With the holidays coming up, many people just accept that their fitness goals will be derailed and move forward with a spirit of defeat. That doesn’t have to be your truth! Here are some tips I share with my clients as we go into the holidays, followed by some of my favorite recipes for Thanksgiving.
- First and foremost, take a moment to think about what Thanksgiving looks like for you, what your priorities are, and where you boundaries are. If you go into it with the blinders off, you will be better able to see where your triggers are and have a plan to counter them, if you choose to (and remember, liquid calories DO count!).
- We can have some intense emotional connections with food, particularly around family holidays like Thanksgiving. Many of us go back “home” and associate the love and fun we have with our families with food. These connections are no joke, they are powerful. Now might be a good time to look yours right in the face and ask it if they are worth bringing forward into your new life. Traditions are a vital part of any culture, BUT, if you try, I bet you can still enjoy your family without ALL the food. Try to make some new connections. This Thanksgiving, look around at your family, take a look at your traditions, pinpoint for yourself what it is that is giving you the feels. Is it really the third piece of pie? Enjoy yourself, but do so with awareness. See what is really happening, so you can choose. Be your own artist.
- Along with the foods you choose and the portions you take, the order can matter as well. When chow time comes, try stacking your stomach in this order: Have a glass of water a short time before you eat, eat your fibrous foods first (think veggies!), then have protein. Finish with the starches and sugars. Eating in this order will fill you up with the nutrient dense foods, leaving less room for the junk. Additionally, eating this way will help regulate the blood sugar roller coaster, helping with crashes, comas, and cravings!
- Another tip is to pitch in and bring something healthy to add! This may not work in every family, but most of the time these meals are a group effort. Have a little fun finding healthy recipes for some of your favorites, or experiment with a new “tradition”. I have taken over the side dishes in my family Thanksgiving so I can make them with quality ingredients and not feel guilty about eating them. Don’t just be a passive part of your life. If you want to build a new you, pick up a hammer!
- Finally, ENJOY yourself! Nourishing your soul is every bit as important as nourishing your body, maybe even more so. Some of us only see family and friends like this one time a year, don’t ruin it obsessing over your plate. But don’t give up on the next 6 weeks because of your Thanksgiving indulgences. If you choose, with open eyes, to overindulge on Thanksgiving then just start making good choices again on Friday. One bad meal doesn’t make you fat any more than one good workout will make you fit.
I have a habit of making fermented cranberry sauce to add digestion-aiding probiotics to our meal. If it doesn’t sound good to you maybe you can add some other probiotic food to your Thanksgiving to help your poor gut work through all that food. Some examples are kombucha, yogurt, raw milk, sauerkraut, kefir, or even probiotic supplements. Happy Thanksgiving!
Here are some of my other Thanksgiving staples:
I can’t remember which pumpkin recipe I make from year to year, I think I switch it up. Check out my Pinterest board for several pumpkin pie recipes, paleo crust options, and other Thanksgiving recipes!