Monday, December 6, 2010

My Thanksgiving Meal, Workout, & The Most Difficult Post I've Ever Written

Well, hello there! I'm back on the blogging horse... feels good.  I wish I would have been able to post about my Thanksgiving meal before Thanksgiving, but, now that I think about it, I'm glad I have waited until now to talk to you about my Thanksgiving.

My Thanksgiving took place in a small town in Oklahoma at my Grandparents house.  My Grandmother always whips up an amazing Thanksgiving feast, but this year, I wanted to help her out.  So Sam and I made a few HEALTHY dishes!  I know the words, "healthy" and "Thanksgiving," don't really go together, but if you take a little bit of the unhealthy with a little more of the healthy... then it all evens out!

It was my first turkey free Thanksgiving... 
and this is just too funny. 

It was the weekend before Thanksgiving, and I had NO idea what I was going to make so I turned to the website I can always count on to give me some great meal ideas... Oh She Glows.  And boy, was I glad I did this.  On OSG I found a complete Thanksgiving Menu with all of the recipes... it was like finding gold!  I scrolled through the menu and circled a few items to make for our Thanksgiving...

Visit the link above for all the recipes from Oh She Glows.  Now it's Picture time!  Oh yes, keep in mind that I don't have a fancy food picture taking camera, but you still get the idea :)

Candied Pecans for the Salad

Sam flipping the pecans in his fancy "chef" style way. 

Me trying to do the same.  
We baked these the night before... hence our comfy attire.

Fresh Cranberry Sauce

Gravy to go with the Walnut Loaf

Cranberry, Pear, and a Candied Pecan Spinach Salad 
in a Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette 

High Protein Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Sweet Potato Casserole (This dish was a favorite!)

Fresh Cranberry Sauce

The Vegan Spread
(Glazed Walnut Loaf with Gravy, Cranberry Sauce, Mashed Potatoes, 
Green Beans, Sweet Potato Casserole, and the Salad)

The salad, sweet potato casserole, and mashed potatoes were among the top favorite things for the meat eaters.  We did have turkey and the famous stuffing that I crave every year that is filled with everything I don't usually eat... but I ate some anyway, and I loved every bite! And for dessert...

Pecan Pie

Pumpkin Pie 
(That's a rather tall and skinny pumpkin in the middle)

Buttermilk Pie

As much as I would love to say that I made the pecan and pumpkin pie... I didn't.  I am not as confident in my baking skills, and I didn't have much time to cook... so I decided to purchase the pecan and pumpkin pie from my favorite vegan diner, Spiral Diner.  However, we did make a homemade, non-dairy whipped cream to go on top of the pies!  And it was so easy!

Coconut Milk Whipped Cream

1 can Full Fat Coconut Milk
1/2 cup Powdered Sugar (or to taste)
1 tsp Vanilla

Directions: Refrigerate a can of full fat coconut milk for at least 6 hours.  Beat the refrigerated coconut milk, vanilla, powdered sugar until it begins to resemble whipped cream.  Then place in the refrigerator for a few more hours to thicken.

The Buttermilk Pie is a Thanksgiving staple, and it's filled with just that.. butter, milk, and lots of sugar.  I had to have a tiny piece :)  As I always say, live life... don't deprive yourself of tasting something even if it's not on your "diet."

Well, I know this might be hard to believe, but Sam and I didn't just eat on Thanksgiving Day.  Before we filled our bellies, we had an incredible Thanksgiving morning workout.  When we went to bed the night before it was 70 degrees, and Thanksgiving morning it was 33 degrees!  SO COLD! And I didn't pack the warmest workout clothes, but I was determined to workout for a reason more important than the fact that I was about to fill my belly with too much food... we will get to that reason in a bit.

Sam and I had no clue what we were going to do, so we warmed up in the living room, and then just started running outside.  After running for about a 1/2 mile, we came across the town's high school football stadium and a HUGE set of stairs... perfect!  There were 3 sets of stairs divided by a flat area just big enough for Sam and I to do pushups in between the stair sets.  So at the top of the stairs we decided our workout...

*Dedicated to My Grandpa*

Repeat 5 Times as Fast as You Can: 
25 stairs
5 Burpees (Squat Thrusters)
20 stairs
10 Burpees
33 stairs

For a grand total of 390 stairs, 75 Burpees, and 150 air squats!  

Yes, after the third round I wanted to retreat to my warm Thanksgiving feast, especially since it was so cold and windy.  But there was a reason why I kept going and pushed myself as hard as I possibly could, and that reason was because of my Grandpa.

This Thanksgiving was unlike any other because my Grandpa was unable to be his usual, lively, happy self.  My Grandpa had been suffering from cancer for a little over a year.   He was on his last few days, and my whole family was fortunate enough to spend Thanksgiving and some final laughs and memories with him.  During Thanksgiving, he was bedridden, unable to move around, and, if you knew my Grandpa, he was not one to sit still.  He always had to be doing, building, or fixing something, or as we call it down South, he was always "piddlin'."  

So that morning when I woke up to the freezing weather, I was tempted to just cancel the workout. But then I thought about my Grandpa, who loved being active and was, for the first time in his life, no longer able to do so, and I got this instant surge of energy and desire to workout.  But not for me or for my benefit, and not because I knew I was going to eat a ton of food later, but because I knew that he couldn't... and so for that reason... I was going to do it for him.

I wanted to share that story with you because I think it's important to be appreciative of your health, the ability to walk, talk, and even run or jump because many people don't have that luxury whether it's due to illness or disability.  So the next time you workout, consider exercising for someone who can't.  It's amazing how different the workout feels when you are doing it for someone else and not for you.  It's a selfless workout, and after that day, I discovered that those are the best kind. 

So with all of that said... I hope you had a very Happy Thanksgiving.  Christmas will be here before we know it.

With Love, Health, and Happiness,

*This Thanksgiving Post is in Loving Memory of My Grandpa*
Kenneth Hawkins (Jan. 20, 1931- Dec. 2, 2010)


Amanda Fouts said...

My heart is broken for you sweet Cami! I'm so so so sorry for your loss. I remember your Grandpa at your wedding, the way he looked at you, you were the light of his life sweet girl! I love you!

LEDipprey said...

Wonderful post my love!! You know I'm thinking of you and your fam! (especially your sweet momma) love you to the moon!

JenATX said...

Cami, you had my eyes watering up at the end of this. You are the sweetest granddaughter & your grandpa was lucky to have someone so thoughtful :)
I also am really glad you shared your thoughts on the working out for someone else part because I thought once about my Nana when I was running one day. I wanted to tell someone but it just sounded to strange when I tried to figure out what I was trying to say.. thanks for putting into words

Ange said...

Ahh - sweets....I'm so sorry to hear that! I was very close with my Grandpa too and it's a very special relationship to have in life.
Thanks for sharing your sweet dedication to him!

Cami said...

Amanda, Lauren, Jen, & Ange ~ Thanks so much for your kind words and thoughts. It means so much. Y'all are the best :)

Jen ~ I'm so glad you could relate to my story. Thanks for sharing yours! Run for your Nana one day... it will make you run with a little extra pep in your step ;)

Post a Comment