image: https://thumbs-prod.si-cdn.com/RXsbI4PWG6K1B1lAbjxNm3R-GdM=/800×600/filters:no_upscale()/https://public-media.smithsonianmag.com/filer/Ask-an-Expert-First-Thanksgiving-631.jpg@SmithsonianMag on Twitter
Thanksgiving Day History
Just like many holidays, turkey day has evolved into an excuse to stuff your face. The original Thanksgiving celebration was much more meaningful than just sitting down to a dinner.
In fact, the first celebrated Thanksgiving Day in 1621 was a shared feast between the Plymouth colonists and the Wampanoag Indians. The feast was a celebration of the bountiful harvest and what came to be a 50 year friendship between the two cultures.
The Indians helped the pilgrims learn how to thrive in a land they were not equipped to survive. The pilgrims learned how to avoid poisonous plants, harvesting corn and taking sap from trees.
While both groups contributed to the feast. The Indians brought deer and spices. Similarly, the colonists contributed wild fowl, vegetables (corn, lettuce, cabbage, onions, peas and carrots) and fruits (cranberries, blueberries, gooseberries, plums, grapes and raspberries).
The Holiday Meal Today
Thanksgiving is typically a holiday where families gather and overeat. Although there are some similarities to the original feast, much of the tradition has been lost. In particular, the traditional bounty has been replaced with foods filled with sugar.
For example, fresh fruits are now served as cranberry sauce and pie! The colonists and indians did not have the means to make these special treats.
Hence, the nutritional value of the modern day Thanksgiving meal has been diluted with excess calories and sugar.
Bringing Back The “Thanks & Giving” Holiday Tradition
Therefore, in keeping with the spirit of the holiday and the original Thanksgiving feast and its roots, consider volunteering in your community. Because, you will see that small acts of kindness are second to none.
No matter how much, or how little, we have; it is important to be thankful. As a an American community, we should celebrate cultural contributions together. Our great country is a melting pot that has been built upon helping others.
One of the most memorable Thanksgivings I have ever had was volunteering to serve seniors. As a group of moms and a school full of children, we served a Thanksgiving meal, gave seniors hand-made gifts and entertained them for this special holiday.
We (the seniors, the children and the parents) were all thankful.
There were plenty of smiles and happiness exchanged. The children were proud and happy that the seniors enjoyed the songs and celebration. The moms were delighted to serve the seniors. The seniors were excited and thankful for the time we all spent together.
Above all, it is important to consider, that no Thanksgiving meal, can compare to the gift of giving.
Thanksgiving Wrap up
Let’s not forget what Thanksgiving is all about. Namely, it is being thankful for friends, food and togetherness. There are no calories, no guilt, no regrets when we help one another together as a society.
A traditional Thanksgiving meal has less calories from sugar. One day of eating in excess is not going to tip the weight scales. However, you may enjoy these traditional Thanksgiving recipes: http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/thanksgiving/a/thanksgivingdin.htm, or http://alldayidreamaboutfood.com/2013/11/30-delicious-low-carb-thanksgiving-recipes.html.
Enjoy your holiday and make it meaningful!