Last week, we talked all about how to do a gluten and dairy free Thanksgiving if that’s your thing. But let’s be honest, that’s not even half of the battle of having a healthy holiday. (News flash: just because something is gluten and dairy free doesn’t make it a health food or give you license to engage in a food frenzy free for all.)
This season can be a really tough time to stay focused on your health goals. There are treats everywhere, tons of booze, heavy meals… And it all kicks off with the Thanksgiving feast.
So today I want to share some of my tips for how to enjoy the upcoming holiday in a mindful way. This isn’t about creating crazy rules, thinking too hard, or depriving yourself. It’s about experiencing the day in a way that makes you feel content before, during, and after.
Set an intention and write it down.
If you’re one of my clients, then this tip probably won’t come as a surprise to you. I’m a big fan of taking 5-10 minutes before any potentially challenging event to journal an intention and to create a loose game plan. Sure, you can simply think on it for a bit, but writing it down makes it real.
So what’s your intention for the Thanksgiving meal? What conversations do you want to have? How do you want to feel after, mentally and physically? How many glasses of wine honor that goal? What desserts are you looking forward to enjoying? What do you need to do to ensure you actually enjoy them?
Write it down so you’ve already primed your brain to access that information when you really need it!
Make half your plate veggies.
The cool thing about this tip is that it’s a good idea any day of the year, not just on Thanksgiving. If you’re in charge of the Thanksgiving meal, hopefully you’re crafting your spread using some of my tips, which means plenty of veg!
By loading up on veggies, you fill up on nourishing foods and can more mindfully and responsibly enjoy the Thanksgiving sides that are a bit more indulgent.
How many times have you gone into a meal feeling a liiiiittle bit too hungry, so you scarf your food and don’t stop until you’re like 25% too full? Give your brain and stomach time to talk to each other!
As a fast-eating human myself, I understand that this might be easier said than done, so here are some practical tips for this tip. The first is obvious: don’t go into this meal feeling too hungry! It’s really hard to make sound decisions when your brain is being controlled by hunger. And once you’re at the meal, feeling about a 7 on the hunger scale, here’s what you do:
- Put your fork down between bites.
- Fully chew each bite.
- Really TASTE your food.
- Enjoy the conversation.
- Before you clean your plate or go back for seconds ask yourself: Am I still hungry? Do I really want this? Am I just going overboard because I’ve given myself license to because it’s a holiday? The only right answer here is YOUR truth.
Enjoy what’s special.
Pop quiz! What’s special here?
a) Your dad’s famous stuffing
b) Your grandma’s legendary pumpkin pie
c) The Costco tray of cheese cubes that your Aunt picked up 30 minutes before the meal
You can literally enjoy a cheese cube any day of the year! So when you find yourself surrounded by delicious treats to choose from, choose what’s special and savor every freaking bite.
Comment below and let me know what was most helpful about this post! Maybe even jot down your intention and game plan for enjoying the holiday meal!