How about a side of empowerment with that Thanksgiving meal?

Posted on November 23, 2011


I was reading yesterday about a theory called Health Self Empowerment (outlined in Chapter 40 of this book). This is a health psychology framework for health promotion particularly designed to target cultural health disparities. In applying this theory, counselors seek to motivate sustained health change by encouraging positivity about progress at every small step along the way toward an implementable health goal.

Thanksgiving in a lot of ways for me is about being thankful for what I have, but I was thinking yesterday after reading about this counseling technique, that I should also be thankful for what I have achieved.

I really feel an accomplished change this year, made obvious by the lack of a heavy cloud of confusion and dread this Thanksgiving eve. I don’t feel nearly as overwhelmed as I have in the past regarding Thanksgiving dinner. I made a brief trip to the grocery store yesterday morning with a very short, easy list, and I’ve got the turkey brining already!

I think this difference is in great part due to the kitchen experience that I have continued to build on, in successes and fails, throughout the year. I think it is also is owed to my comittment to make changes to my eating habits, including my first attempt at a vegetable garden and all the learning I did in my month of eating Unprocessed. I’m also really proud of the progress I have made with Ghanaian cooking as I continue to explore the integration of two cultures in my life.

So this year, I am appreciative of the accomplishments I have endeavored to realize throughout the past year. I am thankful for the ability and means to pursue these goals and the support of loved ones around me who have encouraged me to achieve them!

Here is the plan for this year’s very simple Thanksgiving menu:

Spice-rubbed Roast Turkey
served with Pan Gravy
Apple and Sausage Stuffing
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Steamed Brussels Sprouts
Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
and for dessert,
Maple Pumpkin Pie

We are planning to be at home tomorrow, just the two of us for dinner. You may be wondering how we can manage a whole turkey with just the two of us. Well, my husband claims every year that he can eat a whole turkey all by himself. Maybe in past years, this claim was due to the fact that I wasn’t a very good cook, so he hadn’t eaten very well for the past 365 days…but we’ll see how he does this year. 🙂