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Grateful for Memories

Updated: Nov 29, 2021

Last week, a friend of mine asked what my article topic was for the week. She suggested that I write about things for which I’m grateful. It didn’t take me long to come up with a list. I’m grateful for my family, my friends, my home, my city, Chattanooga, and my health. Specifically, I’m grateful not to have COVID-19.

MLK Boulevard in Chattanooga, TN.

This time last year I had gone up to Bloomingdale, Illinois. I was doing a family portrait directory for the church. It looks like a school yearbook with phone numbers and addresses. These books are done so church members can stay in touch with each other. It works really well to have contact information for all of your church members, so you can check in on them when they get ill. If there’s a natural disaster in the area, it serves as a way to get in touch with the entire church family.

It was a great church. The shoot went really well. Unfortunately, the church’s pastor came down with COVID-19. He and his father had been kind enough to help me load and unload all of my equipment for the shoot. He contacted the company I worked for to let me know. Sure enough, I ended up with a positive COVID-19 test.

So last year at Thanksgiving I was on a 14 day quarantine and missed getting to spend time with friends and family. Luckily, the pastor and I recovered, but it made me look forward to this year which lead to remembering past years. I used to cook Thanksgiving for my father every year until he came down with Alzheimer's and dementia and lost his memory. This makes me grateful to still have my memory as well. One of my reoccurring memories was making his favorite dessert, cheesecake. I started craving it, so I adjusted it to a diabetic friendly version quite different from the box versions I made for my dad as a kid.

Prep Time: 30 min. Cook Time: 50min. Total Time: 6 hours 20 minutes

Makes 2 pies Serves: 12


  • 2 pkg. cream cheese

  • 3 eggs

  • 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar, divided into 2 equal parts

  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg

  • 1/4 tsp. clove

  • 1 tsp. crushed pineapple sage, optional

  • 1/2 cup almond flour

  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

  • 2 cups graham crackers crushed

  • 1/2 cup cashews, ground

  • 1 cup sunflower butter

  • 1 cup butter melted


  1. Preheat the oven to 300°.

  2. In a large bowl, combine gram crackers, cashews, 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar, sunflower butter, and melted butter.

  3. Mix all the ingredients and pour into the base of two pie pans.

  4. On a microwave safe dish, soften the cream cheese by microwaving it for 30 seconds flipping it over and microwaving it for another 30 seconds.

  5. Lightly beat the eggs.

  6. Combine the softened cream cheese, beaten eggs, 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, pineapple sage, almond flour, and heavy whipping loo cream in a large bowl.

  7. Mix until well blended and then pour into prepared pie pans.

  8. Cook for 50 minutes. Remove and allow to cool on a cooling rack for one hour.

  9. Allow to chill for four hours before serving.

Is it healthy? It is made from cream and milk, so it is mildly acidic. You do have to pay attention to the additives used to make the cream cheese because it effects the carbohydrates and protein. You really want to find the cream cheese with a higher amount of protein compared to competing brands. Cream cheese is high in fat which keeps your blood sugar from spiking quickly because fat takes longer for your body to digest. One ounce of cream cheese contains 10% of your daily requirement of vitamin A and 5% of riboflavin. Vitamin A is an essential vitamin for skin, lung, eye, reproductive, intestine, and immune health. Riboflavin, aka B2 or B-complex, is an energy producing vitamin. It helps the body metabolize fats and protein. One of 8 essential B vitamins, it aids in a keeping the liver, hair, skin, eyes, and nervous system healthy. It also has a small amount of antioxidants that protects against cellular damage. Cream cheese with the label "live and active cultures" may have probiotic benefits because it has live probiotics. It also has lactose in it which may scare those that are lactose intolerant, but research has found that small levels may be tolerated, under 12 grams per meal. There is less than 2 grams of lactose in 1 ounce, 28 grams of cream cheese. It is low in protein which gives you a feeling satiation. It must be consumed within 2 weeks of opening. Cream cheese is good in sweet or savory dishes, but it should be used in moderation.

Source: "Is Cream Cheese Healthy? Nutrition, Benefits and Downsides

Healthline Nutrition 09/12/2019

I’m also grateful for Chattanooga, TN. The city has the beautiful Tennessee River and is full of many athletic attractions: paddle boarding, kayaking, mountain climbing, biking riding, hiking, running, paragliding and hang gliding. You may not be aware of it's National Historic District Fort Hood with fantastic architecture. It is a town that is working on improving. You can see it in the art and other signs leading to more cultural development that I'm grateful to see.

While you're digesting your Thanksgiving meal and trying not to fall asleep from the L-tryptophan in the turkey, I hope you reflect on all the things you have to be grateful for this past year. Hopefully, you'll have some new memories with family and friends. Maybe this website and recipe will make it onto your list of the things you appreciate. Please comment, like, share, and come back next week for more recipes, ideas, and tips. Subscribe to the website, if you would like weekly email reminders to add more recipes to your recipe book.

Disclaimer: This is not medical advice, but a compilation of research from medical sites. Make sure to see your doctor and have up to date lab work.

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