Thanksgiving is my favorite day of the year — amazing food, time with family, no pressure to buy presents, and a reminder to be grateful for all my blessings. Cooking Thanksgiving dinner connects me with the female role models from my youth, my mother and grandmother, both of whom knew how to make holiday meals extra special. This one day fills me with so much – emotionally and physically – that I would never sacrifice that by counting calories or skipping my favorite indulgences. I savor Thanksgiving and I encourage my clients to do the same. That being said, I do have a few recommendations to help manage the day and those that follow:
— Eat only what you LOVE. Don’t love Mom’s mashed potatoes? Skip them. You do not have to eat everything that is laid out in front of you.
— Savor what you do take. Chew slowly and be mindful. Put your fork down between bites. And breathe.
— Keep the holiday contained to one day. Don’t drag it out through leftovers. If you’re hosting, buy disposable tupperware and give away all the leftovers. If you are not hosting, don’t take home leftovers.
— Make one dish that can be considered “clean” so that you can have those leftovers over the weekend and enjoy them guilt free. Roasted Brussels sprouts, braised green beans or try one of these great recipes from Kalyn’s Kitchen.
— With dessert, follow the 3-Bite Rule, the idea that taking three bites will satisfy the craving and nothing after the 3rd bite will taste any better.
— Alternate water or seltzer with alcoholic beverages. Or try wine spritzers – wine + seltzer.
— Stay active all weekend. Get a workout in Thursday morning, before the day gets crazy. Walk after dinner. And definitely get a tough run or workout in Friday morning, fueled by all the yummy food you ate on Thursday.
Mostly, try to remember that Thanksgiving is about more than food. Focus on non-food goodness – friends, family, blessings – savoring it all.
(photo credit: Flickr, harvest table, anathea)
Like what you’re reading? Sign up for updates below.