato, and gravy. I made sure that protein was the biggest portion on my plate and tasted the other sides. I was not jealous of other peoples plates. I really felt satisfied and that felt like a success for me.
I took a before and after picture of my plate. We hardly every use these old white plates. My mother gave them to me when we moved into our house. I don’t think they are special or China – but I feel fancy when we do use them. One thing that I like about them now is that they are small. Since they are old, they do not represent the portion sizes that American are used to now.
As you can see – I ate a good portion of my turkey meat. I chose the dark meat because it’s my favorite. I also ate the cauli mash, most of my Brussels, and a bite of each my mashed sweet potatoes and carrots.
For dessert we had many pies. I love to bake and my surgery really hasn’t changed that. I don’t really eat much of what I bake these days – and that’s OK with me. This year my daughter made her everyone pie all by herself. She made a no-bake cheesecake in a graham cracker crust with blueberry topping. She was very proud of herself and so was I. My company really enjoyed the pies that I made and that is something that also makes me happy!! One of my main goals with this journey is not to deny other people what they want – just because I can’t eat pie, doesn’t mean that everyone around me should stop eating pie. I did have a bite of the Dutch Apple and a small bite of my daughter’s pie. Her pie was good but way too sweet for me – a bite was totally enough for me. I like pumpkin pie but I’m OK with passing on it. The chocolate cream pie looked delish – but I’m more interested in the cream part of it. I added a dollop of it to the protein coffee I had after cleaning up the kitchen…that was a great treat!!
On Black Friday – my girl and I hit the road to the big city of Bangor to take on the mall and surrounding areas. We are not crazy enough to be there by 6am – we take our time and do what we want to do. We were lucky enough to meet up with some of my amazing lady friends that their daughters for a really great lunch. We had some Sweet Frog and she bought a vest at Old Navy. It was a lovely day and I was so thankful to spend that one-on-one time with her.
All and all, Thanksgiving turned out pretty awesome. I was able to have a pretty normal day and not focus too much on food. I kept myself busy and really enjoyed the day. I know the people around me enjoyed the meal I prepared and that means a lot to me. They also were gracious enough to try my “healthy for me” options – which I really appreciated. I feel good about the challenge of the holidays and I am confident that I will be able to also handle Christmas. Truly, the most important thing about these holidays is spending them with the people you love. The food is good, the pies are yummy, but it’s the people that should be the center of attention.
As always, thank you for checking out my blog this week. I hope that you found something useful or something that you can share. Please come back as I have lots in store of December!!