Low Carb Thanksgiving: Planning Like Pro

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Sam’s Club.  The opinions and text are all mine.

Low Carb Thanksgiving? Bah! I was pouting and pathetic.

That’s how I remember my first low carb Thanksgiving. Just like it was yesterday (instead of 12 years ago).

Pooooooooor little me.

No mashed potatoes. No rolls. No pumpkin pie.

No pie, people! No pumpkin pie. The horror!

I stoically allowed myself just two bites of mashed potatoes and gravy…and felt like I was going to cry, struggling to wear my brave face.

I’d only been low carbing about a week, but I knew the difference between “diet” and “lifestyle change”–the second one meant you had to do it forever and ever and ever.

Lifestyle change means no pie!

Geez. It’s embarrassing to admit now. But I was quite the low carb martyr.

“But Dixie! It’s a holiday! No dieting allowed!”

I don’t judge anybody for the decision to go off-plan at the holiday.

I won’t recommend it, but I certainly won’t judge you for it.

Here’s the thing: for some, it’s not a good idea to “just have a cheat day.” For a whole lot of reasons.

The people with diabetes, blood sugar issues, sugar addictions, issues with food and control?

Yeah. Just a little does hurt.

And are we going to forget those after-the-fact cravings? The sugar monster within never dies. He only hibernates.

For so many, a cheat day turns into a cheat week turns into a cheat month. It’s a slippery slope from “just a little won’t hurt” to “I just regained half of the weight I lost.” This too, I know from personal experience.

You can tell me you deserve it. I’ll respond, you deserve to be healthy and feel good. That’s the reward, not Grandma’s pie.

But it really goes deeper than that. You don’t have to suffer the way I did, that first year at my low carb Thanksgiving.  The way I soldiered through, full of self-pity, was just as silly as pretending holiday eating doesn’t impact my waistline.

A Low Carb Thanksgiving That’s Not Painful

Planning plus creativity will allow a delicious but still low carb Thanksgiving. You can still have some version of your holiday favorites (or make new favorites) combining strategic substitution and thinking ahead. Of course, you can enjoy great food and still eat healthy.

It’s merely a matter of pulling it all together. Look at where you’re most stressed–time, money, and/or solid low carb options, and prioritize solving those challenges. I went to Sam’s Club and browsed the food section–so many choices! There were plenty of  holiday planning ideas, everywhere I looked. Even the organic food was affordable.

This year, I’ll be cooking cranberries with sweetener instead of buying cans. I’m going to experiment with nuts in my stuffing instead of so much bread. With good quality food and great prices at my disposal, I can do this. And you can too.

Cauliflower mash makes a great potatoes-stand-in side. I made Turkey gravy last year, simmering the neck in bone broth with some veggies, thickening it with reduced cream and cream cheese–most compliments I’ve ever had on gravy, even from the carb-lovers. We never ate the Turkey neck, anyway.

Make your own cream of mushroom for green bean casserole soup with fresh mushrooms and fresh cream, instead of using a can. Using fresh ingredients is not hard, so much healthier and tastes better, too.

Make a nice sugar-free pumpkin bake in place of pie. Deviled eggs are a great appetizer. Little sausages simmered in sugar-free barbecue sauce are great for entertaining. Or if you’re short on time, just get a veggie platter and spend your time with the family instead.

Roasted sweet potatoes instead of candied yams? Oh yeah. I got the inspiration (and recipe) from one of these videos. Check out Chef Robert Irvine, host of Food Network’s Restaurant: Impossible Ambush as he ambushes unsuspecting Sam’s Club members to help them solve problems and party plan like a pro.

There’s a lot of great ideas on our Facebook page, but there is inspiration to be had everywhere. The point is, you have options!

If you like Sam’s Club–and I do!–you may want to enter their sweepstakes. The grand prize is a $500 gift card and a year’s Plus membership; there are five 1st place prizes of a year’s Prime membership, five 2nd place prizes of Wolfgang Puck 10 piece Stainless Steel mixing bowls, and ten 3rd place winners of a Kitchen Aid three-piece Chef Knife Set. Woot!

Enter and get more holiday planning tips here.

So stop thinking about what you can’t have and start thinking about what you can!

What strategies are you going to employ for your own  Low Carb Thanksgiving?

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.  Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and D.C., 21 years or older.  Ends 12/31/15.  To enter and for complete details and odds, visit www.foodnetwork.com/party.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Sam’ Club. The opinions and text are all mine.

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2017-09-10T14:58:14+00:00Nov 18, 2015 / 8:08 am |Inspiration|Comments Off on Low Carb Thanksgiving: Planning Like Pro