Tastes of Thanksgiving

I can barely keep track of how many people are in my immediate family—somewhere in the thirties and growing, when you count siblings, spouses, their children, and their children’s spouses and kids. Yes, we got the “go forth and multiply” memo.

I’ve been hosting Thanksgiving for several years now for those of my family who can make it to the Berkshires. While the classic turkey and trimmings are expected, the hit of the day is always the vegetables and interesting side dishes that add flavor and zest to the meal. When serving a variety of people of various ages, tastes, and dietary needs, attention to side dishes will invite the vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free people you love to feel included in the celebration.

For many, overindulging in sweetness and fat at Thanksgiving can set the stage for a six-week bacchanal of holiday treats. To steer toward balance and away from fat and sugar overload, try heeding the Ayurvedic wisdom of serving the six tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter (think greens), pungent (think hot peppers), and astringent (think popcorn or eggplant).

This year, I invite you to mindfully savor friends, family, and the full range of tastes you encounter on your plate and in your life! Here's a recipe for a spice tea to help you stay balanced through the holiday season. May you have a healthy, happy holiday, and a miraculous new year!

Balancing Herbal Tea

1 tablespoon ginger powder
1 tablespoon coriander powder
2 tablespoons dry mint
2 tablespoons fennel powder

Mix together the herbs. Add 1 teaspoon of the mixture to hot water, and steep for 5–15 minutes. Drink after meals.

© Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health. All rights reserved. To request permission to reprint, please e-mail editor@kripalu.org.

Annie B. Kay, MS, RDN, E-RYT 500, C-IAYT, is an author, nutritionist, Kripalu faculty member, and important voice in whole-foods nutrition and yoga.

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