With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about what you’re going to serve up for this holiday of thanks.
Will you be serving the same old Thanksgiving food that makes you feel bloated and gassy? The kind of foods that cause you to loosen your pants after the meal (even when they’re elastic) with achy gut pain and a quick trip to the bathroom… maybe multiple trips?
2020 has been awful enough!
It’s time to Do it Like a Mom and take the reins on a gut lovin’ holiday meal that won’t leave your IBD in the toilet. The simple act of tweaking your holiday favorites into something more Crohn’s and colitis friendly (yet still makes your taste buds happy) is something you have control over in this time of chaos.
In this episode, I’m giving you my entire IBD Foodie Thanksgiving menu, complete with all the fixings and recipes you need, so you can make this Thanksgiving meal your best one yet.
We’re talking about:
And so much more!
After this episode, you’ll have everything you need to whip up an absolutely memorable Thanksgiving Day feast for your taste buds and your belly. Isn’t it time you took control of the Thanksgiving narrative and heard your belly say “thanks” on Thanksgiving? You’ve got this mama! And I’ve got you covered. Let’s dive in.
Episode at a Glance:
[35:10] Are you ready to take your gut healing to the next level? Schedule your free IBD Root Cause Troubleshooting Session with me today.
Get Your IBD Foodie Thanksgiving Table Cookbook Right Here. It will give you access to all the mouth watering and gut friendly recipes that were mentioned in this episode.
An IBD Friendly Thanksgiving: Delish Traditional Recipes with a Crohn’s and Colitis Gut Friendly Twist
Win a copy of my cold and flu buster recipe guide (you’ve got the ingredients right in your kitchen). Details below…
[00:01] Hey there, Karyn here. Before we dive into the episode today, I wanted to take a quick moment to say thank you. Thanks for hanging out with me for the last couple months, and for your emails and texts with positive feedback for the show. Being here with you every Wednesday is something I really look forward to as we share our IBD mom journey together. It’s a dream come true to connect with you. I’m especially thankful to those who have taken the time to leave a positive review of the podcast on iTunes—like soccermom814 who wrote: “This is exactly what I’ve been waiting for! The focus on moms is perfect for me. I was diagnosed with IBD last year and I just can’t get information like this from my doctor. Thanks Karen!” That’s awesome soccermom814. Soccer moms unite! We’re in this together mama and I’m so glad you’re enjoying the show.
I know it takes time out of your busy day to leave a rating and review, and I appreciate it when you do. It helps other moms find the podcast so we can support each other on our IBD journey. And to say thank you for you for leaving a rating and review, I’m currently giving away my Kitchen Arsenal Cure guide just in time for cold and flu season, and of course coronavirus, although that’s more like an always thing for the moment. Keeping your immune system healthy is more important than ever. If you want to get your hands on my kitchen arsenal cure with 2 recipes to boost your immune system with ingredients you already have in your house, leave me a rating and review (a positive one I hope) on iTunes. Once you do, take a screen shot of it and email it to me with the subject line podcast review. I’ll immediately send my kitchen arsenal Cure recipe guide your way to say thanks for spreading the love and joy. Whether you leave a review or not, know that I appreciate you and thank you for listening to the show. Now let’s get to it.[Music]
INTRO: You are listening to The Cheeky Podcast for Moms with IBD, a safe space for moms with Crohn’s and colitis, connect, explore powerful tools for healing and transform our lives to thrive in motherhood and in life. I’m your host, Karyn Haley, IBD health coach, integrative wellness enthusiast, and mom to three outstanding kids. After having Crohn’s disease for 30 years and working as a health advocate exclusively with IBD clients for the last 10 years, I know it’s time to bring the types of candid conversations I have with my clients out into the open. It’s our time to go on an IBD healing journey and do it like only a mom can. Let’s do this.[music]
[03:07] Welcome, welcome dear listener. Karyn here and I’m so happy and grateful to be with you on another episode of The Cheeky Podcast for Moms with IBD. I love our topic today. It’s probably my favorite conversation of the whole year, and every year at this time. We’re talking Thanksgiving Food!!! And I know this is an American holiday so my friends in Belgium, Denmark, Argentina, the UK… and the amazing ladies in the wonderful countries you tune in from. I see you, and I appreciate you. To you mamas outside the US specifically, I promise, even if you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, you’re still going to love this episode and these recipes we’re talking about because they’re absolutely tasty enough to use them for any holiday, even for everyday cooking if you choose.
Finally, an answer to the question: What can I make for Thanksgiving that’s healthy for my belly and makes my taste buds happy?
