Thanksgiving is my favorite American holiday. It’s a day to count our blessings and be thankful for all of the goodness we have in our lives. This year, it’s going to look a lot different for many of us.
While in the past, Thanksgiving has always been a day to be with family and loved ones and prepare a feast together, many of us will be celebrating with just our immediate families or by ourselves. While we will miss so many of our loved ones this year, we can choose to see the gifts in the changes 2020 has brought.
1. An Opportunity to Stay Healthy
My husband and I started making our own version of Thanksgiving dinner right after we got married. Over the last few years, as I have changed my diet from the Standard American Diet to a gluten-free/dairy-free diet, then a Paleo diet, then my own diet, our Thanksgiving dinner has evolved quite a bit!
I am grateful for my supportive friends and family who have gone out of their way to make special meals and take me to special restaurants, but I know not all individuals with Hashimoto’s have these types of supportive people in their lives. Making Thanksgiving dinner on our own terms takes away the pressure of “eating what everyone else is eating.”
2. Gratitude for Our Health and Loved Ones
I feel so blessed to be where I am today, compared to where I was at the beginning of my Hashimoto’s journey… when I slept under two blankets in my Los Angeles apartment, when I had constant brain fog and needed to sleep for 11 hours to feel rested, when I was anxious all of the time, when I was losing my hair, when I had carpal tunnel in both hands, when I was addicted to caffeine and sugar… when I felt that I couldn’t do anything.
“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was ending, it became a butterfly.”
This is a very personal quote from my Hashimoto’s journey. I thought my life was over as a result of this diagnosis, but I now realize that Hashimoto’s has made me a better person, the person I am today.
Mark Hyman, MD once said: “I didn’t choose this type of lifestyle, my body chose for me” — and this really resonates with me.
I now realize that it was my lifestyle that had everything to do with me getting an autoimmune condition.
I am extremely grateful to have the opportunity to share my health journey with all of you, and hope that my experience helps you on your journey!
Many of us have fallen ill, and some have even lost loved ones… Life can be cruel and unfair, and at the same time, beautiful. I choose to recognize that finding joy in my own health and in the lives of people who are still here, does not conflict with my ability to grieve for the ones I have lost.
3. An Opportunity to Connect
Over the last few years, my hubby and I have hosted Thanksgiving at our house with family from around the continent (Chicago, Louisiana, Canada, Texas and Colorado), as well as attended Thanksgiving celebrations at the homes of like-minded friends and family, like fellow gluten-free and Paleo cookbook authors Leanne Ely from Saving Dinner, Magdalena Wszelaki from Hormones Balance and Amanda Nowosadzki from Clean Southern Cuisine.
In previous years, we always spent Thanksgiving with people who were in town, or travelled out of town to see our families. This year, we will take the opportunity to connect with family and friends around the world, albeit virtually. 🙂
4. An Opportunity to Try Something New
As much as I love the holidays, sometimes, they feel like extra pressure. This year, the pressure is off. We can cook if we want to, or we can choose to try something new!
This year, I’m going to be trying some of the savory, family style recipes from my sister-in law’s new cookbook, as well as revisit my favorite de-stressing activity… baking. 🙂 My sister-in-law Amanda developed an amazing gluten-free biscuit recipe that has been a HIT every Thanksgiving we’ve had together.
Caramelized Onion and Rosemary Biscuits (GF/DF)
You and your loved ones will absolutely not believe that these decadent biscuits are gluten and dairy-free. They are a perfect accompaniment to any holiday meal. Whether you are celebrating a holiday or not, you can count on one thing: these biscuits will be the talk of the table. The sweet and savory caramelized onions and piney rosemary pair perfectly with the light, fluffy biscuit texture!
Yields: 10 large biscuits
- 2 cups Clean Southern Cuisine gluten-free flour
- 2 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 2/3 cup palm shortening*
- 1/2 cup caramelized onions, chopped small
- 1 1/2 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
- 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon rice milk (plain, unsweetened)
- 2 large eggs*
- Place palm shortening in the freezer for 30 minutes to harden.
