What Do you Do When You Can’t Find Anything You Can Eat at Thanksgiving Dinner?

Yesterday was Labor Thanksgiving Day in Japan, which isn’t like the American Thanksgiving holiday. It was a national holiday and we were supposed to appreciate our daily labor, but most people don’t do anything special, it isn’t a cultural event.

However, November 23rd is a day when a Shinto ceremony called Niiname Festival is held in many shrines, and it is to celebrate the harvest.  It doesn’t concern most people, and the day is just like a regular national holiday and we don’t have any particular dishes to eat.

In our house, we had a combination of American Thanksgiving and Niiname Festival dinner.

I made a pumpkin pie again since I learned how to make one at Halloween. In addition to that,  I made mashed potatoes since it looked easiest to make. Other than that, I made my regular dish.


A dish I made for Niiname Festival was a dish with Jerusalem artichokes since I harvested the first Jerusalem artichokes this year yesterday, and it matched the concept of celebrating the harvest.

I suppose the American thanksgiving holiday will begin on Thursday, and it is a big family gathering time next to Christmas. It is interesting to have such a big family gathering holiday just one month before Christmas. Does it mean you have to make a trip home two months in a row?

Anyway, by looking at thanksgiving dishes, I looked through them to pick out mashed potatoes-haha, they seem quite heavy diet-wise. You’ve got turkey and a lot of sweets. That is something you usually want to avoid, don’t you?  What do you do then? Do you ask your parents to prepare different kinds of dishes? Or do you bring your own dishes?

That is when the Ikigai Diet becomes convenient. That is the kind of occasion you make exceptions. When in Rome do as Romans do. Forget about your dietary guidelines and just enjoy the holiday. It is only once a year, why not savor turkey, pumpkin pie, and pecan pie. It will make your communication with the parents smooth, too.

70% of what you eat counts, not 100%, don’t become so uptight about.

It is a holiday, after all, it is Hare period, you are supposed to have feasts.  Let’s think of it as mTOR activating time. If you don’t know what it means, please watch this video.


Another thing you can do is this.

You can think positively and appreciate the food in front of you; the efforts of the person who cooked the meal, the farmers who produced the products, the sun, water, soil, and microorganisms that helped to produce the food. Spiritually speaking, that can change the vibration of the food. In other words, you can detoxicate the food by appreciating it.

For more details, please read Chapter 12 of The Ikigai Diet, Adding Hygge to the Japanese Diet.

I know many people come up with vegan Thanksgiving dinner recipes and so on, and it is great to go the extra mile to be creative. It can be fun to prepare these dishes, too. If you want to do that, that is fine.

For me, the Ikigai Diet style has worked, and that is one of the reasons this diet is doable and can be practiced for a long time.

Anyway, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.


The Ikigai Diet: The Secret Japanese Diet to Health and Longevity

POD Paperback