Before we dive into the meat of our convo today, I’m so excited about something that I can’t wait any longer. I have to tell you upfront that there’s an awesome bonus waiting for you at karynhaley.com/thanksgiving. It’s my best, most comprehensive Thanksgiving cookbook to date. It’s got all the recipes we’re talking about in today’s episode, it’s going to cut your Thanksgiving stress of what should I make in half, and it’s going to give you peace of mind this year knowing you are eating tasty AND gut healthy food to help your IBD heal. Love it! If you want my recently updated Thanksgiving cookbook: The IBD Foodie Thanksgiving Table, all you have to do to grab it head on over the show notes to grab it or go to karynhaley.com/thanksgiving
OK, on with the show.
[05:27] Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday of the year. It didn’t used to be. Truthfully, I’ve never really been a fan of turkey. But after I started eating IBD healing foods, all that changed. Thanksgiving soon became by favorite holiday of the year and all because of the food—these IBD friendly recipes we’re talking about today, I experimented with and honed over my years of eating to heal IBD instead of eating food that fought against it… I learned to make it the most delicious, yet gut friendly meal I have, and my family has and my extended family and friends have when we’re not in quarantine. And now, today I the episode, I’m sharing these menu ideas with you so you can have the same delicious, gut loving experience at your holiday table.
The weird, but true story of why I celebrate Thanksgiving twice a year. And why you can too!
Truth be told, I actually have Thanksgiving twice a year at my house—sort of. You see, I have another date built on gratitude that I celebrate every year. My own day of thanks—just like thanksgiving—only this date is my personal Independence Day of gratitude and love to commemorate and celebrate when I found a way out of my complicated and often agonizing relationship with IBD. For me, that other day of thanks is July 4th, yes, Independence Day for those of us the United States. While, of course, I do celebrate the birth of the United States on that day with fireworks and friends, I also celebrate how far I’ve come on that day too.[07:16] Travel back in time with me for just a brief moment and I promise I’ll bring this story back around to juicy Thanksgiving food. The year is 2008, twelve years ago, and the month is January. January, a time of new beginnings, hope, and resolutions. After 5 years of contemplating the Specific Carbohydrate Diet—yes, 5 years and that’s a whole nother story for a whole nother episode. But there I am, contemplating where my life is going like many of us do this time of year, thinking nothing I’ve tried medically has worked for my Crohn’s in 20 years. I’ve been on every medication available, I’ve had 2 bowel resections, in total almost 10 feet of bowel removed, and, where am I? Am I any closer to remission? Not even close. Not one pain free day, not one day away from wondering when I’d have to rush to the bathroom next, not one day feeling more than “other” in the world.
So, by January of 2008, after 20 years suffering with Crohn’s, I finally thought to myself, it’s time to go back to this SCD thing, this Breaking the Vicious Cycle book that when I read it the first time, it looked like it was written in Greek, but instinctively, I knew it was time to go back to it. I remember saying to myself, this is your time, you’re ready, this time you’ll understand what you read. So, I did it. It took me a few months to get it, to contemplate and make a plan, but finally I picked a date. A date where I would declare my independence from the chains of IBD. I was going in with knowledge and power, I would strike out on my own, start the SCD no matter who did or did not support me (and there were many on both sides), but I would finally take the reins on my own healing journey.
Well, that day turned out to be July 4th, 2008 and every year on that day since, along with the birth of the good ole US of A, I also celebrate my independence day with a massive party, serving my favorite food of all. And as I bring this story back around in a full circle moment (too late), I’m sure you can guess what my favorite food of all the food in the whole world is? The food I serve not only on this Independence Day celebration of mine…you guessed it. It’s my Thanksgiving menu. The menu very menu I’m going to share with you today. So, while I love this gut healing Thanksgiving food so much and it holds a sacred space for my Thanksgiving dinner, know that it also holds the record of being the food I love so much, that I also serve it up on my very own independence day, every year.
That’s how much I know you are going to love the food we are talking about today and if Thanksgiving wasn’t your favorite holiday just like it didn’t used to be mine, you better believe it’s going to be now. You’re going to love Thanksgiving so much that you’ll find another time of year to eat this food too!
Let’s dive in!
So, what’s typically on an American Thanksgiving table?
It might vary just a bit depending on where you live in the country—my husband is from the south and I’m from the north so when we got married and went to each other’s families for Thanksgiving, it was fun to see the cultural differences in the food. What you serve might also depend on what your family traditions are, but I bet for the most part, it resembles something like this:
Thanksgiving means a turkey, stuffing (as it’s called in the north) or dressing (in my hubby’s southern family), mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, bread like yeasty rolls or corn bread, and of course pumpkin pie for dessert.
