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Good grief… has it really been almost 2 months since my last post! How did that happen… in my head it seems like it’s only been 2-3 weeks since I last logged in. I suppose that goes for the rest of my life as well. To much all at once…. and speaking of… Thanksgiving is only a couple of days away!

So, what have I been up to in the past TWO months – well, I finally broke the the first 10 lbs goal and was down a total of 13 lbs but now I’m back to hovering right over 10 lbs again… that means I’m down from 161.7 to 150-151. I’ve been keeping off the first ten but I’ll admit that I’ve slacked off a bit in the past month.

So little can mean so much when you’re really heavy and then you feel like you’re doing so good and then BAM – you’re eating a little something here and a little something there because – hey, I’m doing great so it’s okay, right? – and voila – you’ve gained back 3 lbs. Gaining back even just a little weight over the past 5 weeks has woken me up and with the holidays right around the corner I’m already starting to feel the anxiety!

So what’s my “plan for success” for Thanksgiving? A “vegan” holiday extravaganza! Well, mostly vegan.

I’ve recently begun to cut my dairy intake by as much as 95% due to some really bad stomach/colon issues that I’ve been having. I’ve found out that I have developed IBS (irritable bowel syndrome – which runs in my family hard core) and together with my lactose-intolerance I’ve started to come to terms with the fact that, although I love dairy, it does not love me. So… as my previous diet cut out basically all other animal bi-products anyway, cutting out dairy has essentially meant I’ve started to cross that line into vegan. It’s a slow road to hoe… I think by Christmas I’ll be completely converted. (much to the horror of my very southern family who translates this as “what the hell does she eat!?”)

I’m changing my dietary intake drastically and that takes some time to acclimate – it’s hard enough managing food “types” alone much less what I can and can’t eat calorically. Above all, I have to eat the right things and get my colon and stomach back in good shape – fortunately, the IBS diet consists of lots of fiber, whole grains, and fruits so – healthy stuff! (Yay!)

Anyway… back to Thanksgiving…

What’s on the menu this holiday:

  • Quorn brand “Turk-Y Roast” (trying to limit the soy per meal – a real no-no)
  • homemade “scratch” mashed “golden” potatoes with soy-milk and vegan butter
  • homemade “scratch” whole wheat bread
  • homemade cornbread dressing
  • freshly steamed green beans

QUICK “Quorn” BREAD DRESSING

Typically makes around 6 servings (263 calories, 4.9 fat grams per serving when going with my brands/amounts)

Prep Time: 10-15 minutes Cook Time: 20-30 minutes total

Ingredients:

  • 12 =/- ounces pre-made cornbread stuffing mix (some of these have chicken broth baked into the bread so watch the ingredients list if you’re going vegetarian/vegan)
  • 4-8 tbsp butter (I use a vegan butter with about 55% vegetable oil)
  • about 4 cups of “broth” (I make mine with vegan “chick-n” bullion cubes but you can use whatever you want)
  • 1 cup chopped up fresh celery
  • 1/2 red onion chopped
  • 1/2-1 cup chopped turkey or – in my case – 1/5th of the Quorn brand “Turk-Y Roast”

Directions:

  1. Make the stuffing according to the directions on the package. This will use about 3 cups of “broth” for about 12 ounces of stuffing typically. Use the broth instead of plain water. You can typically add a bit more broth and a bit less butter (I use 4 tbsp though it calls for 8 tbsp) than the instructions advise and have a good consistency in your stuffing – for “dressing” you want it to be a bit more moist to start with than usual anyway in my opinion.
  2. Prepare the onions, celery, and “meat” (prepare the Quorn Turk-Y Roast as per directions prior to adding to the mixture!!!) by cutting everything into little pieces I tend to leave my celery chucks a bit on the larger side because I like the crunch in the final product. Amendment: cook the celery and onions with the broth!
  3. Stir everything up – plop into a casserole dish – add some additional broth over the top and pop into a preheated (around 350-400 degree) oven for about 20-30 minutes. This will dry everything out a bit and leave a somewhat crunchy top to the surface as long as you leave it uncovered. Amendment: if the mix is already really moist don’t add extra broth.
  4. Serve immediately – it’s best right out of the oven when it’s steamy.

I sincerely hope everyone has a great holiday – though you probably wouldn’t know it given how long it’s taken me to create another post – I am super thankful for all of my readers and the sincerely generous love and support you provide which certainly gets me through the darkest of times.

I’ll post picks of food and a report on the holidays before things get crazy when I go back to work and prepare my students for the ever-dreaded final exams! (Bwah ha ha!!!)

Happy holiday!

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