Greetings, Enota Family!

Yes, it’s that time of year again. Up here in the North Georgia Mountains, the weatherman is talking about the possibility of snow.  It seems as if people hear about possible snow and flock to the grocery store to buy the proverbial milk and bread…

But, let’s think about being prepared for winter.  What if there’s some really inclement weather?  Are you ready? Is your house prepared? Today’s post will consist of practical ideas,  things to do ahead of time to be prepared for winter weather…

If You Have to be Outside:

Keep an emergency stock of winter weather clothes for each member of your household.  After inclement weather strikes is not the time to locate these items. Wool clothes are great in the winter – unless they get wet!  Say, for example,  you have to be outside to  gather and split wood for the fireplace or wood stove or shovel the walkway…  Normally, sweat is wicked away from your skin, but excess moisture when you’re working hard  makes wool heavy and uncomfortable.  Wear wool socks but  add a pair of thin polypropylene socks underneath them.  This  adds an extra layer of protection that draws sweat away from your skin, keeping your feet dry and warm longer. Fleece is a good fabric for clothing. It is lighter than wool but insulates your body against the cold. It also handles moisture better than wool. As much as 70% of body heat is lost through the head, so remember the importance of wearing a hat!  Keeping your hands warm is important, too.  Remember, mittens are warmer than gloves.  And, mittens over gloves is perfect.

The “Winter Closet”:

Take one closet in your home (or a good-sized bookshelf, armoire, etc.),  and set it aside as a winter emergency center.  Stock your winter closet with warm clothing,  sleeping bags,  your camping stove, flashlights and batteries, canned foods, water supply,  medications, etc.  Think about what your family would need if the power went out for a day or two.   Now is the time to start putting  together your “Winter Closet”.

If the Power Goes Out:

A good sleeping bag will keep you cozy all night.  For comfort place your sleeping bags on top of your regular beds.  Or, make it “fun” by having the whole family camp out in one room.  A sleeping bag that is too loose or large will let in the cold so make sure it fits you well. Wear warm clothes even inside the sleeping bag. Your body temperature will drop as you are sleeping.

If you have a wood stove, you are in luck!  Other alternate sources of heat include small portable propane heaters or kerosene heaters.  Observe all safety precautions pertaining to any alternate heat source.  And,  have an adult camp out next to the heat source during the night to monitor its safety.

To prevent frozen water pipes,  open the cabinet doors that normally enclose water pipes so that any heat in the room will reach the pipes.  Keep bathroom cabinets open and light a candle in the bathroom – a single candle can provide enough heat to prevent water pipes from freezing.  A candle inside a lantern or jar is much safer than a bare candle, but still puts out the heat… and light.  Also, keep the faucets turned on to a very slow drip; this will help prevent freezing as well.

What’s For Dinner?

Keep it simple!  One-pot meals such as soups and stews are the perfect fare.  Add crackers, bread, tortilla chips, etc. to fill out the menu.   Healthy snacks such as popcorn or granola bars are also  a welcome treat.

These are some basic winter preparedness ideas; customize them to fit your family. Then,  if and when inclement weather strikes,  you will be prepared and able to easily cope  – and, maybe even enjoy – the snow!

No matter what the season, remember, there is always something to see and do here in the North Georgia Mountains. Visit us here at Enota for a memorable occasion regardless of the weather!

Enota Mountain Retreat

1000 Hwy 180,  Hiawassee GA 30546

(706) 896- 9966      email:

official web site:


Hello, again, Enota Family!

Today we’re going to talk

about natural or “green”

ways to help us relax  and

sleep,  perchance to dream…

One of the most common Shakespeare quotes  is  “To sleep,  perchance to dream…”  This quote is from the play, Hamlet;  in Hamlet’s soliloquy ,  he says these words in despair,  contemplating that final sleep of death.  But – WHOA – we don’t want THAT!  Instead,  let’s look at some natural ways to help fight insomnia.

Insomnia is the inability to sleep fully or be refreshed by sleep.

Short-term  symptoms of  insomnia  are often a result of the accumulation of tension in the mind and body during the day. Unresolved interpersonal problems or inner conflicts, worry and pressure at work may all result in sleeping problems.

