Yesterday I stopped by our local produce seller to pick up some bananas (an ordinary enough activity) but what I noticed there was the hordes of people with carts overflowing with yams, cranberries, celery, and more. I couldn’t help smiling as I saw all these fresh vegetables headed for Thanksgiving tables. And I also couldn’t help thinking about what will be going on my Thanksgiving table.

The ideal Thanksgiving table would be full of fresh, raw, plant-based foods. It would cut out turkey, gravy, sugary desserts, and nutritionally empty foods. The table would be spread with raw cranberry sauce that is bursting with vitamin c, fiber, and antioxidants. Next to the cranberries would be a large fresh salad. There would be raw stuffing to replace the empty carbs of traditional stuffing. And so many more raw superfoods would appear to please the palettes and bodies of my guests.

But this will not be a reality at my house this Thursday. I am having a semi-potluck at my house and I’m sure there will be a huge variety of food ranging from healthy to definitely not. I will be providing a number of raw, plant-based dishes; raw cauliflower “mashed potatoes,” raw stuffing, raw cranberry relish, and a great batch of fresh squeezed lemonade sweetened with honey. In contrast, my husband is fixing turkey, a good friend is cooking candied sweet potatoes, and others will bring more of the traditional Thanksgiving feast.

But this is ok. While this meal will not represent the pinnacle of health that I may dream of, it still has its benefits. Love and friendship, the most important aspects of a balanced life, will be shared around the table and I will get to introduce a whole new group of people to raw, plant-based foods. Friends who have never contemplated changing up their routine to include raw fruits and vegetables in their everyday diet will have the opportunity to sample the great tastes of raw foods. After the meal they will also get to see how their bodies feel after eating these foods.

If even one of my guests choose to make raw, plant-based foods a bigger part of their diet based on their experience during this Thanksgiving then I will be enormously pleased. I will be pleased because I will have had the chance to positively impact a loved ones quality of life and health.  And what could be a better way to spend Thanksgiving?