Thanksgiving Eve Gratitudes

At this late hour, I’ve completed food prep for tomorrow and cleaned up the wonderful messes I make as I cook. I look forward to getting to bed and to a fun day with family tomorrow. The Thanksgiving Eve Gratitudes post will therefore be brief, but no less full of joy and thankfulness for the day.

Thanksgiving Eve Gratitudes

O Christmas Tree

I took advantage of mild temperatures this afternoon and snagged a Christmas tree. For the first time, I debated whether to purchase a freshly cut tree this year. I have green, living plants in the house, including two small evergreen type trees that could serve as Christmas trees.

However, I really enjoy the scent and the sight of a fresh tree, although I’ve downsized in recent years to trees that stand six feet tall. The thought of not having a tree made me feel sad, and that won’t do. I purchased a little beauty that I’ll decorate over the weekend. I’m grateful for the sunny weather today and for the great selection of trees at Lowe’s Garden Center.

Thanksgiving Eve Gratitudes

Free Movie with MoviePass

I’m a member of MoviePass, which means for $9.95 a month I can watch up to three movies per month, for free. This service has changed considerably since I joined last January. I recently wrote to the company and expressed concern about limited movie availability. I received a gracious reply and availability increased shortly thereafter.

When I checked the app today, I saw Bohemian Rhapsody was a free choice. I’ve seen the film, paid for that viewing, and loved the biopic so much that I had decided if it came up as a freebie, I’d be seeing it again. This day was full. However thanks to some planning, and Greg taking care of an errand for me, I was able to squeeze in a mid afternoon show. I’m so grateful for my MoviePass card and another opportunity to watch this incredible movie.

Thanksgiving Eve Gratitudes

Bohemian Rhapsody Soundtrack

After enjoying the second viewing of Bohemian Rhapsody, on this Thanksgiving Eve, I downloaded the soundtrack to my phone. Movie soundtracks are one of my favorite genres. Listening to the flow of songs reminds me of the corresponding scenes from the film.

The Bohemian Rhapsody soundtrack features 22 Queen songs. I love to have music playing anytime I’m cooking or cleaning in the kitchen. Tonight as I prepped food for tomorrow, I rocked out to Queen, singing my heart out. Freddie Mercury would either cringe…or be proud! I continue to feel gratitude for this extraordinary man who lived out his truth.

Thanksgiving Eve Gratitudes

Thanksgiving Eve Food Prep

Listening to Queen made my cooking tasks flow smoothly. In a couple of hours, I prepared five dishes that will go to my daughter’s house tomorrow. The stuffed acorn squash was already prepped and in the fridge, ready to go.

This evening I made a chopped veggie salad, black bean and corn salsa, raw cranberry relish, vegan wacky cupcakes and vegan pumpkin bread. I’m grateful for vibrant food and healthy treat options, and for the opportunity to gather with my children and grandchildren tomorrow.

Thanksgiving Eve Gratitudes

Thanksgiving Eve Full Moon

I had to slip outside and attempt a photo of the gorgeous full moon. The iPhone camera has a difficult time focusing on an object that is so far away. The photo doesn’t adequately capture the moon’s beauty.

However, I appreciated the sight and felt uplifted. My name, Cynthia, is the Greek form of the moon goddess Artemis. Perhaps because of that, I’ve always felt a connection to the silvery moon. It does not shine with its own light, but reflects the sun’s brilliance. I like that too. My desire is to be a reflector of light and honor my name.

I stood for a moment, gazing up at the moon. My heart overflowed with the gratitudes for this day, and also for the many blessings in my life. As this month of expressing daily gratitudes winds down, I am truly thankful for the heightened awareness and a greater perspective that this journey has brought.

Happy Thanksgiving Eve.

Thanksgiving Eve Gratitudes

An Abundance of Goodness

Day 4 of Gratitude Week falls on Thanksgiving Eve. I am doing what I usually do on this night before Thanksgiving…I am preparing food for tomorrow’s meal. We had our big family Thanksgiving Sunday, while my son was off work. Tomorrow is a more casual meal with my two daughters and their husbands, Greg, and grandson Dayan.

We are all contributing to the meal, which will include smoked turkey and brisket, for the carnivores in the family, and an abundance of veggie side dishes, for the plant based eaters.

My gratitude today is for the delightful fact that holiday meals and a plant based lifestyle are not exclusive of each other. I will dine well tomorrow and enjoy spending an afternoon with family. We will share food, talk, laugh, play games and celebrate a birthday.

I am grateful for a wealth of healthy recipes to try out. Tonight I made three dishes for tomorrow, trying out two new recipes and recreating a favorite from last year.

The foundation of the recipes was plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Here is a peek at what I am contributing tomorrow:

I made Raw Cranberry Relish, from Life Changing Foods, last year for the first time. I like cranberry sauce, even the blob of stuff from the can. This relish, made from fresh cranberries, apples and oranges is amazing. And it is so easy to make, using a food processor. The recipe calls for coconut sugar, which is a natural, unrefined sugar. Last year I substituted raw honey. Tonight I had coconut sugar on hand. This is seriously so delicious, that even people who think they don’t like cranberries might be surprised.

Cranberries are full of antioxidants. They not only aid in healing urinary tract infections, they reverse gallbladder disease, cleanse the liver and help with kidney stones. They also help heal cardiovascular disease and draw radiation out of the body.

I wonder why I only make this around Thanksgiving? While cranberries are plentiful, I should be making this relish once a week!

I am super excited about this Sweet Potato Casserole. I found the recipe on Pinterest, posted by Nutritional Foodie. I made a sweet potato casserole for years. That one was full of butter and brown sugar and used canned yams. This one started with fresh sweet potatoes that I cooked myself and then mashed with coconut oil, spices, coconut sugar and unsweetened almond coconut milk. The topping, which I’ll add in the morning before baking, has pecans, coconut sugar, coconut oil and garbanzo bean flour.

After I poured the sweet potato mixture into the casserole dish, I tried a bite, from the bit left in the pan. It is so wonderful! And this version is good for me. Sweet potatoes are full of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients and promote productive bacteria in the stomach while starving out unproductive bacteria and fungi. They help regulate hormones and promote sleep.

Look at this colorful dish! The Mixed Veggies with Brown Rice features fresh carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and zucchini, along with organic peas and red kidney beans. Combined with the brown rice, this will be a wholesome, protein rich dish that will be the main part of my meal tomorrow. This recipe comes from a little cookbook called Slow Cooker 100% Vegan.

I have the raw brown rice in the slow cooker and the veggies prepped and seasoned with mixed Italian herbs, sea salt, coarsely ground black pepper and fresh garlic. I’ll stumble into the kitchen at 3:00 am to add the veggies to the slow cooker, along with two cups of water, and turn it on low. It will finish cooking just in time to cart it to Adriel’s house. I’ll bet it will smell wonderful as it simmers.

I am so full of gratitude as I sip on my turmeric milk, all my food preparations completed. During my healing journey I have realized this truth, and accept it wholeheartedly…

What I eat becomes the fuel that my body uses to live and thrive…or exist and struggle.

EVERYTHING I eat and drink matters. Poor nutrition results in poor health, illness and pain. Good nutrition results in good health and an immune system that can fight off invaders and heal itself, maintaining well being.

I choose carefully what I nourish myself with. During celebrations or the holidays, I am not missing a thing by holding to my plant based lifestyle. What I gain is continued health, not extra pounds or an upset digestive system.

Here’s to a healthy and abundant Thanksgiving!