Herbs for Insomnia:

Make A Sleep Pillow:

Fold a 5-inch-by-12-inch cloth in half; stitch up two of the open sides (the folded side does not need to be stitched).  Launder with no fragrance or fabric softener. Place a cotton ball-sized amount of cotton or fiberfill material in the bottom of the pocket. Add about 1/2 cup of herbs, selecting from the herb combinations below.  Fold over the remaining open side and stitch shut.

Reduce Stress with This Blend:

For this relaxing dream pillow, mix 1/2 cup hops, 1/2 cup mugwort,  and 1/3 cup sweet marjoram.  Let the fragrances carry you to a stress-free zone.

To Prevent Nightmares:

If nightmares are troubling you, this  herbal blend can ease your mind.  Mix 1/4 cup rose petals,  1/4 cup rosemary,  1/4 cup lavender flowers and 1/4 cup hops.

For  Restful Sleep:

 Mix 1/4 cup lavender flowers, 1/4 cup mugwort and 1/4 cup hops for this restful dream pillow blend.

Aromatherapy for Rest:

A  study by Dr. Boris Stuck from the University Hospital in Mannheim, Germany suggests that sweet smells by the side of your bed can directly affect the type of dream you have.

Using two different aromas, roses and rotten eggs, scientists tested 15 sleeping subjects in REM, and woke them to ask about their dreams. The volunteers exposed to the rose aroma, reported positive dream experiences, while those exposed to the rotten eggs aroma, reported the reverse.

The results helped experimenters deduce that smells are “…able to influence the emotional coloration of a dream,” which could lead to potential treatments for sufferers of nightmares.

Aromatherapy cannot cure insomnia or its root cause,  but using calming and relaxing essential oils before  bedtime can  help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep until your intended wake-up time.

 If you have an ongoing, serious

sleep disorder, you should see your

health professional to discuss your

situation and gain treatment for the

root cause of your insomnia.

If you suffer from occasional insomnia or sleep distubances, try the Insomnia Aromatherapy Recipe shown below.

Insomnia Aromatherapy Recipe


10 drops Roman Chamomile
5 drops Clary Sage
5 drops Bergamot

Blend the oils well in a clean dark-colored glass bottle. Add 1-2 drops to a tissue and place inside your pillow to aid you in falling asleep.

If you prefer to make a diffuser blend that you enjoy during the hour before bedtime, make a blend with a ratio of 2 drops Roman Chamomile to 1 drop Clary Sage to 1 drop Bergamot and add to your diffuser.

Lavender Oil can also help provide relaxation and drowsiness, but be careful – using more than 1-2 drops can have the opposite effect!

Of course, there are other practical

things you can do to promote a good

night’s sleep…

Have a nice cup of Chamomile Tea about an hour before bedtime.

Avoid  foods at suppertime if you know they over-stimulate your tummy!  Plan such meals for lunch, instead.  (Common culprits include:  Tomato sauce, spicy foods, and dairy products.)

Avoid alcohol.  Although many people believe the myth that an alcoholic beverage is a good sleep aid, it, in fact,  increases insomnia!  You might fall asleep initially, but you’ll wake up a few hours later, unrested and unable to return to sleep.

Take a nice hot bath just before bedtime.

Sweet Dreams!

Want to have a deeply relaxing spa experience?  Visit us here at Enota for massage, aromatherapy, relaxation. Enjoy our bed and breakfast feature, plus our spa therapies for a new lease on life.

Enota Mountain Retreat

1000 Hwy 180,  Hiawassee GA 30546

(706) 896- 9966      email:

official web site:

Hello, again, Enota Readers!

We hope you all had a safe and blessed Thanksgiving holiday.  Of course today the question is, “What do I do with all these leftovers?”   Although warmed up leftovers can be good, and a nice turkey sandwich with mayo and lettuce can be tasty,  we think you will like some of these ideas even more!

