SHOULD LAST BEYOND THANKSGIVING An Attitude of Gratitude
Taking the time to acknowledge who and what you’re grateful for is a Thanksgiving tradition far more important than turkey or football. It’s the cornerstone of the holiday and the reason we feast together in the first place. But when you really think about it, should expressing our gratitude and appreciation for others be limited to one day every year? Of course not! WHY GRATITUDE MATTERS As we get older, it’s easy to succumb to negativity and pessimism — “Kids these days,” “The world isn’t what it used to be,” etc. The crabby grandparent and angry old neighbor are archetypal depictions of later life. But these fictions don’t have to be your reality. Recognizing and acknowledging gratitude will help you take stock of the positive aspects of your life and dwell less on unhappy thoughts. Being grateful has also been linked to significant health benefits. According to gratitude expert and author Dr. Robert A. Emmons, “Preliminary findings suggest that those who regularly practice grateful thinking do reap emotional, physical, and interpersonal benefits. Adults who keep gratitude journals on a regular basis exercise more regularly, report fewer illness symptoms, feel better about their lives as a whole, and are more optimistic about the future.” HOW TO PRACTICE GRATITUDE In the above quotation from Dr. Emmons, he mentions the practice of keeping a gratitude journal. This activity is a great way to start seeing the world with a more
positive, appreciative eye. As often as you can, take a few minutes to write down the acts, people, and moments that you’re grateful for. Some will be big, others small — but all will have an impact on your mood and bring a smile to your face. Before you know it, you’ll have an entire book full of good memories and warm feelings.
While keeping a journal is great, there are other ways to go about cultivating and expressing gratitude. The easiest one is simply to say “Thanks” whenever you can. It may seem insignificant, but you’d be surprised what a difference it makes. When you approach the world with the perspective that every day is Thanksgiving, it’s only natural to be grateful. We all have moments when we want to curse the world, especially as we get older, and those experiences are perfectly normal. Just as frequently, though, we have moments that are worth celebrating, often with people who are worth appreciating. Which will you think about more? Sweet potatoes are a Thanksgiving staple, but they’re often the blandest thing on the table. Luckily that’s not the case with this recipe, which features Thai spices and coconut milk. Spicy, CREAMY SWEET POTATOES
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Dr. Jamie enjoys spending quality time with her huge family (including six sisters and 11 nieces and nephews), her adopted cat, and her husband, Ashton. In fact, Ashton and Dr. Jamie will be celebrating their five- year anniversary this December. Because he was in the Army
Ingredients • 5 pounds sweet potatoes • 1 cup canned coconut milk • 1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
• 1/2 cup dark brown sugar • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
Instructions 1. Heat oven to 375 F. On a large sheet pan, bake potatoes until very soft, approximately 75 minutes. 2. Let potatoes cool until they are safe to handle, then peel and mash. 3. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine coconut milk and curry paste. Once mixed, add the mixture, salt, half the sugar, and half the butter to potatoes. 4. 30 minutes before serving, heat oven to 425 F. Spread potatoes in a baking dish, cover with foil, and bake for 20 minutes. 5. Uncover potatoes and dot with remaining butter and sugar. Broil until brown, crusty, and delicious. Serve hot.
when they met, Ashton was deployed to Afghanistan just a month after they got married. Now that he has finished his contract, the two are able to enjoy all the amazing activities that Greensboro has to offer. Their biggest goal for the next year is to learn how to water-ski and wakeboard. All of us here at the office are grateful to have Dr. Jamie as part of our team. If you haven’t had the opportunity to meet her yet, be sure to drop by and say hello! –Dr. David and Dr. Patti
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