Thankful Permission

No matter where you are on your weight loss journey–about to get started, just starting, struggling to stay motivated, getting close to goal weight, or trying to keep it off–big holidays are hard to resist! So much good food! Halloween candyThanksgiving turkey and mashed potatoes. Pumpkin pie. Christmas cookies and egg nog. What about a special New Year’s Eve dinner? The struggle is universal.

Instead of getting myself worked up about the holiday foods, or severely restricting my calories, this year I gave myself permission to enjoy the holiday and not stress about it. After all, I did okay at last year’s holiday: ate what I wanted in moderation and never felt like I missed out on something.

After skipping the gym for a week due to a nasty cold, I finally made it to the gym on Thanksgiving morning. I slept in and then went there around 10 and thankfully the big crowds I saw last year had already come and gone. I got to workout with some measure of peace! It was a hard workout. My heart rate was pretty high the whole time probably because of my sickness, I don’t think I’m 100% over the cold. Either way, I was still glad I got a sweat in!

This year we went to Michael’s mom’s house. I was bringing a veggie so I decided to make this brussels sprouts salad I found. It sounded delicious and easy to make. I also wanted something I can make ahead of time and take with me since there wouldn’t be room in the kitchen to cook. I asked the author of this recipe if it could be served cold and she said yes. Perfect!

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Cranberries and Pecans

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Category: calories, Dinner, Eating the Moment, Family, fitness, food, Food update, Holidays, Low Calorie Recipes, recipes, Thanksgiving

Servings: About 4 servings?


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons diced shallots
  • 1/2 bag Trader Joe's 10 oz shaved brussels sprouts
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • squeeze of lemon


  1. In a medium skillet preheat olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and shallots and saute for 2 minutes.
  2. Add the shaved brussels sprouts and toss until combined. Saute for another minute then season with red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.
  3. Remove from heat and fold in cranberries and pecans. Squeeze with lemon juice and toss.
  4. Transfer to a serving dish and serve.



Nutrition Facts

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Cranberries and Pecans


Amount Per Serving
Calories About 100
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0
Saturated Fat 0
Trans Fat
Cholesterol 0
Sodium 0
Total Carbohydrate 0
Dietary Fiber 0
Vitamin A Vitamin C
Calcium Iron

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

I quadrupled the recipe to make enough for 10 people and I’m glad I did! It was a hit! Even the people that weren’t fans of Brussels sprouts liked the salad.

It was flavorful with the saltiness of the garlic, shallots and seasoning but the dried cranberries balanced out the flavors. The red pepper flakes gave the salad a nice bite!

We had a nice time at Michael’s mom’s house. Michael’s step-brother and step-sister were there as well as a few of their friends. Michael’s old roommate Shoe came with us, too. And brought some tasty wine to go with dinner.

We had all the traditional fare and I savored every bite.  I’ve always loved Thanksgiving and I had my favorites: mashed potatoes and stuffing! This year I did not have seconds! I was pretty  proud of myself. I ate good food, I felt satisfied and didn’t feel like I needed to keep eating (always the challenge on the holiday!).

Michael’s brother made apple pie from scratch (he’s really good at pie baking) and his sister made a pumpkin mousse pie as well. I had a tiny piece of both and felt satisfied and happy. Everything tasted so good!

After eating enough to fill our bellies and feel happy and sedated from the turkey, we played Mexican Train for a few hours! It’s becoming a holiday tradition. We played it last year at Christmas too. It’s a fun group game.

I was thankful that I got to talk to my grandma (she was celebrating at my aunt’s house) and my brother in Philly. Maybe next year my whole family can be in the same city and we can celebrate together. It was a nice day and Michael and I headed home and went immediately to bed. What a day!

I’m not beating myself up for eating more than I usually do. It’s one day out of many. I balanced the day out with healthy eating earlier in the day and exercise. Today I’m about to head to the pool to do some relaxing swimming to loosen up my sore muscles from yesterday’s weight workout. And I most definitely won’t be out shopping!!!

How was your holiday?  

10 Responses

    1. That sounds like a lovely holiday!

      Yes it;s a domino game. It’s really fun. Everyone seemed to have their own version of the rules (according to how their families played the game) so it got kind of loud. 🙂

  1. I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, but it sounds like a holiday I could get into!

    On my birthday and xmas (and when I was in a relationship, my anniversary), I eat what I want and don’t worry about it. 3 days a year won’t make me fat again. And everyone needs cake for breakfast once in a while 😀

    1. Agreed! 2-3 days out of the year are not the end of the world and not going to cause all the weight to come back. I love your quote. “Everyone needs cake for breakfast once in awhile.” LOL

  2. That looks like a great time! I figure that I should worry more about the days leading up to Thanksgiving and after than worry so much about how I am eating on that day. I do tend to eat a lot more than usual, but I don’t stuff myself anymore.

    We had fun with activity , food and games!
    Lori recently posted..Thanksgiving Feast!

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge