That means something different to everyone.
What does Thanksgiving mean to you?
For some people, it is about family, for some it is about the food, for others it is about Black Friday 🙂 For individuals suffering from Anorexia, Bulimia or Bulimarexia, it can be a nightmare, as it means overeating, or being expected/given permission to overeat. For those suffering from obesity, it is another challenge in a never-ending set of challenges to stay on track and not over-indulge. For those who do not have family or friends, it can be a lonely day.
It has gotten very complicated for many of us. But what it was supposed to be about is giving thanks – or gratitude. Would that we could practice this everyday instead of just one day a year. We would all be so much better for it.
Gratitude has amazing powers to heal. It turns out that being thankful is healthy. Literally. People who are grateful are generally in better health than those who are angry or bitter. You know how keen I am on a “clean” diet? Well it turns out that complaining and judging are almost as unhealthy as a poor diet. There is very good research on the difference in physical symptoms between bitter versus thankful people, with thankful people winning hands down.
Why? Because gratitude shifts your perspective. It helps you focus on the positives instead of the negatives. In psychology, we know that whatever we focus on grows larger. So it only makes sense then to focus on the positive instead of the negative.
Gratitude is a focus on the positive. If you do it enough, the negatives grow smaller and smaller and at some point, you barely notice them.
Gratitude can act like an antidepressant. I often have patients who are really struggling list 3 things that they are grateful for. It is amazing how helpful this can be. Many of my patients report that this activity changed the way they were feeling for the rest of the day, or sometimes the rest of the week.
That is what Thanksgiving is about. Gratitude. Giving thanks for the blessings that we do have, however small.
A tip for my patients struggling with eating disorders and obesity:
- If you are not hosting, take your own food and share it, so you have at least one dish you feel comfortable eating.
In addition for everyone:
- Focus on the loving feelings and people and suspend the self-doubt and self-criticism
- Play with a little kid, the cat or the dog
- Pitch in
- Compliment the chef or if you are the chef, accept the compliments graciously. Say thank you.
Thanksgiving is about more than just food…. and so are YOU!!
If you need support over this holiday season reach out to me directly at 513 205 6543.
Dr. Renae Norton
1 large loaf organic sour dough bread (cubed & set out to dry overnight. 1 large loaf yields 9 cups loosely packed cubes)
3/4 cup cooked green lentils
3 Tbsp. coconut oil or vegan butter
1/2 cup onion (diced)
3/4 cup celery (diced)
Salt, pepper, sage to taste
3 – 3 1/2 cups vegetable or turkey broth
2 whisked eggs (or vegan egg substitute)
½ pound sautéed organic extra spicy pork sausage
- The night before, cube your bread and set it in a large bowl to dry out – you want it to be the texture of day old bread – noticeably dry but not rock hard.
- The day of, if you haven’t already cooked your lentils, do so now by thoroughly rinsing 3/4 cup lentils in cold water, then adding to a small saucepan with 1 1/2 cups veggie broth or water (amount as original recipe is written adjust if altering batch size).
- Cook over medium-high heat until a low boil is achieved, and then lower to a simmer and continue cooking uncovered for 20-30 minutes. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and line a 9×13 pan (adjust if altering batch size) with parchment paper.
- Sauté onion, celery (and pork sausage) in the coconut oil and season with a bit of salt and pepper and sage. Cook until fragrant and translucent – about 5 minutes. Set aside.
- To the bowl of bread, pour most of the broth then add the remaining ingredients (sauté sage, eggs and lentils) and mix with a wooden spoon. The key is to make sure it is about the consistency of a meatloaf. If it’s too dry, add more broth and mix again. If it’s gotten too wet, add more bread. DO NOT OVER MIX.
- Transfer to the prepared pan and cover with Glass cover or aluminum foil. Bake for 45 minutes. Then remove the foil or lid so the top can brown. Increase heat to 400 degrees F (204 C) and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the top is well browned and crisp.
- Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving. Leftovers reheat well in the microwave or oven, though best when fresh. You can also use this recipe to stuff a turkey!
This vegan, plant based, non GMO, soy free egg substitute is a great way to simplify cooking without eggs! Use in any recipe that requires eggs as a binder, like my Clean Stuffing Recipe!
Thyroid: Weight and Wellness Workshop
Starts December 19th at 6:00 p.m. then held every other Thursday
6 Sessions for $45/session
2891 Ziegle Ave. Cincinnati, OH 45208
Call or text Alli – 513 212 8799 to reserve your spot today!
Materials contained on this site are made available solely for educational purposes and as part of an effort to raise general awareness of the psychological treatments available to individuals with health issues. These materials are not intended to be, and are not a substitute for, direct professional medical or psychological care based on your individual condition and circumstances. Dr. J. Renae Norton does not diagnose or treat medical conditions. While this site may contain descriptions of pharmacological, psychiatric and psychological treatments, such descriptions and any related materials should not be used to diagnose or treat a mental health problem without consulting a qualified mental health care provider. You are advised to consult your medical health provider about your personal questions or concerns.