Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Healthy Sides for Turkey Day

pumpkin2

Thanksgiving is just a week away! Get in the mood for food with these 3 wholesome sides that will mix up your holiday meal tradition.  These recipes are delicious and will help you stay healthy on turkey day. Enjoy!

Beet & Apple Salad  from Food & Wine

Ingredients:

4 large beets (2 1/2 pounds)
5 thyme sprigs
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup apple-cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons prepared horseradish
1/3 cup salted pistachios, chopped
1 green apple, thinly sliced

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°. In a baking dish, lightly drizzle the beets and thyme with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and roast until the beets are tender, about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Let cool, then peel the beets and cut them into 3/4-inch dice.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the vinegar with the mustard. Whisk in the remaining 1/2 cup of oil until emulsified. Add the horseradish and season with salt and pepper; toss with the beets and pistachios. Transfer the beets to a platter, top with the apple and serve.

Cauliflower Garlic “Mashed Potatoes” from The Splendid Table

Ingredients:

2 large heads organic cauliflower
10 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Salt
2 tablespoons good-tasting butter
6 tablespoons good-tasting extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

  1. Cook in two batches. Set a collapsible steamer basket in a 6-quart pot. Add water to come just above the bottom of the steamer. Cover and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, wash cauliflower and its leaves. Cut leaves into thin slices. Break cauliflower into florets.
  2. Drop leaves onto the steamer and sprinkle lightly with salt. Add half the cauliflower, all the garlic, then remaining cauliflower. Sprinkle lightly with more salt. Cover and steam over medium-high heat 8 minutes, or until cauliflower is so tender a knife just slips into it.
  3. Drain in a colander, turn into a food processor fitted with the steel knife, and add butter and oil. Puree until smooth. Season to taste with pepper, nutmeg, and more salt if needed. Serve immediately, or refrigerate, covered, and reheat later.

Green Beans with Pecans and Maple Vinaigrette from Real Simple

Ingredients:

3/4 cup pecans
kosher salt and black pepper
2 pounds green beans, trimmed
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

  1. Heat oven to 400º F. Spread the pecans on a rimmed baking sheet and bake, tossing once, until toasted, 6 to 8 minutes. Let cool, then roughly chop.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon salt. Add the green beans and cook until just tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to cool.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Add the green beans and pecans and toss to combine.

You May Also Like:

Advertisements

4 Healthy & Delicious Thanksgiving Recipes

Sweet Potato & Cranberry Bake

Neissa’s Cranberry & Sweet Potato Bake

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching and we love finding recipe ideas for adding some new flavors and healthier options to the table. Try out these 4 iGnite leader favorites and leave us a comment to let us know how you enjoy them!

1. Cranberry Salsa with Cilantro, Lime & Jalapeño

by Amy

Amy Younkman

I found this recipe three years ago in the Austin American Statesman (recipe by Kalyn Denny) and I have made it every year. I love the fresh lime juice and cilantro and it is the perfect combination of tart and sweet. This salsa is wonderful as a Thanksgiving side, and I really enjoy it with leftover turkey or in a sandwich. You won’t miss the gravy at all!

Ingredients:
Makes about 2 cups of salsa

  • 1 bag (12 oz.) fresh cranberries
  • 3/4 cup Splenda, Stevia in the Raw Granulated or sugar
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1-2 fresh jalapeños, seeds removed and chopped (use more if you like it spicy)
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

Instructions:

  1. Put cranberries into a food processor or blender and pulse until they’re partly chopped.
  2. Add sweetener of your choice and pulse a few times more to combine.
  3. Add green onions, cilantro, jalapeños (1 or 2, depending on your tolerance for heat), olive oil and lime juice and pulse until all ingredients are chopped and mixture is well combined.
  4. Put mixture into a glass or plastic container with a tight-fitting lid and chill for several hours or overnight.

Adapted from a recipe by Kalyn Denny

2. Cranberry & Sweet Potato Bake (pictured above)

by Neissa

Neissa Springmann

View the recipe

This is a favorite in the Springmann household because it’s tasty, healthy and easy!