Leftover Cranberry Sauce:

Cranberry Meatballs

48 frozen cooked meatballs

1/2 cup cranberry sauce

1/4 cup orange juice

2 Tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp ground ginger

1/4  tsp pepper

Bake the meatballs according to package directions .  Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine cranberry sauce, orange juice, brown sugar, ginger and pepper. Cook over medium heat about 5 minutes until bubbly. Add meatballs to sauce and stir. Serve with toothpicks as a party snack.  Kids love it!!!

Leftover Turkey:

Turkey Pizza

 1 Boboli pizza crust

1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. dried basil

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

1/8 tsp. pepper
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 cups cubed cooked turkey
1-1/2 cups shredded white cheese (Muenster, American, or Mozarella)
6 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
2 tomatoes, chopped and seeded
1-1/4 cups shredded Swiss cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
In small bowl, combine mayonnaise, basil, thyme, pepper, and mustard.  Stir in the turkey and spread crust with this mixture. Top with remaining ingredients in the order they are listed in this recipe.  Bake at 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted. 6 servings

Leftover Mashed Potatoes:

Potato Pancake Crisps

2 cups mashed potatoes
1 egg, beaten
1 onion, finely minced
1/4 tsp each  salt and pepper

1/4 cup  olive oil

Mix together mashed potatoes, beaten egg and onion in a medium bowl. Add salt and pepper, mixing well.

Over medium heat, heat olive oil in a  nonstick frying pan or cast iron skillet.  Drop about 1/4 cup of the potato mixture each time into the frying pan,  forming patties that are 4 inch circles 1/2″ thick.  Cook until bottom is browned and crisp, about 3-4 minutes. Carefully turn the patty over and cook the second side until brown and crisp, 3-4 minutes.  Either serve with ketchup or applesauce, depending on which taste you prefer.

Leftover Turkey AND Potatoes:

Shepherd’s Pie Redux

1 tablespoon  butter
4 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup chopped white or yellow onions
1 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
1/2 teaspoon  each salt and pepper
1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/4 tsp  thyme

1 bay leaf
1  Tbs all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons tomato paste
2 1/2 cups chopped or shredded roast turkey (white and/or dark meat)
1 1/4 cups chicken stock or canned chicken broth
1/2 cup green peas
4 cups leftover mashed potatoes
3/4 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9-inch square or two quart baking dish with the butter and set aside.

In a large  skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots,  salt, and pepper and cook, stirring, until the onions are soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic,  thyme, and bay leaf ,  stirring to mix well.  Add the flour and cook, stirring, until thick, about 1 minute.  Stir in the tomato paste and cook,  stirring, for 1 minute.  Add the meat and stir well to combine . Gradually add the stock and then the peas, and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the mixture is thickened,  5 to 10 minutes.

Remove from the heat and discard the bay leaf.  Transfer this meat mixture to the prepared dish; then,  spoon the potatoes over the meat mixture,  spreading to the edges.  Sprinkle with the cheese and bake until the cheese is bubbly and the potatoes are crisp around the edges, about 25 minutes.

Leftover Sweet Potatoes:

Sweet Potato Wontons

2 Tbsp. butter
1 red bell pepper, finely minced
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 tsp. curry powder
1 cup chopped cooked sweet potatoes
1 Tbsp. flour
1/4 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp applesauce
24 wonton squares
2 Tbsp. butter, melted

Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a large heavy skillet, and cook red pepper, onion and curry powder until tender. Stir in cooked sweet potatoes. Cool. Stir flour, sour cream, and applesauce into sweet potato mixture.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Brush wonton squares with 2 Tbsp. melted butter and press each into miniature muffin cups. Spoon sweet potato mixture into the wonton shells and bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Makes 24 filled wontons

MORE Leftover Turkey!

Turkey and Wild Rice Casserole

3 cups cooked wild rice
3 cups chopped cooked turkey
16 oz. pkg. frozen french cut green beans, thawed
17 oz. jar alfredo sauce
1/2 cup soft bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix rice, turkey, green beans and alfredo sauce in large bowl. Place in 12×8″ glass baking dish and sprinkle with bread crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes –  casserole will be bubbly at the edges and the bread crumbs will be browned.

We hope these recipes will help your family finish off the Thanksgiving leftovers in a most enjoyable fashion… You might even find that some of these recipes become year-round favorites!

Another year-round favorite is spending time at Enota.  It is truly beautiful here in the North Georgia Mountains no matter what the season. And there is always lots to see and do.  Book a vacation cabin, a motel room, or the conference center for a work or church group retreat. The beauty and relaxation of mountains,  forest, and streams awaits you.

Enota Mountain Retreat

1000 Hwy 180,  Hiawassee GA 30546

(706) 896- 9966      email:

official web site:

Greetings, Friends of Enota!

Suppose you’re in the middle of cooking a big dinner,  and, come to find out, you’re missing an ingredient or don’t have enough of an ingredient. This post is to help you find a solution other than that last-minute drive to the store… saving you time, gasoline, and frustration.

What if you’re making  buttermilk biscuits, but find that you don’t have enough buttermilk?

 1/4 cup whole milk plus 3/4 cup yogurt will make 1 cup of  “buttermilk”… you really won’t be able to tell the difference!

Or, what if you’re baking Grandma’s recipe for chocolate cake only to find that  the kitchen elves ate some of your baker’s chocolate?

3 Tablespoons cocoa plus 1 Tablespoon shortening or butter equals one square of baker’s chocolate.

What if you’re making gravy, but find the cornstarch box empty?

Use 2 teaspoons flour as a substitute for 1 teaspoon of cornstarch.

Say you’re baking a cake,  and you drop your last eggs on the floor?   Now what?

Generally in baking you can replace one egg with three Tablespoons cornstarch!

Don’t have enough flour for that baking project?

1 and 1/2 half cups ground rolled oats  will substitute perfectly for 1 cup all-purpose flour.  (Grind the oats in a coffee grinder or food processor).

Not enough lemon juice?

 For a  small amount, use 1/2 teaspoon vinegar in place of 1 teaspoon lemon juice.  Other substitutes: any citrus juice, or try orange marmalade – depending,  of course,  on the recipe.

Also, you can get more juice from a dried up lemon if you heat it for 5 minutes in boiling water before you squeeze it!

Mayonnaise ran out before the ‘tater salad was moist enough?

Substitute cottage cheese,  sour cream,  plain yogurt,  or cream cheese – or a combination of these.  (Potato salad made with cream cheese is absolutely delicious!)

Didn’t have quite enough sugar for that recipe?

Brown and white sugars can be used interchangeably.  Or, substitute 3/4 cup honey for 1 cup sugar, and reduce the other liquid in the recipe by a Tablespoon or two.

Oh, no! You’re almost ready for the big event only to realize that you forgot the whipped cream!

Beat an egg white until stiff;  add 1 mashed banana and sugar to taste, beating it all together.

Another substitute for whipped cream:  Cool 1/2 cup evaporated milk in the bowl in which you will later beat it; (cooling it in the freezer for about an hour is best… Also, cool the beaters, whether electric or hand-operated.) Whip the well-chilled evaporated milk until it is at the soft peak stage; then beat in 3 rounded Tablespoons sugar. Use immediately.

We hope you’ve learned a

new tip or two to help you in

the kitchen and prevent your

having to make yet another trip to the

grocery store!

For a delightful change of pace, reserve a vacation cabin here at Enota.  The Fall season is a wonderful time of year to visit the North Georgia Mountains.  We’d love to see you.

Enota Mountain Retreat

1000 Hwy 180,  Hiawassee GA 30546

(706) 896- 9966      email:

official web site:

Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes

November 21, 2011

Greetings, Friends of Enota.

Today, as we rapidly approach Thanksgiving – and a month or so of high-fat, high-cal, high-sugar fetes – let’s think about trying  some “substitution” recipes to decrease the fat,  calories, and  sugar.  The following are  recipes sure to please even the pickiest eater, yet be kinder to your waistline and general health:

Cran Apple Sauce

Use this in place of sugary

gelatin salads to decrease

your holiday sugar intake!