Is your mouth watering yet? And how’d I do? Pretty close to the typical thanksgiving, right?
[12:14] It’s definitely tasty, but is there anything about the Thanksgiving I just described that’s gut friendly? I honestly can’t think of a single thing on that list that checks the gut friendly box. It’s loaded with complex carbohydrates and those carbs turn into sugar and that equals a plethora of pathogenic bacteria in our gut, which is IBD kryptonite and leads to that lovely gut disruption like abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhea. It’s also full of gluten… that gluey protein that’s also a gut disruptor and causes intestinal permeability for many of us, it’s that leaky gut problem that leads to undigested food particles that enter our blood stream. Thanksgiving food is also full of unhealthy fats, loads of sugar, processed ingredients, chemicals, and artificial flavorings… not a good look for your gut, or your blood pressure or your heart either.
Before I figured out how to eat to support my IBD, I was always sick after Thanksgiving dinner. Maybe you can relate to this– Lots of time in the bathroom after the meal, lots of time spent with a heating pad on my belly to sooth my aching gut, lots of time wondering what I did wrong…
No more. No more of that for me and no more of that for you. It’s time to turn Thanksgiving upside down. And before you start thinking, I’m turning your beloved holiday into something you’ll no longer recognize with roots, berries, kale, and quinoa… I promise, I can give you a similar, but healthy gut loving substitute for every single menu item I just mentioned. A menu item I personally think is much tastier than its standard American counterpart. And as the added bonus, all of us mamas want, your family will love it too.
[14:30] Let’ start with the star of our Thanksgiving dinner: Tom the Turkey.
With Tom, there’s actually not too many problems here, unless you’re a vegetarian of course. And no worries if you are because most everything else for Thanksgiving can be made vegan or vegetarian. But turkey’s, for the most part, are gut healthy. I just want you to keep a few things in mind when it comes to your bird.
First of all, try to get the best quality bird you can afford. Many people with IBD are sensitive to hormones added to poultry so definitely try to find a turkey that’s free of hormones. And sensitivity is really just the start of the problems we experience with added hormones. Hormones added to meat disrupt your entire endocrine system so stay away from meat with hormones. The absolute best place to get your turkey is a pasture raised turkey from a local farm. Fresh, quality meat, delicious… I know not everyone lives in an area with a local farm close by, but local farms like this are growing in popularity so get your bird from a local farmer if you can. If a farm isn’t an option, how about a health food store? They also have really high quality options when it comes to turkey. Again, this may not be an option for you, so in that case, head to your local grocery store and see if they have an organic bird, if not, make sure it’s free of hormones, and flavorings and seasonings.
We already talked about the danger of hormones, but flavorings and seasons are problematic too. Flavorings usually contain gluten, a known gut disruptor, and as well as artificial ingredients you may not even know you’re sensitive to.
There’s so much more we could talk about when it comes to selecting your turkey, cooking times and temps for your turkey, how to easily season your turkey since you’re buying it plain now… and thankfully you’ll get all that and more in your IBD Foodie Thanksgiving Table Cookbook when you download it at karynhaley.com/thanksgiving. There’s a whole page dedicated to turkey cooking info so I feel comfortable leaving Tom here as you are in good hands with the cookbook, I promise.
The gut healthy version of mashed potatoes.
Next on the thanksgiving table is the mashed potatoes. Yes, mashed potatoes are gluten free so know that you are good there, but remember the complex carb factor I mentioned earlier. Potatoes are loaded with gut disrupting complex carbohydrates—ones that make it difficult to digest and absorb. When we’ve got IBD, we want to stay away from complex carbohydrates and instead focus on the carbs we can digest- simple carbohydrates.
Fortunately, there’s an absolutely delicious mashed potato alternative you can have at Thanksgiving and year round if you choose. It’s a really ugly, but don’t judge a book by its cover, vegetable called celery root. Have you ever seen celery root before? Before it was recommended to me, I had never heard of it. Celery root, or celeriac as it’s sometimes called is a cousin of celery and it does have a green stalk at the top of it, and it also does smell a little like celery. But that’s where the similarity ends because instead of eating the green stalky part, you’re actually eating the root, which looks a lot like a hairy potato. Can you imagine a large hairy potato? Yep, you’ve got it, ugly!
