Savoring Gratitude: Three Tips toward Thanksgiving Appreciation

As we head into the Thanksgiving season, all eyes (and mouths) fixate on that key holiday ingredient:  food.  From turkeys to pumpkin pie, Thanksgiving gifts us with a list of seasonal traditions that celebrate our love for good food.  While these all rank important holiday elements, let’s not miss the key ingredient rooted in the inherent concept of Thanksgiving:  gratitude.

A mindset of green gratitude emphasizes positive abundance, relishing the glass half full perspective.  An important concept to keep on the front burner, especially as tanking economies fuel table conversations that tend to serve up sentiments of fear, scarcity and deprivation.

Add a dash of green reflection and gratitude to your Thanksgiving table by throwing these three questions on eating and drinking better into the conversation mix:

1.  What new local food did you discover this year?
Thanks to the burgeoning local food scene, it’s easy to continually discover new locally produced food options you may never have thought of before.  For me, I found the non-profit organization Renewing the Countryside’s amazing efforts to serve local, fun, tasty “fair food” at the Minnesota State Fair an inspiring example of how any food arena can go green, local and up the flavor.

2.  What not so good food habit did you replace, improve or give up?

The corollary for finding new good food options is continually sifting out the bad ones, working towards healthier replacements or – if you can muster – giving them up entirely. Not necessarily the worst of habits, but I am trying to cut back on my coffee habit, even if they are Fair Trade, organic beans from Equal Exchange, savoring one morning cup and switching to tea the rest of the day.

3.  What’s your most memorable meal of 2009?
I know, this is a hard question to narrow down to one answer for us foodies, but the answers undoubtedly prompt some reflective discussion.  Is it your favorite meal because of the food you ate – or people you shared it with – or both?  My favorite meals tend to cluster around the summer potlucks we host on our farm, sharing and savoring the peak of summer flavor.

Gratitude means shifting from the glass half empty to half full mindset, taking the time to appreciate the abundance that fills our lives.  Enjoy, give thanks and savor the holiday flavors and memories to come!

Photo credit: John Ivanko

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