1/3 cup apple juice

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup sugar

1 12 ounce bag fresh cranberries

2 apples, peeled, cored, and chopped

In a medium non-reactive saucepan, dissolve sugar into juice over a medium heat. Stir in cranberries, apple cider vinegar and chopped apples. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until cranberries pop and sauce thickens.
Makes about 4 cups.

“Smashed”  Red

Potatoes w Garlic

High on flavor, nutrition,

and good looks; yet low in

fat! Hooray!

2 pounds Red potatoes, washed and cut into pieces

6 garlic cloves, peeled

1/3 cup fat-free milk

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/3 cup fat -free sour cream

Chives, freshly chopped

Boil potatoes and garlic cloves in a large saucepan for 20 minutes until potatoes are tender. Drain and return to pan. Add milk and sour cream to potatoes and garlic. Mash with a potato masher until you have the desired consistency. Use a little more milk if you prefer thinner mashed potatoes. Stir in pepper; then, garnish with some chopped chives, as desired.  Serves 6.

Best Green Beans

Sure to become a family

favorite, yet contains far less

fat and sodium than green

bean casserole!

2 slices turkey bacon, diced

1 Tbsp. Olive Oil

1/2 cup minced onion

1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 cup boiling water

1 teaspoon lemon juice1 tablespoon butter

salt and pepper to taste

Cook the bacon in olive oil in a large  skillet over medium-high heat until crisp, about 10 minutes;  remove  with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel-lined plate; return the skillet with the reserved bacon grease/olive oil to the stove.
Cook the onion in the bacon/olive oil drippings until soft, 5 to 7 minutes.

Stir in the green beans and red pepper flakes; cook another 2 minutes. Pour the boiling water into the skillet and cover the skillet immediately; steam on low heat for about 15 minutes.  Add the butter, lemon juice, salt, and pepper; cook and stir until the butter is melted, 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle the cooked bacon over the beans to serve. Serves 6.

So, there you have it! Three great recipes… three great ideas for making  healthy substitutions as part of your Thanksgiving feast.   Even if you only use one of them, you’ll be a little bit healthier this holiday season.

We at Enota wish you a safe and blessed Thanksgiving. If you’re “in our neck of the woods”,  come visit us during the holidays. We’d love to see you!


Enota Mountain Retreat

1000 Hwy 180,  Hiawassee GA 30546

(706) 896- 9966      email:

official web site:

To Enota Retreat we go!

Yes,  Hello,  again,  Enota Readers!  How ’bout giving Mom a break from Thanksgiving cooking and spending the long Thanksgiving weekend at Enota?  Today we’ll talk about just some of the many activities and pleasures the entire family could enjoy…

Thanksgiving Feast:

Gather with us  for a

traditional Thanksgiving

Feast,  Thursday Nov 24th

at 2:00pm in the Dining

Hall.  Menu will include at least:

Tender Roasted Turkey with Stuffing,  Delicious Baked Ham, Tender Cooked Rice,  Fluffy Mashed Potatoes,  Homemade Gravy, Delicious Sweet Potato Casserole,  Green Beans,  Corn,   Field Peas,  Home Made Macaroni & Cheese,  Warm Rolls and Butter, Full Salad Bar,  Cranberry Sauce,  Pumpkin Pie,  Apple Pie and Pecan Pie, and more . . . !

Sit by the warm stone

fireplace and enjoy the

beautiful holiday


The traditional parades and football will be playing on the TV in the lodge.

Reservations are required for the Thanksgiving Feast; we need to know how many to expect, so please RSVP to 706-896-9966 with the number of adults and children attending. You also are welcome to personalize the feast with dishes brought from home – If there is something your family traditionally enjoys for Thanksgiving, feel free to bring it!  It can only add to the blessings everyone will surely experience!

$23.00- Adults (12 and over)

$11.00 – Children (3-11)

(no charge for children under the age of 3)

Weekend Activities:


Enota also operates as a certified organic farm and has over 300 family friendly animals (chickens, bunnies, goats, cows, horses, and more) on our farm. Adults and children are welcome to help with our daily feedings. The duck pond in front of the lodge is extremely popular and everyone has fun feeding the ducks. Help feed the animals, milk the cows, and gather the eggs – fun for the kids! Meet at the farm at 4:00 p.m. daily.


