thanksgiving 101

thanksgiving in the kitchen (and a coupon for you!)

It’s Thanksgiving month!

And I think because Thanksgiving falls in November, it’s a time when you can see a lot of posting about “gratitude month” on social media. I like to think that we practice gratitude daily—and that November is just a chance to uplevel that practice.

If you don’t have a gratitude practice, I can’t recommend one highly enough! It’s one of the simplest mindfulness practices there is and can be as modest as listing three things for which you are grateful daily—either in your mind or in a journal.

Want to get a little fancier with your practice? Listen to my podcast episode with gratitude expert Mary Ceccanese! She not only has a lot of fascinating data about the benefits of gratitude—she also has a formula for how we express our gratitude that really takes it to the next level.

I’m overflowing with gratitude this November, so I thought I’d share a little bit about that with you!

in thanksgiving for fall produce

Fall has always been my favorite season, and not just because I grew up in Vermont, where the foliage in September/October is glorious. And yes, I’m jealous that my son, who is now in college there, got to see it this year and I didn’t. Michigan has pretty trees—and it lacks the mountains that really show them off.

I remember laughing when I moved to Colorado for grad school because everyone kept telling me, “You have to drive up to see the aspens changing!” They’re pretty … and they’re all the same yellow, nice against the evergreens and yet not that impressive to a foliage snob.

I also love fall because it showcases my favorite produce: sturdy dark leafy greens and deep orange winter squashes. Yes—that’s why my business’s color palette features those two colors! (And, let’s be honest, so does most of my wardrobe—I’ve been accused of always dressing “on brand!”)

in thanksgiving for the food web

A huge blessing of living in Michigan is that, after California, we have the highest crop diversity in the country. Weird, considering our climactic zone is much farther north, but true.

We have a lot of fruit farming on the west side of the state, lots of vegetables on the east side, legume farms in the thumb area (it’s a Michigan thing, holding up your “mitten” to explain where something is), and a smattering of grain and animal husbandry as well.

In the Ann Arbor area, we have a lot of direct-from-farmer (or close to it) options that support our local small and mid-sized farms, and I estimate that upward of 80% of the food I buy comes from in-state if not within 100 miles of my home.

If you’re looking for an option to replace the traditional grace spoken at the Thanksgiving table, consider asking each person to name one part of the food web they want to thank for bringing the food to the table. Kids can get very creative with this—butterflies! earthworms! Mother Earth!—and it’s a chance to consider what has to be in place for us to celebrate the meal together. Earth, water, wind, sower, grower, picker, packer, seller … and don’t forget the chief cook and bottle washer!

in thanksgiving for my kitchen

We moved to Ann Arbor from the Los Angeles area, and my husband was in charge of buying our house here. My friends all thought I was nuts, entrusting him with this—and he’s infinitely more particular than I am, so I knew he’d do fine.

Armed with a sole instruction from me—it has to have a kick@$$ kitchen—he did way more than fine! I’ve loved this space of our home for it’s high-end appliances, plentiful counterspace, beautiful light, and spaciousness. It’s so big that I once hosted 12 people for a cooking class with just a little squeezing. A stark contrast to the many “one-butt” and “two-butt” kitchens I’ve had in my life!

I stopped teaching cooking classes in my kitchen in 2017, after publishing my cookbook, now only available in PDF format, and then the pandemic arrived, making it impossible.

The good news: I’m now offering virtual meal planning and prep classes the first Sunday of each month—so you can cook along with me in my virtual kitchen from your IRL kitchen because you’ll get the recipes ahead of time!

  • Each month will feature a few dishes you can use during the week, and we’ll also cover a lot of nutrition information in the process. Most—and definitely not all—dishes will be plant-based, and I will always try to provide gluten- and dairy-free options and variations.
  • Each class is “self-contained” although I will occasionally refer to previous ones, and taking them as a series will definitely give you the best education in basic home cooking skills and meal planning.
  • Replays will be available—and it’s always more fun live, even if we can’t be together in person!

and in gratitude for YOU

This time of year, I give thanks for YOU—my online community—and as a way of showing my gratitude for my best year yet as a health coach, I have a special offer just for you!

Hosting and/or cooking the Thanksgiving meal can feel really overwhelming, and I’m all about getting your organized NOW so that you’re not caught doing all the shopping and cooking the day before. I actually start my shopping and prep up to a week before, and by doing one or two small tasks daily for that week, I’m able to sit down and enjoy the meal with my guests.

Ready to give it a try? You can now get 25% off my Thanksgiving 101 e-book by using the coupon code THANKS at checkout. It includes recipes to serve up to 12 people, the grocery list to make the entire menu, and—most importantly—the strategy and tactics to be successful!

You can download the book directly from the confirmation page—instant gratification!

make the connection

Thank you for being part of my community! This month, take advantage of the following offers to celebrate gratitude month:

And remember—just because November ends doesn’t mean your gratitude practice can disappear!