- Whisk the first four ingredients together in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
- Using a pastry blender or fork, cut the palm shortening into the flour mixture until the shortening pieces are pea-sized.
- Whisk in the rosemary and caramelized onions, ensuring the onions don’t stick together too much.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and rice milk, then pour this mixture into the dry ingredients.
- Stir until a dough just forms. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes, to allow the flour to fully absorb the moisture.
- Using a muffin scoop or large ice cream scoop, transfer the dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake at 375°F for 12-14 minutes, or until the bottoms of the biscuits begin to brown.
*For a buttery flavor, you can substitute ghee or butter (if tolerated) for half of the palm shortening.
*If you cannot tolerate eggs, you can substitute 2 flax eggs for real eggs. To make flax eggs, combine 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed meal with 6 tablespoons of water and allow this mixture to sit for 10 minutes, prior to using. This substitution will also make the recipe vegan.
Amanda just published her very first cookbook: Clean Southern Cuisine: Where Southern Food Comes Clean!, and I’m so excited to try her recipes. 🙂
She has also developed a gluten-free flour blend that substitutes one for one for wheat flour in baking, so I will be making some of my old favorite recipes.
(BTW, I gave away copies of Amanda’s cookbook on Instagram earlier this month, and will be doing a weekly giveaway until the end of the year, because, 2020.)
Whether we are hosting or just bringing a few dishes, it’s really important for us that we make something tasty and nutritious for all of our guests! Why not try out a new recipe this year?
5. An Opportunity to Continue Traditions
In previous years, I would start my T-giving menu planning early to accommodate for the various dietary preferences (Paleo, vegan, vegetarian, Standard American Diet, etc.) at my table, and always had a proven process of starting my meal planning, shopping and cooking a few days early, so that I could relax on Thanksgiving, while hubby made the turkey. 🙂
I’m excited to share our menu, recipes and shopping list with all of you!
All of the recipes are gluten, dairy, soy and grain-free, as well as nutrient dense.
Here’s Your Thyroid-Friendly Thanksgiving Menu
- Lentil Dip
- Pumpkin Carrot Curry Soup
- Salt and Herb Rubbed Turkey
- Cranberry Orange Sauce
- Sweet Potato Casserole
- Broccoli Bacon Veggies
- Root Veggie Bake
- Pumpkin Pie
- Apple Pie
- Baked Pears
- Pumpkin Custard
(Adapted from the magazine Living Without)
Salt and Herb Rubbed Turkey
For a moist and tender bird with crispy brown skin, apply this rub a day in advance. The rub will be rinsed off before baking, so there are no worries about it becoming too salty.
- 1 unfrozen turkey (I prefer free range)
- 2 cups gluten-free broth or pear juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 ½ tablespoons fresh sage, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
- 1/3 cup sea salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- Mix the rosemary, sage, thyme, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
- Rub the salt mixture on the inside cavities and outside of the turkey.
- Refrigerate for 8-24 hours.
- The following day after preheating the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, rinse the turkey to remove salt rub and transfer to roasting pan.
- Add broth/pear juice to roasting pan.
- Roast uncovered for 30 minutes at 450 degrees, then remove from oven and lower to 325 degrees.
- Tent turkey with foil and return to oven.
- Baste turkey every 45 minutes and bake according to this roasting guide per weight.
- Remove foil cover 30 minutes prior to end time.
- Remove turkey from oven when internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
- Replace foil tent and let sit for 30 minutes.
For more recipes, download my free Thanksgiving Menu below!
You can also download a free Thyroid Diet Guide, 10 thyroid-friendly recipes, and the Nutrient Depletions and Digestion chapter of my Root Cause book for free by subscribing to my newsletter. You will also receive occasional updates about new research, resources, giveaways and helpful information.