Enota’s stocked trout pond is a great place for the kids to catch a fish or to catch dinner. We can supply you with the poles and no license is required. This is a catch and keep pond only with everything you catch at $6.00 per pound. Stocked with about 500 trout averaging 1.25 pounds.

Another way to fish is in the National Forest adjoining Enota’s property. The state stocks the creek running along Road 180 and a Georgia license is required.


For peaceful & restorative massage sessions we suggest Reflexology, Hot Stones, Polarity, Swedish, Shiatsu or a blend of the above.

For more therapeutic massage which would encompass chronic pain, injury, stiffness or a preference for deeper work we offer:  Deep Tissue, Connective Tissue,  Neuro-Muscular Therapy,  Range of Motion, stretches.

Add-Ons: Body Scrubs, Aromatherapy, Warm moist treatments using Clays, Healing Salts or Yogurt and Spice Rubs (varying prices:$10-$25)

All of these services include a blend of modalities. After meeting with you we will create a massage that personally meet your needs.


A full body aroma therapy session involves the mind, body, and spirit. While any massage may have aroma therapy as an add- on (for the benefit of their senses and their tissue) this particular therapy uses essential oils to bring balance to the body.

Whether you suffer with allergies, stress, fatigue, or other conditions, we are able to use specific strokes, apply essential oils along meridians and the spine, and work with your breathing technique, etc. to bring a presence of tranquility and health. Enjoy! Rejuvenate!

Most sessions take 90 minutes. Please allow additional time for consultation and preparation. Pricing is $100 per session.

There are also many holiday

goings-on going on nearby!

Helen, GA:

FESTIVAL OF TREES:  This event is hosted by the White County Chamber of Commerce and begins on Friday, November 25, 10 am to 10pm. View the beautifully decorated trees and wreaths throughout Unicoi Lodge.

Another great Christmas event is the Christkindlmarkt which comes from the German tradition of booths set up in the center of town with  gift items, decorations, and an assortment of  foods, drinks and candied treats.  The Christkindlmarkt will be in the Helen Market Platz on November 25, 26 and 27 and on December 3 and 4, beginning at 10:00 a.m. and lasting until 6:00 on Friday and Saturdays and 5:00 on Sundays.

There are also many wonderful shops to enjoy in Helen. Y’all could surely find some unique and special holiday gifts on this outing.

Blue Ridge, SC:

OLD- FASHIONED HOLIDAY CELEBRATION:    The day starts off with Tuba Christmas on the main stage at 11:00 followed by Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus arriving on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway at 12:30.

Visit with Santa, the Gingerbread Man, etc,  and have photos taken in the gazebo in downtown Blue Ridge City Park free of charge.  Live reindeer, childrens trackless train rides and much more.

The lighting of the ‘Great Tree’ takes place at dusk.  Downtown shops will be open late so bring the whole family for a holiday of fun.

Oh,  there’s more we could mention;  but,  suffice to say that should you decide to spend the Thanksgiving weekend here at Enota,  you won’t be bored and you won’t be disappointed!


Enota Mountain Retreat

1000 Hwy 180, Hiawassee GA 30546

(706) 896- 9966 email:

official web site:

Hello again, Friends of Enota!

Today we are going to

continue  our  discussion

of common heart problems,

what to do if they occur, and

some of the ways we can help

prevent them.

What Not to Do:

Never shrug off heart attack symptoms or  try to make excuses for your symptoms.  Even if you’re not sure it’s a heart attack, don’t hesitate to get help. The actions you take within the first hours after a heart attack could save your life.  Emergency Room doctors and nurses  will all tell you that there exists a “golden hour” wherein cardiac distress can be managed best… After that golden hour has passed, the chances of complete recovery plunge.

What To Do:  Take Action!

If you experience any of these symptoms, or are with someone who is experiencing them, call 911. Then, chew and swallow an aspirin (unless you are allergic to aspirin, of course!)  Taking an aspirin  at the onset of heart attack symptoms may prevent the formation of additional small blood clots blocking blood flow through clogged arteries. Thus,  heart muscle damage may be prevented or delayed. This can buy  time to get to the hospital for further evaluation and treatment.

