In the United States, tomorrow is Thanksgiving – the start to the holiday season that rolls right through Easter in spring, with all the multitudinous accompanying opportunities to overindulge in order to take our minds off the dark days of winter.
In honor of the holiday, here are a variety of articles on taking care of yourself through this weekend and into the winter holidays:
- Stock a natural foods pantry for less, with tips from Sarah Winfrey at Wise Bread. She has some excellent suggestions about lowering the cost of eating naturally by avoiding processed foods. I would add that we find great deals (and have fun) looking for natural staples at “ethnic” markets in our city (markets that carry a variety of goods from various parts of the world). We have most success at H-Mart (there’s a link at the top of their site for English language), and a local Indian grocery.
- If you or someone you cook for is gluten-free, there’s no need to deprive yourself — or fall off the wagon to enjoy your traditional foods. Gluten-free goodies won’t be quite the same, but if you want a very, very close approximation, run, do not walk, to buy Gluten-Free Baking Classics by Annalise Roberts. I literally bless her name at dinnertime now. I can personally vouch for the chocolate chip cookies, biscuits, pie crust, pizza crust, focaccia and crepes. Let’s just bless her again. Bless you, Annalise Roberts.
- Watch your sugar intake. Sure, the holidays are all about enjoying sweet treats, what with dancing sugarplums and all. But a doctor once told my husband that he believed winter colds are primarily prevalent in the winter because of the candy-eating season that begins with Halloween and doesn’t end till the last jelly bean is devoured after Easter. This article looks at both sides of the issue and concludes there isn’t a lot of persuasive evidence. But look at it this way: Would skipping a few sweets HURT your health? I didn’t think so. And reining in the sweet tooth might keep off a few toffee pounds, too.
- Preserve autumn bounty. Our CSA (community-supported agriculture) season is winding down. That means the CSA farm is loading us up with the last of our root and storage vegetables. We will spend a little time this week preserving some of these goodies for future consumption. Coincidentally, Down to Earth just provided a recipe for refrigerator pickled beets, and Chiot’s Run wrote about making sauerkraut for New Year’s. Beets are loaded with vitamins and iron, and sauerkraut (like other fermented foods) has beneficial bacteria that help “create a beautiful and healthy area” in your gut. I will confess that I’m not a natural fan of sauerkraut, but I’m working on it. We’re going to start a batch fermenting this weekend, and I vow to eat it.
How do you plan to keep Thanksgiving healthy — or make a tiny step in that direction?