Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Calling all cooks....and post-ops too...

First of all, welcome to those of you who are new and joined me--thanks very much!

Now for the main event:  I need suggestions on how to handle Thanksgiving.  It is my first big "foodie" holiday since surgery, and I'm worried.  Here is how Thanksgiving normally transpires at my house:

1.  My parents come for an extended stay, which puts three adults in a condo for one.  Not only are there more people in a smaller space, but the people in question all have somewhat big personalities (I actually think I may top the list on this).  So while I love it when they come visit, it can also be overwhelming.
2.  We wake up and turn on the Thanksgiving parade and my mom and I cook.  My mom's job is to hold the turkey while I fill it with stuffing, and to amuse me by making the turkey dance while she's doing it.
3.  We eat the food.  What is it?  For me it's always a little bit of turkey on the side of a large plate of carbs--stuffing, mashed potatoes, and rolls.  We try to have salad and veggies to make it a slightly rounder meal, but I usually push those to the side.
4.  My mother cleans up.  Our deal is that I cook (with the exception of preparing the naked turkey for the oven), and she cleans up.  That, and she's somewhat compulsive about cleaning so even if we didn't have the agreement I would just leave it until it drove her so crazy that she cleaned it up anyway.  So the trade-off is actually a much better deal.  During clean up, there is usually a great deal of "stuffing-stealing" on my part, which consists of me deciding that there is no way for all the stuffing to fit into the tupperware and I should therefore eat it while standing in the kitchen.  And maybe another roll.  With butter.
5.  Then there is much laying around in a tryptophan-induced semi-comatose state while my father attempts to watch football with his eyes closed and my mother and I attempt to change the channel to something girly without waking him.
6.  We eventually make it over to a friend's house for a dessert buffet and to practice having more appropriate social skills than sneaking stuffing and slumping on the couch.
7.  We go home, we have a late-night snack (ie. a second Thanksgiving dinner), and we go to bed.

These are things that I cannot do this year.  I can't make it all about the food.  I can't eat the same type of food, nor can I eat it in the same quantity.  And I'm realizing that I'm going to have to re-design Thanksgiving.  Here's where I need your help.

How do I celebrate the holiday without making food the centerpiece?  How do I get some physical activity space for that day?  What food can I have that feels festive and holiday-like for all of us, but doesn't make me hate myself the next day?  How can I change our holiday without making my parents feel punished?

I don't know.  I've thought about going out to dinner (not a great option for us), ordering a "Turkey Dinner for 2" from Whole Foods, having yummy and festive nibbly things (since I have to eat small amounts several times a day) and avoid the one major holiday meal altogether, or invite ourselves to a friend's house.  I'm just not sure.

What are you guys all doing for Thanksgiving?  What do you do to stay on plan for the day (or do you just give yourself a free pass for the day)?  How do you make it feel like a holiday when you have to change everything?

Any and all suggestions are welcome--please leave them in the comments.


  1. This is going to be my first thanksgiving on plan as a new vegan (i haven't had wls). Are your parents supportive? For me it is just hubby, kids, and me. Maybe you can play a board game or think of other "non eating" activities. Maybe you can use some of the"cooking" time with mom to whip up a dessert for the friends house. i am trying to think of a thanksgiving "activity" but i can't think of any. Alot of churches have services but that may not be your thing. my point is to break up all the "eating" and "cooking" with other activities. Something to break up the traditional "lump" of food, which will be too hard to eat post op! GOOD LUCK TO YOU! Happy thanksgiving! -fm

  2. This will be my first Thanksgiving since WLS in June. But my sister had WLS two years ago this month (idiot had it about a week prior to Thanksgiving). Anyway, I'm not quite sure what I can do beyond only offering to bring a crappy store made pie. hahahah
    And not cooking anything at home. My stomach still only holds a small bit so as I wrote in my own post on Monday or Tuesday, if I eat 2T of stuffing, that will be it for the meal. Right now I'm trying to kack down an afternoon protein drink because I neglected to eat lunch (remember those days?) and my stomach is pleading with me to stop.
    BTW, one thing that I ate that was absolutely beyond the pale was a comice pear. The texture is like sweet butter. About a week ago, at night (my worst times) I was craving...(out of old habits) and I got the pear and ate the whole thing and nearly killed myself.

    So only eat half.
    As for your folks, go out to dinner. Skip the dessert buffet. Run a turkey trot in the morning.

  3. You both have such great ideas! I really like the idea of games and non-food activities, foodmasochist. And Janell--I remember those days well. I'm up to about 1/4 to 1/3 cup, but I still have people stare and say "Is that all you're having?" :-) It's funny I had forgotten about the Turkey Trot until this morning when we put up United Way Support posters. That is a possibility I really like the sound of...

    Thanks ladies!

  4. really enjoyed internet week, great clips!
    y not go out for dinner? no left overs would be ahuge plus 4 me...maybe take a nice walk after?
    i am very worried about thanksgiving !!!