Thanksgiving is one of the best times to be with friends and family. Meals bring us together, especially around the holidays. For some however, the holidays can bring on stress, as there are higher chances of overindulging, which can lead to guilt. This does not have to be the case!
Here are my 4 favorite tips for keeping your holiday happy, stress free, and most importantly, mindful!
1. Don’t be too hungry!
It’s easy to head into Thanksgiving dinner with a stomach that is far too empty. This can either be due to the rush to prepare the meal, or the mindset that the day’s calories must be “saved up” for this meal. The only recipe that skipping meals is good for is disaster! Instead of doing this, be sure to have a satisfying breakfast and/or lunch, depending on the time your meal is being served. This way, you will sit down to dinner ready to enjoy and converse with family, without feeling excessive hunger.
2. Eat slow, be mindful, and focus on the flavors
Take the time to really enjoy all of the food that either you or your family members have prepared. By doing this, you will increase the satisfaction factor of the meal, and will be less likely to overindulge and make yourself uncomfortable. Don’t get too caught up in the idea that a plate must be overloaded and eaten quickly. By keeping portions the right size for your hunger and your body, and eating slowly, you will be sure to stay mindful for the duration of the evening.
3. Modify recipes for your body
If you are eating at a relative’s house, do not be afraid to ask for a recipe modification, or to bring your own dish if you cannot have something. You are the one that knows your body best, and if there is going to be something served that will not be digested properly (i.e. a dish with dairy and you are lactose intolerant), do not be afraid to say no. Remember, it is not only important to honor your hunger, but your body as well.
4. Clear the table once the meal has finished
Of course we want to spend as much time with family and friends as possible, that’s what the holidays are all about! However, by leaving out unfinished portions after the meal is over, we increase the chance of mindless nibbling as the socializing continues. By taking a short break after dinner to help clean up, it allows you to move around a bit after enjoying your dinner. Also, I’m sure the help will be appreciated! After the table has been cleared, go back to spending your time with your loved ones.
Remember the reason for the season – enjoying the time that you are with those that you may not see as often as you’d like. The meal is what brings you together, but do not worry that the day has to be devoted entirely to overindulgence. By following these tips, and making up your own by knowing what works best for you, I guarantee you will have a wonderful holiday filled with joy and memories!
Your Turn to Take Action: What will you do to make sure your Thanksgiving is happy, healthy, and mindful? Let me know in the comments below!