Baking / Clean eating / Dinner

Thankful

I have always loved Thanksgiving.  Fall is by far my FAVOURITE season.  I love the fashion, the weather, the colours, the food.  By October, I’m tired of flip flops and bbq and crave boots and roasted anything.  I love fall walks through the woods with my dog, admiring the amazing colour show Mother Nature puts on.  I love it.

I also love Thanksgiving.  An awesome long weekend with amazing food and family.  This year I feel like I have more to be thankful for.

I am very thankful for my family.  I’m super grateful for my kids.  They have really rocked out this year- really growing up and becoming really awesome people.  I’m forever grateful for my hubby- who has really been so generous and has been so supportive of the major changes I have made to my life and our life.

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But if I can really pin point one thing that I’m truly thankful for- it would be the major changes I have made in my life. I’m really thankful for finding “clean eating” and exercise this year.  This blog is entitled “I Choose Happy” because that is what I decided to do this year.  I wasn’t a happy person before.  I felt so desperate and my future seemed so bleak last summer.  I honestly thought I was going to be unhappy and overweight forever.  I didn’t see happiness in my future.  Then I put my trust in my friend Sarah who taught me the power of diet and exercise and how it can change your life. Clean eating could have been another one of those things I tried then stopped.  This time- I recognized how eating the right food and pushing my body affected my mood.  I chose to keep to doing it.  I chose to be happy.

I am thankful that this is my family portrait this year:

Family at Thanksgiving 2014

This time last year, I hated my family portrait.  I loved my family- my kids were super cute last year but I hated how I looked.

Thanksgiving 2013I am super thankful for this picture because I really don’t have many pictures of me from when I was overweight.  I wasn’t exactly jumping in front of the camera.  I’m so glad I have this photo because I can really see how far I have come 🙂

Now I feel that my outside matches how I feel in the inside!

I feel like this in the inside too!

I feel like this in the inside too!

Now part of my new “clean eating” life is I don’t consume dairy.  I only eat goat cheese and I will take cream in my coffee.  I’ve been pretty committed to my eating plan but this Thanksgiving my sister made this amazing cheeseball!turkey

I had to eat this cheese!  How cute is that??!!!!

I did try to cook as clean as possible for my Thanksgiving dinner. I was very conscious of ingredients when I was cooking.  I made this stuffing recipe I found on Pinterest : http://www.ohsweetbasil.com/2011/11/apple-cranberry-stuffing.html
You will need:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the baking dish
1 medium onions , minced
2 tablespoons minced, fresh parsley
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
1 small apple, peeled and diced
1/3-1/2 cup craisins
1 loaf white bread cut in 1/2 inch cubes
2 cups hot water
3-4 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

I also added to celery ribs, diced. I used leftover Ace Bakery bread and homemade spelt hamburger buns I had made and froze this summer. The recipe can be found at https://ichoosehappyblog.com/2014/08/22/the-best-summer-ever/
The stuffing was great!

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I also made a “Crustless Pumpkin Pie” but I think it tastes like a Pumpkin Crisp. The recipe can be found at http://graincrazy.blogspot.ca/2014/09/crustless-pumpkin-pie-gluten-free.html

You will need:
1 15 oz. canned pumpkin
1 C + 2 T almond milk
1/2 C honey
1tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
Topping
1/2 C chopped up pecans
3 T coconut oil
1/4 C honey
1C old fashioned oatmeal
1/4 C quinoa flour or other whole grain flour * I used unbleached white flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves

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I made coconut milk “whipped cream” as a topping. You carefully open a can of full fat coconut milk and scoop out the fat that usually separates and hardens on the top of the coconut milk. I then whip it with about 1tsp of maple syrup. It’s better than whipped cream!

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Choose happy- I did this year and I don’t regret it! 🙂

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