I emailed the list of grocery items I’ll need for the holiday to my sister in Dayton, and cc’d my mother.  As far as I know, they completed the shopping yesterday. At least I hope they did. I’m still down for the count with this heinous cold, but I heard the grocery stores are packed today.

On that list is about 8 pounds of sweet potatoes/yams. Several of you have shared sweet potato recipes with me – for baked fries, or just plain baked – not knowing just how much I despise the things, even though it’s the state vegetable of North Carolina.

However, I do like sweet potato pie, and I make a mean pie. For Thanksgiving, I’ll be making about 36 sweet potato pie tarts, as well as a large dish of candied yams, which I hope is enough for the 20+ people expected at Mom’s house this Thursday.

Eating healthy has already become a challenge. There’s just something about this time of year that makes me want to bake cobblers, crisps and all kinds of cookies. And now, careening headfirst into the most challenging holiday for anyone with a weight problem – real or imagined – I find myself in a mild state of panic.

First off, I’m returning to the scene of the crime: My childhood home. That alone conjures up all kinds of memories. Second, everything Thanksgiving-related you see on TV is all about food and comfort and home. But somehow, amidst all that temptation, I’m going to need to be careful, or else I’ll gain at least five pounds for sure.


There was nothing fat-free or light on that grocery list. Butter, cream, cheeses and cream cheeses. Brown sugar, molasses and whole milk, not 2 percent.

My Aunt Joan will be doing the greens, and she does a great job. I suppose I could load my plate with greens, but I’m sure I’ll end up with turkey, dressing and gravy on my plate.

The key, I think, is to stop thinking of Thanksgiving as a day to dread – which I’ve been doing most of my adult life – but as one to embrace. Sure, there’s an abundance of food, but it’s a day for giving thanks and enjoying time with family.


And living in fear of the scale the next day . . .

An optimist is a person who starts a new diet on Thanksgiving Day.  ~  Irv Kupcinet

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Leslie J. Ansley is an award-winning journalist and entrepreneur who blogs daily for TheRoot. She lives in Raleigh, NC.