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Aerial Freeman


Make Room for Seconds

Where to find the best…


Twenty minutes from Birmingham, the Bright Star in Bessemer is famous for its young tom turkey, roasted overnight and paired with dressing, giblet gravy, and cranberry sauce. The oldest family-owned restaurant in Alabama, the Bright Star serves close to 1,500 people each Thanksgiving. thebrightstar.com

Sweet potatoes

You won’t find turkey—or any other meats, for that matter—at Parizade in Durham, North Carolina, which web-CreamedCornNew3hosts the largest vegetarian holiday feast in the country. Instead, order the melt-in-your-mouth Moroccan sweet potatoes, made with leeks and vegan maple “butter” chutney. parizadedurham.com

Creamed corn

Each Thanksgiving, more than 1,500 people wait in line for dinner at the Loveless Cafe in Nashville, thanks to staples like sweet creamed corn casserole. Made with heavy cream, corn kernels, and a stick of butter, it eats like a dessert. lovelesscafe.com

Earn Your Turkey

Make room for the mashed potatoes by running one of the South’s many Thanksgiving races. Here’s the skinny.


Number of participants in the annual Tampa Bay Turkey Trot, which includes a 10K, 5K, and one-mile run.


Number of years the New Orleans Track Club has held its five-mile Turkey Day Race (2015 marks 108 years).


Number of free turkeys Piggly Wiggly gives away each year to lucky participants in the 10K Sam Lapidus Montclair Run in Birmingham.

web-IMG_9051$12.5 million

Amount raised by the five-mile Boulevard Bolt to benefit Nashville-area homeless communities since the race’s founding on Thanksgiving Day 1994.


Amount awarded to the first-place finisher in Charleston’s Turkey Day Run and Gobble Wobble 5K.


Average number of calories burned during the Thanksgiving Atlanta Half Marathon.


Average temperature (Farenheit) during the Baptist Health South Florida Turkey Day 5K and 10K Run in Miami.

Stayin’ Alive: A Monk Shares How Not to Kill Your Bonsai

It’s not every day you’re able to interview a monk. And it’s even rarer to interview him about bonsai trees. But Friar Gerard Gross has been in charge of bonsai cultivation at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit for the last twelve years, so he seems like the right person to chat with about the notoriously finicky plant. Here, he shares his insights.

Southbound: What do you like most about working with bonsai?

FG: It’s good to get our hands in dirt, in God’s beauty, God’s creation. It teaches patience, it shows life and creation, and it helps others in discovering beauty. It transforms us.

Southbound: We like the sound of that. What kinds of bonsai do you cultivate?

FG: Japanese garden, maple, boxwood, elm, and juniper. There are also some tropical bonsai trees grown indoors.

Southbound: What kind of care do bonsai require? Aren’t they tough to grow?

FG: Bonsai are like pets. They don’t live on their own, they need attention, and you can’t neglect them … The management of bonsai trees is very important. The right amount of light, water, and soil are key to keeping the trees alive. Trimming and pruning are also greatly important. Most require you to trim them throughout the summer. Others, like boxwoods and conifers, only require trimming about once a year. Bonsai roots should also be pruned every three to five years.

Southbound: What’s the average lifespan of bonsai trees?

FG: The maturity of bonsai trees varies; it depends on the type of tree it is. Trees usually grow to be hundreds of years old, so with the proper care and atmosphere, the same can be said for bonsai. Most mature in around five to six years and grow to be between two to three feet tall.

Southbound: I’m new to growing bonsai. What’s the most forgiving kind to start with?

FG: If you want to get into growing and nurturing the beauty of the bonsai, maple bonsai are my personal favorite—they require simplistic nurturing. I also recommend cotoneaster, Japanese garden, and juniper bonsai, because they are easier to keep alive.

7 Easy Ways To Reduce Stress and Find Balance Without Leaving Home

Dahlonega Spa Resort

Allison Entrekin

Can’t get away on a yoga retreat? Rebecca Galla-Jones and Jackie Dominas, instructors at Balance Yoga in Atlanta, say you don’t have to leave town to leave your stress behind. Here are some ideas for finding calm and flexibility without ever packing a suitcase.

  • Begin each day with a positive affirmation in order to stay focused and calm.
  • Start a gratitude journal or list. Take note of all the amazing things that happen in your everyday life.
  • Take the time to move your body. Motion is a great way to feel more at ease and minimize discomfort in your body and mind.
  • Fuel your body by eating clean, whole foods. The food you eat creates your cells, and a nutrient-rich diet can help you feel your best physically and mentally.
  • Light a candle while making dinner or reading to add some romance to your day.
  • Unplug by 8 p.m. Turn off the computer, put the iPhone on airplane mode, and even shut off the TV. You can use the extra time to read, play with the kids, or go to bed early.
  • Aim to feel good and help others feel good every day. One of Rebecca’s favorite quotes is from Maya Angelou: “People often don’t remember what you said or what you did, but they remember how you made them feel.”

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