When I first started eating celery root, I used to have to go to the health food store to find it. Now, I see it everywhere where I live in Maryland. Safeway, Food Lion, Giant, Wegmans… they all have it. You may never have seen it, but look for it in the produce section. I bet you’ll find it. Ask your produce helper if you don’t see it.
So, how do we get this brown hairy thing looking and tasting like mashed potatoes? We start by peeling it, just like a potato, then chopping it just like a potato, and then we cook it in water or broth, just like a potato. Unlike using a masher though, I recommend putting your cooked celery root in the blender and blending it until smooth. There’s a great recipe for you to check out in your Thanksgiving cookbook for mashed celery root. It’s delish plain, but feel free to add gravy to it if you want.
Let’s not forget the gravy!
And speaking of gravy… should you eat that on Thanksgiving Day? Probably not. Most store bought gravy is full of chemicals, preservatives and gluten—not IBD friendly. There are some store bought gluten free gravies that aren’t so bad like the one from Simply organic (it’s a powder) or Imagine brand makes a ready to serve gluten free gravy that you just heat up. If you’re looking to take a baby step in the realm of IBD foodie land, I recommend this option.
If you’re ready to go all in on gut healing, I recommend you make your own gravy at home. You still make it from the turkey drippings, just like your grandmama does, but your thickener is a healthier flour like coconut flour. If you want a little trick to give your gravy a nice dark, rich color, I know it might sound crazy, but you add just a bit of almond butter. Just try it. I remember hearing about it, thinking it wouldn’t work and would just taste like almonds, but it doesn’t. It just gives your gravy a beautiful golden color.
Of course, there’s other ways to make gut friendly gravy too and one of those ways uses a cooked onion as a thickener. There’s a recipe for that in your cookbook as well.
Did you think I forgot about the stuffing as my family calls it? Heck no. My gluten and grain free stuffing is the highlight of our Thanksgiving table. My whole family loves it. On this one, I’m gonna come right out and tell you, it’s different than stove top or even homemade stuffing. It’s not light, fluffy, and bready. It’s more of a delicious casserole with ingredients like ground sausage, cranberries, onions and celery. But it is truly worth an open mind because everyone who celebrates Thanksgiving at my house always asks if I’m making my famous stuffing. The recipe for my sweet and savory stuffing is in your IBD Foodie Thanksgiving Table Cookbook and so is a more gourmet version as well if you’re feeling a little fancy for the occasion.
The sweet potato casserole substitute your whole family will love.
Now, Thanksgiving wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without the sweet potato casserole would it? Brown sugar, flour, marshmallows? Definitely tasty, but also definitely a one-way trip down a mineshaft for IBDer’s. There’s just too unhealthy ingredients in there for us to tolerate.
Now, one option for you to consider is a healthier sweet potato option. Lots of mamas with IBD tolerate sweet potatoes just fine. Moms on a whole food, gluten free, or paleo approach eat sweet potatoes. If that’s you, go for it with the sweet potatoes. Maybe a whole baked sweet potato or sweet potato mash topped with cinnamon, butter and honey or maple syrup. That would be delish.
If you’re like me and sweet potatoes are a little too starchy for your digestion or if you’re on the SCD, GAPS, or Autoimmune Paleo eating plan, I’ve got a sweet potato substitute you’re going to love! And it’s star ingredient is butternut squash. Oh yes, don’t poo poo it if you’ve never had it. I definitely did before I ate it in this recipe. My candied butternut squash will blow your mind and you’ll never miss the sweet potato casserole again. Of course, the recipe is in the IBD Foodie Thanksgiving Table Cookbook so it’s all yours when you download your copy.
One word of caution about this recipe, the candied part is a sweet and nutty topping. If you are sensitive to nuts, I’d omit this part. The butternut squash is still sweet and tangy and delicious on its own too.
Is your mouth watering yet? Oh yeah, mine is too.
Even more Thanksgiving recipes await, including dessert!
[25:26] As we wrap up this Thanksgiving feast chat, I do want to mention a few more side dishes you won’t want and you won’t have to go without. These side dishes are all in my Thanksgiving cookbook as well. I think you’ll love my green bean casserole substitute. It’s a recipe for green beans almandine and a little tip to make this recipe super special is to use fresh green beans. Most grocers carry them this time of year. It really brings the dish up a notch from good to yum. And let’s not forget the dinner biscuits or rolls. It’s just not a Thanksgiving feast without bread and butter. Even on a an IBD foodie diet, whether it’s gluten free, paleo, SCD or any of the others, there’s scrumptious dinner roll recipes you can make. I’ve included my favorite dinner biscuits in your Thanksgiving cookbook. And there’s even a recipe for Spiced Apple Cider in there. Your family will rave about it. Every year on Thanksgiving, I get this recipe going in the crockpot, bright and early. With the cinnamon sticks and fresh cranberries in the mix, the whole house starts to smell like heaven before I even put the turkey in the oven. Trust me, your kids are gonna love this festive soda substitute too.