The Cost of  “Feasting”

Wow.  A Thanksgiving meal  (or any other large meal) can easily exceed 4000 calories!  I clearly remember my Anatomy and Physiology professor describing the effects of a “pigout” on the various body systems. I will describe a few of them today:


After a large meal, cardiac output is increased.  The increased cardiac workload is  diverted to the digestive system.  The intestines require increased circulation in order to digest the high volume of food;  this can take up to six hours.

Meanwhile other organs – including the brain and the heart – are somewhat deprived of blood/oxygen, making them more susceptible to stress and damage.

At the same time, the high carbohydrate content of a meal such as Thanksgiving increases insulin production.  This elevated insulin level can prevent normal relaxation of the coronary arteries. Elevated triglycerides – from eating a meal high in fats and carbs – impairs the function of the coronary arteries’ lining.  The coronary arteries are inflamed and less elastic.

Bloodwork done on patients who have “enjoyed a high fat pigout”  often reveal high levels of inflammatory markers such as C-Reactive protein.  Inflammation is never a good thing for any part of the human anatomy!  And, of course, the heart is no exception!

Meanwhile, there is usually a rise in blood pressure after consumption of a large meal.  If the coronary arteries already have  areas of inflammation,  the “feast” may result in those inflamed patches rupturing, which leads to blockages and heart attack.

At the same time, the high salt content of a typical Thanksgiving dinner can easily trigger an episode of Congestive Heart Failure in persons with this condition.

The Gastro-Intestinal System:

After a large meal the body reacts by producing huge amounts of gastric acid.  This is the body’s effort to process or digest the big meal. Large amounts of gastric acid   can cause acid reflux, which can continue for as long as 12 hours!

The high fat content of a typical holiday feast can also bring on a gallbladder attack in people with gallstones or chronic gallbladder disease (without stones).

Ask any E.R. doctor or nurse and they will tell you that the symptoms of the above conditions mimic those of a heart attack.


If, in addition to overeating, you also choose to drink alcoholic beverages, the chances of physical problems increase.  These include the possibility  of auto accidents on your drive home, poor sleep due to indigestion, extreme elevations in insulin, dehydration, or waking up the next morning with acute gout as well as a hangover!

So, What DO We Do?

Here are some tips on how to keep from overdoing it at the Thanksgiving feast:

Don’t skip breakfast or lunch to “save calories” so that you can eat more at the  feast.  Do the opposite!  Have a protein snack an hour or so before the meal.

Eat salad first.  Starting any meal with a salad is a good idea; the salad provides fiber which your digestive system needs to help process the other foods. Plus, having a salad will make you feel fuller faster.

Avoid finger foods/snacks set out before the meal.  These usually  pack a wallop of calories, fat, sugar, and salt! If you’re tempted by the hors d’oeuvres,  volunteer to help in the kitchen, go for a walk outdoors, etc.

Taste everything you want to taste, but take small portions.  Try to resist second-helpings, and, if you don’t really like something, don’t eat it!  Meanwhile, eat slowly and stay involved in the dinner table  conversation.

If you must drink alcohol, limit your intake to one glass of wine.  Also, drink at least one full glass of water.

Go easy on dessert…  ’nuff said…

This author recently attended an early Thanksgiving dinner.  The hosts are vegetarians, so the menu wasn’t the typical “Turkey-Day” feast… We had fabulous food and an even-more-fabulous time.  It  CAN  be done! So there you have it.  We hope you’ve found this post educational and informative as well as entertaining.

For a great Autumn or Winter getaway, book yourself a reservation at Enota Mountain Retreat. It is beautiful here all year long, and there are always plenty of things to do and places to go.

Enota Mountain Retreat is offering a Thanksgiving Feast on Thanksgiving Day – November 24th, 2011, at 2 PM.   For details,  call us or see our website,  as listed below.   We’d love to see you!

Enota Mountain Retreat

1000 Hwy 180,  Hiawassee GA 30546

(706) 896- 9966      email:

official web site:

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