Thanksgiving is coming! Are you ready to count your blessings and enjoy the feast? Are you ready for the ultimate celebration of the table?
This Thanksgiving we’ll enjoy family and friends, make some new memories, practice traditions and then get down to some serious eating. Food can bring us a lot of joy, but when we over-do it, it can really take a toll! The key is to celebrate mindfully. Here are a few tips to help you enjoy this Thanksgiving (and the rest of the holiday season too!) without sabotaging your health, energy and holiday radiance!
#1 Give yourself permission to enjoy the celebration.
The guilt we often feel after over-indulging can be more toxic than any food we eat. It causes stress, which can raise cortisol levels and create a toxic environment in the body. You know you’re going to eat. Acknowledge it, enjoy the meal and move on! Thanksgiving Day is no time to be counting calories or feeling deprived due to guilt or fear of weight gain. That said, you don’t have to eat everything! See #2! (Or prepare foods from our Healthy Holiday Recipe Guide, full of recipes that are holiday delicious, but won’t sabotage your health goals!)
#2 Don’t indulge in foods you don’t love or want, just because they’re on the table
Before you put something on your plate, mindfully consider whether or not you truly enjoy eating that food. If not, politely pass on it. Will the food cause unwanted symptoms that will plague you for days afterward? Consider the answer then make your choice. The Thanksgiving table offers many (possibly healthier) options to choose from!
#3 Search out the healthiest foods first
Take larger portions of the healthiest foods, then fill around that with the “less healthy”. When you focus on eating the healthiest foods first, you will naturally eat less of the rest. Psychologically, you get the most gratification out of eating a food in just the first couple bites. Keep that in mind and know that if you’re filling up on the good stuff, it’s entirely possible just enjoying a few bites of something rich and decadent will satisfy you just fine.
#4 Don’t “save up” your calories for later
Skipping meals is never a good idea, even on a day like Thanksgiving. Skipping meals wreaks havoc with your blood sugar, leading to overeating and poor food choices. Instead, nourish your body in a healthy way the day of the big meal, including having a healthy breakfast and a couple of good snacks throughout the day. You will be much less likely to over-do it later in the day and will feel much better!
#5 Slow down and chew your food
Digestion begins in the mouth and your digestive system is going to need all the help it can get on a feast day such as Thanksgiving. It’s going to have a lot of work to do! Slow down and savor your food, taking the time to thoroughly chew it. This allows it to begin to break down and digest before swallowing. Slowing down also allows you to relax and enjoy your food more.
#6 Move on quickly from the leftovers
A couple of days of indulgence won’t derail your health goals, but a whole week will. Get back on track as soon as possible by eating healthfully as soon as the big meal is over and ramping up the exercise throughout the holidays.
#7 Choose joy over stress
Commonly this time of year, we get so caught up in the shopping, obligations and rush of the holidays that we become over stressed and exhausted and lose focus on what’s important. Stress is a joy-stealer. Keep the reasons we celebrate front of mind. Focus on family, friends and faith rather than the stuff and the to-do lists. Keep it all in perspective.
Wishing you many joy-filled moments around the table this holiday season!
Download our free Healthy Holiday Recipe Guide! Includes 10 holiday delicious recipes that won’t sabotage your health goals! All recipes are grain, dairy and refined sugar-free