A Season for Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving always has been my favorite holiday – it’s a day centered around delicious food and expressing gratitude for the people and things for which you are thankful. I feel fortunate to have so many things for which to be thankful in my life and try to make a regular practice of noticing and expressing this gratitude. Keeping a gratitude journal or maintaining a similar gratitude practice is associated with a host of health benefits, including boosts in immune system functioning, improved response to stress, and enhanced mood and well-being. No wonder then that so many scientists are researching and extolling the effects of gratitude, as evidenced by Ted’s Thanksgiving-themed playlist.

One of the many things for which I am grateful was the overabundance of food at my family’s Thanksgiving table. Many individuals are not so fortunate, with 1 in 6 individuals in the US going hungry, according to Feeding America. Perhaps in this season of giving, you might be inspired to donate to an organization that works to combat hunger in America and throughout the world, such as Feeding America, Heifer International, Meals on Wheels, and others. A simple way to minimize food waste in your home, get creative with using up your Thanksgiving meal leftovers. Below are a few tasty ideas!

Sweet Potato Casserole = Sweet Potato Pancakes


Image by Lydia Degaris at myrecipes.com

Mashed Potatoes = Mashed Potato Latkes or Shepherd’s Pie


Image courtesy of grandmotherskitchen.org

Boil the turkey bones to make stock for Turkey Noodle Soup or Turkey Chowder


Via bombshellbling.com

Stuffing = Stuffed Mushrooms

stuffed mushrooms

Image via rachelraymag.com

Cranberry Sauce = Sweet & Spicy Meatballs


Image via Taste of Home