Think quality, not quantity this Thanksgiving

Peg Doyle

How do you nourish yourself at Thanksgiving? Is it the turkey? Is it the mashed potatoes and gravy? Is it the green beans and onions, or the butternut squash?  

Food takes center stage in Thanksgiving celebrations all around the country, but there is something else that has a deeper potential for nourishment than just food. It is the quality of the food and the family gathering together that holds the potential for each member to experience a deep level of nourishment.

Throughout history, food has had a central place in the celebration of all passages — births, marriages, major accomplishments, holidays and even deaths. Food is a vehicle for coming together — to garden, to harvest, to cook and to eat.

When you are mindful of the powerful role food plays in your life, you take more care to choose foods that are of good quality. 

Consider the difference between a package of processed potato flakes and a bowl of mashed potatoes peeled and cooked and whipped and seasoned by hand by someone in your home. Or the butternut squash that grew in your family garden as compared with the precut packaged squash at the supermarket. It is not just the difference in taste, but it is also the knowledge that someone took the time to prepare these foods for you that enhances their quality.

When you tune in to the origins of the food you eat, the experience becomes richer and more meaningful.

And when you take high-quality food and share it with people you love, a true understanding of Thanksgiving becomes apparent around your table.

Peg Doyle, M.ED., CHHC is a holistic health counselor in West Roxbury. She may be reached at or 508-359-6804.