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Benefits of Some of the Foods You See on Thanksgiving

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Every year during the holidays I tell myself. I am going to not gorge myself. Every year, I fail. Miserably. Everything is just too delicious, and these dishes only make their way onto the table once a year. My biggest challenge is not the food choices, it is the over eating. Which can be easily fixed with a dose of ginger or fennel root.

Everyone’s table is set a little different. Years ago, Grandma, being Italian and cooking for an army, would make: two turkeys, mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potatoes, pasta (yes I said pasta) & meatballs, bread, cassata pie, lemon pie, and much much more. Her family would descend on it like locusts until two people would inevitably fight over the wishbone. One thing that always made the dessert table was fennel root. It has a licorice flavor to it, and is an acquired taste raw. Fennel root, like ginger, is a wonderful way to aid digestion, and is present in a number of different cultures.

Did you know that eating turkey could be helpful for treating stress? Turkey is rich in tryptophan. That special aspect of turkey that makes you sleepy. So, eat some turkey and take a turkey nap. You can not be stressed out about your family if you’re the one sitting in front of the TV with your mouth open drooling.

Sweet potatoes are wonderful for strengthening the spleen in Chinese Medicine. Common Spleen Qi Deficiency symptoms are: Gas, abdominal bloat, belch, acid reflux, heavy limbs, brain fog, difficulty waking up in the morning. Sweet potatoes are also good for increasing the quantity of milk in lactating women. They benefit inflammation and build yin (fluids) in the body. They are great for women going through menopause (hot flashes), and women with infertility. Sweet potatoes should be as plain as possible. Which means that if your sweet potatoes are topped with marshmallows you are probably defeating the purpose of eating them.

Mashed Sweet Potato Recipe


  • Sweet Potatoes Cubed
  • Almond Milk or Rice Milk
  • Ginger
  • Nutmeg
  • Sea Salt
  • Butter
  • Cinnamon
  • Cardamon


In a large pot boil water with skinned cubed sweet potatoes in it. Make sure you salt the water. Cook until you can put a fork through them. Then drain. In a bowl add all of your ingredients. Mash. Serve.

Brussels Sprouts Recipe

Yum! Little cabbages! I love brussels sprouts. This recipe has made brussels sprouts haters into believers.
Cabbage, in general, benefits the stomach, improves digestion, and helps the skin. It is great for constipation. If you are allergic to sulfur you may want to stay away from cabbage because it does have abundant sulfur content. The sulfur is beneficial for killing parasites.

Personally, I think that cabbage is also a diuretic.


  • Blanched Brussels Sprouts
  • Olive Oil
  • Garlic Chopped
  • Garlic Powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper


Put aluminum foil on a baking pan. In a bowl add all the ingredients and toss to coat evenly. Spread them on the pan. Bake at 350 until outer leaves are crispy. Roasting the brussels sprouts makes them super sweet.

I hope that you enjoy these two new recipes. Have a Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving!


Pitchford, P. (2002). Healing with Whole Foods. Berkeley: North Atlantic Books


About the author

Teri Calandra

Teri Calandra Dipl.Acu, MSTOM, L.Ac., LMT, RMT

Teri began her studies in energy medicine as part of her own personal development journey, and continues to to learn and integrate that knowledge into her practice. Teri is the founding practitioner of Calandra Center for Health & Wellness in Schaumburg, Illinois. She is licensed by the State of Illinois in acupuncture (L.Ac.), and board certified through the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM).

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