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“It’s not what’s on the table that really matters…it’s what’s in the chairs.”

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Hey All!

Thanksgiving is just 2 days away! My most favorite and cherished holiday of all!! A whole day set aside in the middle of the week to give thanks and to celebrate our gratitude with family, friends, food and fun. What a fabulous day!!!

The LAST thing I want is for anyone to approach this holiday with fear or dread because of the food. No one became overweight from eating too much food on Thanksgiving….or any holiday for that matter. Food does NOT control you. Foods are not “good” or “bad” and you are not “good” or “bad” for eating or not eating certain foods.

I know food plays a big role in the festivities of Thanksgiving….I’m not trying to talk you out of that, but it’s not the only important part of the tradition. As my friend Alice taught me…”It’s not what’s on the table that really matters….it’s what’s in the chairs.”

Here is my Turkey Day challenge to you….SLOW down and be present for as much of the holiday as possible. Take the time to visit and catch up with the people around you. Really listen to what’s being shared, take the time to enjoy the smells, be mindful of the feelings and the love surrounding you during Thanksgiving. When you do eat……….Taste the food. REALLY taste the food and the effort and care that went into making it for you. Savor it and focus on the quality, not the quantity. Don’t go into unconscious eating mode!!!

All too often we get caught up in the moment and we miss the little things…the things that make life SO precious. If you can stay present and not go into mindless eating mode this Thanksgiving, when the day is over, you will have made the absolute most of it and it won’t be a Thanksgiving you’ll soon forget. Let’s make this Thanksgiving a truly satisfying experience all around.

Whether you attend my Weight Watchers meetings and I know you personally or if you just subscribe to my blog and we’ve never met, I want to thank YOU. Often you write to me saying that I must have read you’re mind because what I wrote was just what you needed to hear that day. It brings such a smile to my face to hear from you, because in fact, the entries I post come straight from my heart out of the challenges I face each day too. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. WE are not alone. Thank you for being such good examples of that by sharing your thoughts, challenges, triumphs and even recipes with me!! I am extremely blessed. Managing weight and eating issues isn’t easy for any of us, but together we have found a way that is livable and even FUN…at least on most days!

My best advice for after the holiday is to get right back on track as soon as is reasonable for your plans. NO MATTER WHAT happens on Thanksgiving, don’t feel bad about it! There is no room for guilt, shame or regret in a healthy lifestyle. Make choices that are worth it and move on!!! This is only the first of many holiday events this season, so if you end up eating too much or want to do things differently next time…you’ll have that opportunity very soon. Feedback NOT failure. This is a learning process….be kind to yourself!

For me, planning ahead and having some healthy, low PointsPlus value foods prepared and waiting for the crazy weekend after Thanksgiving is important. Cole has a 3 day long holiday basketball tournament that we will be watching and we start our Christmas decorating, so the last thing I will want is to be is held up in the kitchen cooking! So I’m making a couple of my favorite mostly vegetable based recipes this week and freezing them for when we get back. It not only helps me get back to my healthy habits more easily, it also allows me to spend the weekend doing the fun things and not worrying about what I can or can’t eat. I can’t stand that feeling!!! Even if we order pizza or eat out, I know I can “fill up” on my low Point foods before we go or at the next meal to keep me within my daily target.

Many of you already love this recipe, but for those of
you who haven’t tried it or have lost the recipe…here it is again. I’ll be “feasting” on it myself after I return from visiting family downstate as I try to stay within my Daily Points Plus target to offset the homemade sausage stuffing and hand rolled noodles my Mom and aunts make for our meal. Not to mention my birthday cake:-)

I will be leading both the 10a and noon meetings in Schaumburg today (Tuesday) as well as the 930a and 1130a meetings in Naperville on Wednesday. Come see me for a meeting before your celebration starts!!!

I wish you and your families a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!!!

All is well!!!!

ONE POINTS PLUS value CHILI

Servings: 22 Cups

1 Point Plus Value per Cup

Freezes great and can be served with jalapenos, fat free sour cream, chopped onions and fat free cheese depending on how many Points Plus you want to spend.

Also..if I don’t have time to cut up all those veggies, I use frozen ones and it works great!

INGREDIENTS

10oz extra lean ground turkey
1 med onion
2 28oz cans diced tomatoes
2 medium zucchini – diced
2 medium yellow squash – diced
15oz can black beans – rinsed and drained
1 can solid pumpkin
2 cans of beef broth
4 stalks of celery – diced
2 green peppers – diced
2 packages chili spices – depending on personal taste

Brown turkey, drain fat and rinse in a strainer. Pat turkey dry and set aside. Sautee the fresh veggies in soup pot using non fat cooking spray. Add broth, tomatoes, browned turkey, pumpkin, beans and spices. Simmer for 20-30 minutes or as long as desired.

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