L: “What are you thankful for?”
A: “Food… Water… Shelter…
A: “Steak… Ribeye… Filet Mignon… Skirt…”
A: “Family… Friends…”
A: “Thanks for being a part of my life!”
L: “You’re welcome.”
A: “… figures. You women are all alike”
Thanksgiving is approaching fast. Some may see this as a “cheat meal” since what is served is usually unhealthy yet oh-so-tempting, or some may go in with a good mindset and not give in to temptation. However, making healthy choices on this very day doesn’t have to be a struggle at all.
How many times have good intentions come and gone? Considering we have dedicated the entire month of November to getting ripped, why would we want to destroy what we’ve just built? We only have a few days left of the challenge, no way are we throwing everything out the window just to indulge in an unhealthy Thanksgiving feast.
Food doesn’t have to be the enemy, Thanksgiving doesn't have to be stressful, nor does it have to involve any deprivation. In fact, it should be a very pleasurable experience! Enjoy time with friends and/or family, but also the food! There are so many ways to positively take pleasure in this food-focused holiday.
1. When time to grub, use the simple rule of eating mostly plants, animals, nuts & seeds – in that order.
It’s always safe to start with vegetables; load your plate up, eat as MUCH as you want, stuff your face! Eating your veggies first will help you recognize when you are full faster, so you won't end up on the couch half-asleep, half-coherent, belt unbuckled, & troubled with regret.
I hear ya… you don’t want to feel full fast; your Thanksgiving goal is to eat your heart out (or in this case eat your belly out). We’re not telling you to load up on bland carrots & twigs; we’re telling you to pig out on the colorful, delicious, nutritious, flavorful creations of roasted salads, squashes, & purees that your taste buds are screaming for!
Once you’re good with that, take a grazing approach to proteins. There will certainly be plenty to go around, so take your time.
For the other dishes that you may consider “cheat” meals, use portion control; still allow yourself to try different things. This manner will leave you in a win-win- giving you that small sweet-tooth-fix you want. Also, this order of eating will curb any cravings & help you remain in control with only tiny tastes of the foods you really shouldn’t be eating.
2. If you’re hosting, substitute your ingredients with better options, i.e. almond/coconut flour instead of wheat flour; honey, xylitol, or stevia instead of sugar.
If you’re going somewhere as a guest, bring a tasty dish and/or healthy dessert that you can always fall back on in case you’re tempted.
Baked Cauliflower Casserole, Pan-Fried Lemon Brussel Sprouts & Chard, Mashed Turnip w/ Bacon, Maple Cornbread, Stuffing, Pom Mint Relish, Bacon Wrapped Turkey, Ham, Pumpkin Pie (Click for Recipes)
3. If store-bought containers are lying around from what’s on the table (bottles, jars, boxes, bags) casually sneak a peek at the ingredients list. No need to make a scene, just avoid the bad stuff (i.e. high fructose corn syrup, corn starch, wheat flour) if possible & you will thank yourself later.
4. Never be afraid to say “No, thank you.” If you don’t feel like explaining why you’re passing on the cornbread or carrot cake, you don’t have to; maybe you just don’t have a particular taste for it. No biggy!
Follow this simple approach, & you’ll be good to go! Don’t let anything get in the way of you & your health!
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!