Happy Thanksgiving Week! Today I am bringing you one of my favorite blog posts out of the archives. I have three tips for having a healthier Thanksgiving, and guess what? They're all about eating! I wrote this original post four years ago, but my tips STILL apply and I STILL share them with my clients. Stop worrying about how to eat less and move more this Thanksgiving. Stop torturing and restricting yourself (I promise, it will only backfire!) Enjoy food, do so mindfully, and enjoy time with family and friends. I hope the tips below give you some actionable ideas for approaching this holiday with gratitude and peace of mind and help you leave your diet worry at the door.
First, remember your health and wellness is a product of consistency. This means, you build your foundation year round, 365 days. The holiday season, which inevitably starts Thanksgiving week and goes until the New Year, is just a small portion of the year. I am not saying this is an excuse to load up on sugar and alcohol for the next month and a half. I am saying you can indulge without derailing your progress on your health journey. You are a product of the choices you make everyday over many days. This means you can enjoy yourself, and the world won't end. Remember: when you tell yourself you "can't" eat something or you restrict what you are allowed to eat your cravings are not properly satisfied and you set yourself up to overeat. When we tell our body no, it says yes - so be kind and compassionate with yourself! My three simple tips can help you approach Thanksgiving with joy and excitement about food instead of worry.
three thanksgiving tips
1. eat before you go
Okay, so I know this is something you have heard before, but it is important. If you skip breakfast you will 100% end up overeating and unable to make mindful food choices. Don't show up to Thanksgiving with low blood sugar and ready to stuff yourself. Eat plenty of greens, healthy fats, and protein in the meals leading up to the big one. This helps you start the day with balanced blood sugars which will help you take a calm and mindful approach to the big meal. Plus, when you get your veggies in the morning you can focus on the yummy stuff come meal time! An egg casserole is one of my favorite meals for Thanksgiving morning.
2. eat what is special
When you don't make any food off limits you are open to truly enjoying food and being satisfied. Sometimes, holidays can feel like the the last chance meal. The last chance you will get to have went potato casserole or stuffing, the last chance for endless desserts. It doesn't need to be this way! Remember, many of thse items you can make and enjoy whenever you want. You are an adult, no one is stopping you. Taking this approach to food can help you prioritize during the big meal. Focus on the items you can't have all the time. This might be a family recipe that only your grandma has perfected or a cousin's secret ingredient cookies. Whatever it is, put those items that are special to you first. Put other yummy things second. Remind yourself that many of these items aren't going anywhere. You don't need to eat it right now because these food are available for you to cook and enjoy whenever you want.
3. eat leftovers
What do you do when you've picked out the special foods, but you start to feel full? In the past, I would force myself through the main dishes even if I was full from appetizers. Now I know better. I stop myself from getting to that point by reminding myself that there are always leftovers and these foods are available to me. Ask your host for their recipe or ask if they have a spare tupperware or baggie for you to take food home. Your host will be flattered that you like their cooking too much to miss out.
So there you have it. Three simple tips for having a healthier, more mindful Thanksgiving. Do not treat the meal like your last chance to eat. Enjoy, be happy, spend time with family, and know that these foods can be enjoyed tomorrow, and the next day, and next week - they are not off limits. Leave your food anxiety at the door and watch how much easier it is to eat to satisfaction, and stop.
Do you have a favorite holiday recipe that you just can't live without? I would love to hear about it!