Cook, heal, give thanks and pray!

thanksgiving! what a wonderful opportunity to slow down, take a step back, and look around at your life, to realize all that you have to be thankful for. everybody has something to be thankful for--the gift of life, for one. for our breath, for the sun rising today and everyday, for a roof over our head and the fact that we have eyes to read this post. the list could go on and on.

hopefully, you all take a mental inventory every night before you go to bed to list all that you are grateful for, but thanksgiving is a time when we can express it freely with giving back to those we love, in it's most basic form--food.

our hands are a healing instrument.

we can do so much with them, once you understand the power they hold. they are literally an extension of our heart, and love heals all. when you cook, you are pouring your heart and soul into that food, so be mindful of your intention as you create this meditative art form.

to have the opportunity to cook for your loved ones, gives  you the chance to send that loving energy into their being.

this is my third thanksgiving without turkey, and no i do not miss it at all! i've been asking my friends and family recently what their favorite dish at the thanksgiving table is, and wouldn't you know it, nobody has mentioned the dead bird at the center.

growing up, i can say my favorite dish was always the sweet potato casserole, or the squash, and then it evolved into the green bean/mushroom casserole. needless to say, as a meat eater back then, i too didn't look forward to the turkey come holiday season...

we can have so much more fun with vegetables! the creations are endless, unlike the animal possibilities. now, granted, these veggie dishes are often laden with dairy products--butter, cream, and sugar, which there is no need for!

luckily there are easy substitutions like soy or hemp milk, earth balance butter spread, and maple syrup or brown syrup.

you can over indulge in a gentle way on thanksgiving without busting out of your pants and feeling like you have a hangover from all that gunk...

try to veganize your fave thanksgiving dish and don't tell anyone that you did it...see what they say for themselves...it could just very well be the best dish at the table, and then you can surprise them after they mow down and say, "bet you never would have guessed it didn't have sugar or animal products in it"!

for a little inspiration, this is my thanksgiving day menu. i'll be cooking for my family with love and appreciation for all the unconditional love, support and guidance they constantly give to me. without them, i wouldn't be who i am today, and for that i am overwhelmingly grateful.

-my dishes from alicia silverstone's book, the kind diet (check out her recipes online @ www.thekindlife.com)

tofu stuffing

corn bread

cranberry sauce

scarlett roasted vegetables

-from the spork food sisters (check them out at www.sporkfoods.com)

sweet potato casserole with ricemellow cream

and their amazing pumpkin gingerbread cheesecake - or the pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting...i still can't decide!

have fun, enjoy your company, and say a little prayer before eating, being grateful for all the food on your plate and all the hands that it took to bring that food to you. don't forget mother earth for supporting us with an endless supply of food.:)

happy thanksgiving everyone, and thank YOU for reading my posts. your support and feedback keeps me motivated to inspire you to live your life with an open heart and a healthy, happy mind and body!

cheers to you for being open and receptive to continue to move in the direction of health and love.