ThanksLiving 2016

11:30 AM

One day, I may go into further detail about what prompted me to begin eating a vegetarian diet back in August 2008 and my journey since then. It feels like a lifetime ago, but at the same time it feels brand new. I'm by no means perfect and I never claim to be, and just as all things in life evolve, so has my vegetarianism.

In the present time of November 2016, I eat no meat and no fish. I do eat eggs (bought at local farms 80% of the time) and I eat dairy (mostly in the form of cheese - at home we drink almond milk and I love coconut milk yogurt).

I'm not alone. My older sister, Melissa, is a full-on vegan and I'm forever in awe of how she so easily forgoes that which she does not care to eat. Most recently, our youngest brother Matthew decided he also did not want to eat animals any longer. A compassionate and kind hearted child from the beginning, it is no wonder he has also chosen this path.

And so, our first family ThanksLiving was created November 24, 2016. AKA, no meat was brought, cooked, or consumed. Some people at the table may have been missing their turkey, but it made my heart happy knowing our table was filled with foods that were made from the earth and didn't include pain or suffering in their creation.

We had an array of delicious goodies and no one went hungry. I made roasted carrots and brussel sprouts. My sister made delicious mashed potatoes and my favorite vegan pumpkin pie. Mom supplied some appetizers, garlic broccoli, traditional cranberry sauce, a butternut squash dish, candied yams, baked ziti, salad, and even more! Of course, there were other desserts a plenty, like Grandma's famous cranberry pie, and we toasted with some wine and sparkling cider.

Family Portrait from ThanksLiving! 

The most delicious vegan pumpkin pie

In my life, there is so much to be thankful for. At the beginning of the month as a little exercise, I started jotting down a few of the things that make me happy in my life. It was a fun way for me to quickly remember why I should be happy, even if my day wasn't great or I woke up on the wrong side of the bed.

We may not always get everything we want in life, right when we want it. Sometimes, things happen that just plain suck! In those times, it is okay to feel sad or angry; that is just human nature. What is important is how we come back from those times. When we are done being sad and angry, we remember that there is so much to be thankful for. Focus on the things that make you happy, all the people in your life who make it rich and vibrant. Think about the obstacles you've overcome and the goals you have reached. Turn your head towards the sun and walk forward knowing you have the opportunity to make the most of this life.

Be thankful each and every day.

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