What I Ate For Thanksgiving and What I'll Eat on Christmas Eve Because of It

When I thought about what I stuffed down my pie hole last month, I had kind of a weird feeling about writing this article. Weird in an embarrassing, self-conscious way. I could give you a list of what Thanksgiving dinner included, how much of it I ate, and how it made me feel. But then I wondered why you would even give a crap. I mean, you aren’t me, right? You’re obsessed with your guts at least as much as I’m obsessed with mine. They work differently, but kind of the same, too. It’s so confusing.

Once when I heard somebody say to somebody else:  love your guts, sweet pea, I realized nobody’s ever said it to me—and why would they? For sure my guts are not lovable, not even to me. But I’m stuck with my guts like you are stuck with yours. So all I can do at this point is tell you what I did and leave it up to you to think meh, or yeah, that sounds about right. See what a worrier I am? No wonder I’ve got gut issues.

Thanksgiving dinner was so awesome I can only struggle to give you a lame outline of its splendor. Most of this is because my sister, Dana, is a gifted cook. She is the only person I know that can make turkey gravy taste as hearty as beef. I grabbed a not-very-modest helping of white meat that was perfectly done (Dana insisted it was dried out but I beg to differ). The only “cheat” was that she bought Bob Evans mashed potatoes this year—and only because she had a bad foot sprain and couldn’t stay on her feet very long. She made Brussels sprouts with pistachios and shallots; sweet potatoes with squash, butter and brown sugar; and stuffing with French bread, butter, celery, onion, thyme and chicken broth. All drenched in scratch-made hearty turkey gravy. Yes!

I should have been miserable but easily digested everything! How can that be? Several fibrous, richly irritating foods are on the high FODMAP list such as Brussels sprouts, gluten bread, onions and shallots, and butter. Luck, you’re thinking? Me too—until the next day when I ate the leftovers Dana sent home with me, enough for two meals. After eating those two helpings all was still quiet on the lower level. The fire bell didn’t clang, the sprinklers stayed dry, and the smoke alarm beeped not but went quietly into that good night.

I wish all meals could be so agreeable. Look at how many high-FODMAP foods lay among the lows without spoiling my eating enjoyment. What can I do to set it up so the same thing happens on Christmas Eve? Could my stomach once again joyfully process a peptide during the Yuletide?

One key to success might be to deck the halls with fewer boughs of holly, meaning I should take a minimalist approach to my holiday eating prep. I did that prior to Thanksgiving and things turned out really well, so why not try to duplicate it? All I really did was under-eat for a week prior to Turkey Day.

That would be pretty easy to do again before Christmas Eve. In fact, I’ve already committed myself to a new tradition, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, to have and to hold from this day forward. I now pronounce you gas-free. You may kiss the chocolate-coconut macaroon. (Organ music swells.)

Eat not, but deliver me from temptation. For thine is the kingdom of caramel delights, the power of peanut butter cups, and the glory of grenadine monkey gland cocktails, forever and ever.


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