 

3. Roasted Green Beans

by Sha

by Sha

I know most of you roast vegetables, but not many think to roast fresh green beans! Roasting is my favorite way to prepare green beans — they are delicious and easy, and my family always asks me to bring them to Thanksgiving.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large bag fresh French style green beans
  • 1 & 1/2 Tbs. olive oil
  • Sea salt to taste

Instructions:

  1. Roast 20 minutes at 400 degrees (or until tender with dark brown markings)

4. Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette (by Barefoot Contessa)

View the recipe here

by Catherine

by Catherine

I have made this a couple times to serve with Thanksgiving dinner and it is amazing! I love interesting salads and I’m always willing to make the extra effort with this one for special occasions because it’s just so tasty 🙂

 

You Might Also Like:

Who are You Grateful for?

"We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives."  -John F. Kennedy

“We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.”
-John F. Kennedy

Point to Ponder:
Who are you grateful for?

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Who are you grateful for? If you are like me, I would guess that this is a fairly simple question to answer and that you could create a long list of people, however, it’s likely that these people may not hear or see the words “I am grateful for you” as much as they’d like to and as often as you feel grateful for them.

It was at this exact same time last year that we launched our “I am grateful for you”, week-long letter writing campaign, and it was nothing short of beautiful! As a result of you, our members, writing gratitude letters during classes, we mailed over three hundred notes by the Thanksgiving holiday. That was approximately 2.5 gratitude notes per person, which translates to over 600 uplifted and happy hearts — with both the sender and receiver experiencing the proven benefits of gratitude. Therefore, we are absolutely committed to making this a pre-Thanksgiving tradition! My personal goal is to crush last year’s number and aim for at least three hand-written notes per person.

iGnite is emotionally invested in your well-being and we believe that the act of expressing gratitude verbally or in a handwritten note has the power to repair relationships and transform lives. And because having healthy relationships is paramount to living a low-stress and fulfilling life, we have ordered one thousand cards and we’d love to have ZERO left over when you’re done with them! The only action required is for you to attend classes throughout this week, have at least three people in mind that you are grateful for, then fill out the notes & envelopes during designated class time. The postage and trip to the post office is on us!

Finally, there is one more thing that I encourage you to pay close attention to during and after writing your gratitude notes, and that’s how you feel. Because you will have just finished exercising and/or practicing yoga, your endorphins will be flowing and you will already be feeling great, but all gratitude research proves that the result of expressing gratitude is an increase in life-satisfaction and well-being. In fact, one fascinating and very relative study by Steve Toepfer, associate professor in Human Development and Family Studies at Kent State University, found that “when a study participant wrote up to three gratitude notes about something that was important to them (not a generic “thank you” for you a gift, etc) the more they improved significantly on happiness and life satisfaction. The new and potentially important finding is that depressive symptoms decreased. Even more fascinating is that by writing these letters – 15 to 20 minutes each, once a week for three weeks to different people – well-being increased significantly.”

Gratitude. We can question its power and significance, but it’s all backed up by research. The more we express it, live in it and share it, the happier, more fulfilled and healthier we are. I don’t know about you, but I think it’s the cheapest and most effective fix on the market. Unlike everything else, there are no crazy side-effects — with the exception of extreme joy — and we can access it at our disposal. Now that’s what I call some serious good news!

Action Item:
Think about 3 people who you are grateful for and write them a personal “I am grateful for you” note this week!

You May Also Like:

Creating Your 61-Day Plan

iGnite - how do you spend your time

Point to Ponder:
How will you spend the last 61 days of 2015?

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Whew, It’s November! And who doesn’t love November? Delicious temperatures, daylight savings (more sleep-YAY!), fall clothing, colorful foliage, and of course, time with family during the Thanksgiving holiday. While all of this makes my heart really happy, I get heart palpitations when I think about having only two months, i.e. sixty-one days left in the year, yet so much to do! How did that happen?!

I subscribe to several blogs and recently Austin-based Life Coach and Speaker, Renee Trudeau posted an excellent article on not only defining our life vision, but more realistically defining a vision for the next 90-days. In our case, that is the next sixty-one days, and because last week we determined what we’ve had enough of and will not include in our 2015 finale, the next step is to define and be intentional with how we spend our time throughout the next sixty-one days. Renee suggests these two questions for helping define your vision:

  1. What is uniquely mine to do? and
  2. What is the best use of my energy and talents in the next sixty-one days?

What I appreciate about Renee’s intentional strategy is the practicality of focusing on ninety or sixty days. It’s not overwhelming because I can actually see, feel and touch this time frame. In addition to answering those 2 questions and getting in the right frame of mind, Renee also recommends setting aside time in a distraction-free peaceful setting where you can create the following lists:

  • List all activities that fuel you (activities that give you energy, nourish you, and make you feel alive)
  • List all all activities that drain you (create physical tightness or discomfort in your back belly or neck every time they cross your consciousness). Often these “drains” are things like a financial issue that must be handled, a touchy conversation that you’ve been avoiding having, a disorganized office space at work or home, or a career issue that needs to be addressed

Address the ‘drains’ with an aggressive housecleaning mindset, giving yourself three options for handling each energy zapper:

1) “Just do it:” Set a deadline for when you can complete the project
2) Delegate It: Ask for help if needed, or outsource the task
3) Dump It: Walk away from the task or decide it isn’t going to happen (at least not in
the next sixty-one days)

Ultimately, the goal within the next sixty-one days is to not let life “just happen” or be filled with random action, enery-suckers and unfulfilling activities. Instead, let’s get the most out of it and make it great by striving to be prayerful and intentional about how we use our time, energy and talents. We can do this!

Action Item:
Create your 61-day plan by completing the activities suggested by Renee Trudeau:
1. Answer her 2 questions for defining your vision
2. Create your “fueling” and “draining” activities lists
3. Assign your “draining” activities one of the 3 categories above

You May Also Like: 

The #gratefulgram Challenge

Join us in our November #gratefulgram challenge!  Starting today and throughout the month of November, I invite you to join me in taking photos (each day if possible) of the things you are grateful for and posting them on Instagram, Facebook,Twitter or your social media outlet(s) of choice with the hastag #gratefulgram and tagging iGnite's social media profile. For participating, you will be entered into a prize drawing for iGnite to donate $50 in your name to the charity or non-profit you are most grateful for!

Join us in our November #gratefulgram challenge! Starting today and throughout the month of November, I invite you to join me in taking photos (each day if possible) of the things you are grateful for and posting them on Instagram, Facebook,Twitter or your social media outlet(s) of choice with the hashtag #gratefulgram and tagging iGnite’s social media profile. For participating, you will be entered into a prize drawing for iGnite to donate $50 in your name to the charity or non-profit you are most grateful for!

“Gratitude is one of the sweet shortcuts to finding peace of mind and happiness inside. No matter what is going on outside of us, there’s always something we could be grateful for.”
-Barry Neil Kaufman

Point to Ponder:
Are there things around you can be more grateful for that you might normally take for granted?

Do you know that there are only seven and a half weeks — that’s seven Saturdays and fifty-two days — until Christmas? (and I included both Thanksgiving day and Christmas Eve). So, take those days away and realistically we only have fifty days until Christmas. How does that make you feel? If you’re like me, it doesn’t give you the warm fuzzies that it should. Instead, it makes me tense up and think about how I turn into a consumer zombie and spend way too much money on unnecessary things, which in turn gives me the creepy crawlies. But wait, all of this is avoidable, right? Absolutely! I’m going to do it different this year and it’s going to start now, by counting down the days to Thanksgiving — which is actually my favorite holiday (besides Daylight Savings Time when we gain an hour of sleep…technically not a holiday, but I LOVE it!).

What I love so much about Thanksgiving is that it’s simple. Granted, I’ve never had to prepare a Thanksgiving meal, so that’s easy for me to say, but Thanksgiving for my family revolves around the 3 F’s: family, food, and football. We don’t have to travel far, there’s no gift giving, and we just spend time with one another. And, more simple than the Thanksgiving holiday is how our life can make a 180 degree turn for the better when we take the time each day to recognize and show appreciation towards one thing that we are grateful for.

In an interesting article in Psychology Today called “The Grateful Brain“, Dr. Alex Korb sites four scientific studies proving that expressing and showing gratitude towards anything activates brain regions associated with the feel-good neurotransmitter, dopamine. Fascinatingly, “once you start recognizing the things you are grateful for, your brain starts looking for more things to be grateful for.” And, even more extraordinary, “in a study from the National Institute of Health, researchers examined blood flow in various brain regions while subjects summoned up feelings of gratitude (ZAHN etal, 2009). They found that subjects who showed more gratitude overall had higher levels of activity in the hypothalamus. This is important because the hypothalamus controls a huge array of essential bodily functions, including eating, drinking and sleeping. It also has a huge influence on your metabolism and stress levels. Dr. Korb states that this brain activity evidence makes it clear how improvements in gratitude could have such wide-ranging effects from increased exercise, and improved sleep to decreased depression and fewer aches and pains.

