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9 Things Only Thanksgiving Dinner Planners Understand

9 Things Only Thanksgiving Dinner Planners Understand

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I am very appreciative of my life and the people in it, and I am proud to live in a country that has set aside a day to be thankful. Thanksgiving allows us to focus on the people in our lives–the people sitting around our table. Here are 9 things only Thanksgiving dinner planners would understand.

1. The appropriate time to have a drink is whenever the cooking starts.

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    Many people use the saying that “it’s happy hour somewhere”. On Thanksgiving happy hour can be at 7 in the morning, because you always cook better with a little wine in your system. Food tastes better with a little wine or booze in it too. Bourbon sweet potatoes, anyone? A cup of white wine inside the turkey keeps it moist. I subscribe to the “one cup of alcohol for the recipe, and one one cup of alcohol for me” technique. This technique is a far cry from being trained in a French cooking school, but it is a lot more fun.

    2. You can never have too many folding chairs.

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      Most tables seat six or eight people. Folding chairs are small and fit in the corners nicely. You can also pair them with the folding table in your garage (it’s out there, probably behind the Christmas decorations). The best people to put into folding chairs are children or guests you may feel impartial about. If you are a guest in a folding chair, you may not be as close to the host as you thought. The folding chair occupant should probably have a plan B location for next year because chances are good you may not be invited back to this house.

      3.  You can never have too many side dishes.

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        Let’s face it.  The turkey is the centerpiece, but turkey does not exactly have the same taste as baby back ribs. Oh sure, I make it more interesting by filling it with white wine, but I am eyeing the sweet potato casserole or creamed corn long before I make it to the turkey. Turkey is the only meat triathletes eat. How satisfying could it possibly be?

        4. If you live somewhere where you can, eat outside.

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        firstthx

          If you live somewhere where you cannot even imagine eating Thanksgiving outside because of weather, maybe you should consider moving. Believe it or not there are states in this country where the weather will be 75 degrees and sunny on Thanksgiving. Eating outside really brings home the giving thanks idea. Thanksgiving is about the first settlers giving thanks for their first bountiful harvest. It is about celebrating our reliance on the land and the land taking care of us. You can really appreciate the land more when you are outside.

          5. If you are eating outside, hang small white lights in the trees.

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            I am talking about the small Christmas lights. They are festive all year long. They really can make an outside space feel warm and inviting.

            6. When all your guests cannot walk around each other’s chairs to get seconds, that’s okay.

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              Our houses were not built to serve a a 12-person dinner. The table will all of a sudden no longer fit in the room where it has fit all year long. People won’t be able to get past the other chairs to bring their plate to the kitchen or to get seconds. Don’t worry about it. In fact if you use my one cup for the food and one cup for me concept you’ll be too buzzed to care. Which leads me to my next point…

              7.  Getting too buzzed to care is the best way to prepare for Thanksgiving.

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                I am not advocating you cook drunk. We use too many sharp knives, hot pans and ovens to be drunk. What I am saying is enjoy the day. Enjoy the cooking, setting the table and even cleaning up. Thanksgiving is about spending time with friends and family, not about everything going perfect. Don’t sweat the small stuff. If the place cards are sloppy or a pie is under cooked, nobody cares.

                8. Food tastes better when you cook with the Macy’s Day Parade on the television in the background.

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                  I don’t know why this is the case. It just is. Maybe the parade creates some sort of mystical occurrence in the kitchen.

                  9. Food tastes better when it is cooked with love.

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                    People can tell when you cook with love. Cooking for and feeding someone is the ultimate sign of love. Without nourishment, people die. When you feed others, you are taking care of them on a very fundamental level. I love to cook. However, I love to cook for my wife and kids more. It is my way of taking care of them and showing that I love them.

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                    Last Updated on August 12, 2019

                    12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

                    12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

                    Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

                    But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

                    I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

                    Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

                    1. Nuts

                    The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

                    Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

                    Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

                    Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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                    2. Blueberries

                    Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

                    When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

                    3. Tomatoes

                    Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

                    4. Broccoli

                    While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

                    Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

                    Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

                    5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

                    Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

                    The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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                    Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

                    6. Soy

                    Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

                    Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

                    Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

                    7. Dark Chocolate

                    When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

                    Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

                    8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

                    Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

                    B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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                    Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

                    Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

                    To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

                    9. Foods Rich in Zinc

                    Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

                    Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

                    Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

                    10. Gingko Biloba

                    This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

                    It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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                    However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

                    11. Green and Black Tea

                    Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

                    Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

                    Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

                    12. Sage and Rosemary

                    Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

                    Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

                    When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

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                    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                    Reference

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