One last Thanksgiving note that we can’t forget about… dessert! Of course, dessert! Thanksgiving and dessert. They go hand and hand and even an IBD Foodie doesn’t have to skip dessert on Thanksgiving. Whether you’re a fan of pumpkin pie, pecan pie, or cookies, there’s a gut friendly recipe out there for you. Check out the internet, of course recipes abound there. Or you can check out the recipes for pumpkin pie and peanut butter kiss cookies in your IBD Foodie Thanksgiving cookbook. These are both Thanksgiving staples in my house. Everyone loves these desserts, kids and adults alike, and best of all, we now get to partake in dessert knowing it won’t upset our gut. You gotta love that.
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I want to leave you with some quick general Thanksgiving eating tips I know will serve you no matter what you decide to eat.
Where are you eating your turkey dinner this year?
[28:43] Are you eating at home this year? Remember:
[30:03] Are you eating at a family member or friends house this year?
OK, there you have it. You have the tools to make this your best Thanksgiving yet, at least foodwise if only I had a recipe to whip up so you could safely be with everyone you love this holiday. I’ll keep wishing for that.
Don’t forget to grab your free cookbook.
Don’t forget to grab your very own copy of The IBD Foodie Thanksgiving Table Cookbook by going to the show notes or by going to karynhaley.com/thanksgiving. All the recipes we talked about today are waiting for you there. Remember, we are all different when it comes to IBD and the foods we tolerate. If you’re looking for a substitution, give me a shout. I’m here to help. You can get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org I love it when you reach out. It makes my day to connect with you.
Well, I don’t know about you, but I want Thanksgiving to be tomorrow. I can’t wait! And truth be told, it’s all about the food. Lots of gratitude and thanks, but also the FOOD. The delicious, nutritious, gut loving food that’s waiting for us to dive into on this special day of thanks and gratitude. I’ll be thinking of you dear one on Thanksgiving, wishing and hoping your day is filled with IBD foodie comfort food, the love of your family around you, and a safe and healthy place to enjoy it all.
[34:33] Thank you so much for joining me today and for listening to today’s episode. When it comes to IBD, I know there’s a lot of resources out there, and I’m truly honored that you chose the Cheeky Podcast to get your IBD information today. If you found this information helpful, please give us a rating and review. It helps other moms find the podcast and see what we’re doing over here to help IBD moms everywhere. And if you feel called feel a call to do it, share this podcast with an IBD mom who you know could really use an uplifting message today, ’cause that’s what we’re all about over here at the Cheeky Podcast.
Are you ready to take your gut healing to the next level?
One last thing, if you’re still with me, and if you are, you’re definitely my kind of gal. We have to get to know each other better. If you’re tired of living on the hamster wheel of IBD with all the ups and downs between flares and remission, if you’re struggling to get control of your abdominal pain, gas, bloating, diarrhea and other troubling IBD symptoms, go to my website. It’s karynhaley.com, and my mom had to be just a little bit different, she spelled my name with the Y. So it’s K-A-R-Y-N H-A-L-E-Y.com and schedule your very own free 30-minute IBD root cause trouble-shooting session with me where we discuss the challenges you’ve been having, we set goals to help you move forward, and we talk about how we can work together to help you get your life back. It’s a power packed 30 minutes. You don’t have to live in IBD status quo. There’s so much that can be done to transform your life so you can thrive in motherhood and thrive with IBD. I’ve seen my clients walk this path and it gives me so much joy to take that journey with them.
My entire coaching practice is run online, so you never have to leave your house and you never have to get out of your jammy or yoga pants for us to work together. You know I’m wearing them to. If you’re ready to take your first amazing step towards healing, I’m ready to chat with you. Schedule your free 30-minute IBD root cause trouble shooting sesh today at karynhaley.com. Click on the work with me tab and I’ll see you soon. It’s important to note that the information in this podcast and in this episode is for general information purposes only and not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The statements made in the Cheeky Podcast for moms with IBD, either by me or my guests, is not intended to diagnose, treat, to cure, or prevent any disease. Before implementing any new treatment protocols, do yourself a favor and consult your physician first.
Thank you so much for listening, for being here, for saving this space for us to spend some time together. Until we chat again, I’m wishing you a cheeky and healthy IBD journey.