There’s no denying that gratitude is a life-improving game changer, which is why I am proposing you join iGnite in our #gratefulgram challenge during the month of November. Starting today and throughout the month of November, I invite you to join me in taking photos (each day if possible) of the things you are grateful for and posting them on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or your social media outlet/outlets of choice with the hastag #gratefulgram and also tagging iGnite’s social media profile. I encourage you to not over-think what you are grateful for. You having gratitude for your car starting in the morning is equally as great and wonderful as posting a photo of your family. According to Dr. Alex Korb, gratitude is gratitude and regardless of what you have gratitude for, it all counts. You can check out my Instagram account and Facebook profile to get a visual of how simple it can be. And, for those of you who participate, you will be entered into a prize drawing for iGnite to donate $50 in your name to the charity or non-profit you are most grateful for (just be sure and tag iGnite and #gratefulgram to enter)!

Above is a picture I took while attending last Friday’s sunrise Core & Stretch on the Texas Rowing Center’s dock, for which I was and continue to be grateful for. What I love about being able to capture our blessings is that they make us more aware of how abundantly blessed we really are and in turn improves our overall quality of life. And overt gratitude has the opportunity to improve the overall quality of someone else’s life! Gratitude changes everything and that’s the warm fuzzies I’m talking about!

Action Item:
Watch this week’s inspiring video (below), and throughout the month of November take one picture each day of something you are grateful for and post it on your social media outlet/outlets of choice.

I know, I know. It’s another Oprah video, but I promise it’s totally relevant. We need to just make Oprah an honorary member 🙂 She’s sooo iGnite!

You Might Also Like:

Thanksgiving for Adversity & What You Do AND Don’t Have

Fall Leaves

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.
-Thornton Wilder

Have you ever reflected on your life and given thanks for what you do not have and for adversity?

For example, many years ago while suffering from a broken heart, I prayed over and over that my boyfriend and I would reconcile and live happily ever after. The boyfriend was not my husband, and I am off-the-charts thankful for what I don’t have: a bad marriage and a life that looks nothing like the one I now live, love and am infinitely grateful for.

Also, I specifically remember a friend telling me that she faithfully prayed to no longer have financial woes; however, following a substantial salary increase she was unable to budget and found herself back in financial struggles. This was a tough lesson, but she confessed that she now understands that the blessing of money comes with great responsibility. She is thankful for the tough lessons learned and lives a more financially accountable and practical lifestyle.

Thanksgiving is a joyful time that creates a desire to rest, reflect and give extra thanks for all of our blessings. However, I suggest we go one step further and give thanks for what we do not have, as well as for challenging life experiences.

It seems silly to be thankful for life’s hardships, but for me, they have shaped my life for the best, and provided me with much needed humility, gratitude and the desire and ability to connect and share with others.

Therefore, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I am happy to say that I am thankful that I did not marry my high school sweetheart, did not succeed in New York City, and for not having to bake the Thanksgiving turkey 🙂  Have a safe & happy Thanksgiving!

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Point To Ponder:
Are you as thankful for life’s challenges as you are for all of the good times?

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Action Item:
Be grateful for the blessing of adversity, what you have, don’t have and for unanswered prayers.

To your health,

Neissa

About Neissa

Leave a Comment

Be Thankful

A Fun and Festive Thanksgiving Workout-Thanksgiving is the time to put all disagreements aside and make peace, just as the Indian and turkey did last year at Austin High Track.

A Fun and Festive Thanksgiving Workout-Thanksgiving is the time to put all disagreements aside and make peace, just as the Indian and turkey did last year at Austin High Track.

Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.
— William Arthur Ward

Action Item:
Enjoy a week of Thanksgiving and let your grateful spirit and abundant joy permeate through you and into the lives of others.

Be Thankful
Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire,
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Be thankful when you don’t know something,
For it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.

Be thankful for your limitations,
Because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Be thankful for each new challenge
Because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes.
They will teach you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you’re tired and weary,
Because it means you’ve made a difference.

It is easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are
also thankful for the setbacks.

GRATITUDE can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles,
and they can become your blessings.
-(Anonymous)

As we enter the Thanksgiving holiday, the video of the week reminds us that everyday is a blessing and there is “No promise for Tomorrow.” Happy Thanksgiving!!

JOIN THE DISCUSSION- What is your favorite thing about Thanksgiving?

Related Posts: