The Main Event & “Thanksliving”

This is the third post in a 8 part series around truly enJOYing the holiday season.

I mentioned in Friday’s post that I consider dessert the main event for Thanksgiving (and really any meal) so I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite original dessert recipes to share with ya’ll. And just like dessert isn’t reserved only for holidays, gratitude isn’t reserved only for Thanksgiving…

Butter Waffle Cookie “Ice Cream” Sandwich with Toasted Coconut

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“People who regularly practice gratitude by taking time to notice and reflect upon the things they’re thankful for experience more positive emotions, feel more alive, sleep better, express more compassion and kindness, and even have stronger immune systems.” -Happify, The Science Behind Gratitude

Five Apple Rustic Tart

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Sign me up! Here are some ways to practice gratitude on a daily basis:

Holiday Whipped Creams

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Freshen Up Your Thanks – The best way to reap the benefits of gratitude is to notice new things you’re grateful for every day. Gratitude journaling works because it slowly changes the way we perceive situations by adjusting what we focus on. While you might always be thankful for your great family, just writing “I’m grateful for my family” week after week doesn’t keep your brain on alert for fresh grateful moments. Get specific by writing “My sister invited me over for dinner so I didn’t have to cook after a long day.”

Lemon Sugar Shortbread Cookies

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Get Real About Your Gratitude Practice – When we want to achieve a goal, using the technique of mental contrasting—being optimistic about the benefits of a new habit while also being realistic about how difficult building the habit may be – leads us to exert more effort. Recognize and plan for the obstacles that may get in the way. For instance, if you tend to be exhausted at night, accept that it might not be the best time to focus for a few extra minutes and schedule your gratitude in the morning instead.”

Num Yummys

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Make Thankfulness Fun By Mixing It Up – University of Rochester partners in crime Edward Deci and Richard Ryan study intrinsic motivation, which is the deep desire from within to persist on a task. One of the biggest determinants is autonomy, the ability to do things the way we want. So don’t limit yourself—if journaling is feeling stale, try out new and creative ways to track your grateful moments.”

Pomegranate Cheesecake Bites

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Be Social About Your Gratitude Practice – Our relationships with others are the greatest determinant of our happiness. So it makes sense to think of other people as we build our gratitude…focusing our gratitude on people for whom we’re thankful rather than circumstances or material items will enhance the benefits we experience.”

Spicy Nutella Vanilla Milkshake

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Thanksliving, let’s make it happen.

“The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving.”

-H.U. Westermayer

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