Thanksgiving on 200 calories…

Did I catch your attention? An article in last weekend’s USA Weekend insert in my newspaper caught my attention with ” A Lighter Thanksgiving: only 682 total calories.”

This just after I sent a text message to my brother about a luscious sounding pasta, cauliflower and cheese gratin recipe I’d seen in Bon Appetit magazine, that I was certain should be on our “new dish” Thanksgiving list.

My text said something about replacing the pasta with more cauliflower and using less cream, cheese and butter for a “lighter” version. (I blogged about Steve earlier this year after he dropped 25 pounds just by eating turkey bacon … and running 4 miles every day for months, but I digress).

He immediately texted back, and I quote, “Girlfriend, Thanksgiving is NOT about the calories.” Now that’s a reason to be thankful. We’ll have a normal, traditional Thanksgiving — no obsessing about the amount of food and fat. After all, what other national holiday do we have that is all about food, nothing but food?

I don’t mean to sound snippy about Pam Anderson’s Thanksgiving-Lite meal — she’s lost 45 pounds (and wrote a successful cookbook about it).  Her article says that a typical Thanksgiving meal is more than 1,200 calories, so her lighter meal may be an inspiration to people who need to watch their intake on this and every other day (and don’t we all). Seriously, I had just offered to “lighten” an new dish in honor of my brother’s “lighter” self.

But for me (and clearly this trait runs in the family), Thanksgiving is the opposite of restraint and moderation. I can be moderate and mindful for 364 days. But on day 332 this year, I’m going to indulge. I might have seconds. I might have six desserts. I might regret it all on day 333 but on Thanksgiving, I’ll eat like it was the last Thanksgiving — or the first. I imagine that the first Thanksgiving was a cornucopia of foods and both sides did the polite thing, sampling a little bit of what everyone brought to the table.

At the end of the day, I may very well wish that I’d followed Anderson’s Thanksgiving plan. But until then, I’ll be planning, shopping, cooking and stuffing my way to satiated bliss.

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