Turducken On Your Thanksgiving Menu?

Diabetes, Heart Disease, Obesity , , , , , , 0 Comments

© Jacquelyn Johnston, M.Ed. Diabesity Coach

I added a new word to my vocabulary today. The one you see in the title. Turducken. Priceless.

Here in Canada we do Thanksgiving on the second Monday of October, and its history is somewhat different from that of the American one. The Canadian Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks for a bountiful harvest. It’s believed to be a practice brought over to Canada from early European farmers who settled here. They’d fill a curved goat’s horn with grains and fruits. The horn was called a cornucopia, meaning “horn of plenty”, and it symbolized gratitude for a successful growing season.

I’ve been looking at magazines covers in both bookstores and supermarket racks for a few weeks now, and I must say some of the most fabulous food pictures come out in anticipation of Thanksgiving. Even more so than at Christmas, when decoration and glitter surround the seasonal fare. At Thanksgiving the focus seems to be more on the fabulous food and the generous earth it came from.

I was having a lot of fun reading up on the American Thanksgiving when I came across that delectable word “Turducken”– a chicken inside a duck inside a turkey. There’s an on-line demo that shows you how to telescope one inside the other by de-boning each bird first and adding pork stuffing. Fascinating. What really surprised me was that these Tri-Fowls are also widely available in Britain, where Thanksgiving isn’t such a major event.

Apparently, a close cousin to the Turducken is the Turporken, is also available at many places around the country. My dictionary’s getting fatter.

One description of the first American Thanksgiving circa 1620, where settlers sat down for a meal with the First Nations people, was particularly interesting. Apparently, as there was no flour there was neither bread nor not pumpkin pie, as there was no wheat to make them with. The early diners ate turkey with corn and other whole foods.

At this time I know of one group that will be worried if they get invited to Thanksgiving dinner—those with a gluten sensitivity. I was reading a gluten-free cook book in the library yesterday. The writer, who teaches gluten-free cooking, said many people have this sensitivity, even Celiac disease, because our insides have never really adapted to wheat and other gluten-filled foods. Not even after thousands of years of human evolution.

With the popularity of processed, packaged foods we have acquired the practice of eating too much, with disastrous results such as epidemic obesity and diabetes, not to mention heart disease, lung diseases like COPD, and arthritis. Coupled with that, we are thirsty and don’t know it.

Maybe this thanksgiving it would be a good experiment to eat like Celiac sufferers. In fact, I suspect that’s actually the way we all ought to be dining. Hey, find something wrong with eating whole foods! A pioneer meal would have included turkey with the fruits of the earth. Apparently there was lots of pumpkin. Without churning masses of sugar into it. Add pure spring water to this and you have a meal that would make your heart specialist really happy.

Enjoy some Turducken, Turporken, Turshrimpken, Turlambken or even Turbeefken. Go out for a walk two hours before your meal. Don’t “Walk it off”. Not a good idea. Drink a large glass of alkaline water, rest, then sit down to your Thanksgiving dinner. Stop eating as soon as you’re no longer hungry. Your waistline will thank you.

Happy Thanksgiving. May you be blessed with an abundance of all good things.


Jacquelyn Johnston M.Ed.
Professional Health Coach and Educator,
Solutions and Support for Optimal Health