A Happy and Mindful Thanksgiving

happy-thanksgivingThanksgiving is hands down one of my favorite holidays.  I love having the whole family over and a table full of good food.  It is the perfect way to kick off the holiday season!

 

But I do know it is easy to get lost in the chaos. Don’t let yourself feel out of control this year. Start your holiday season off on the right foot! Make this the year that you conquer your dieting habits and turn to intuitive and mindful eating for a body you love.

 

Mindful Eating

 

Engaging in mindful eating can be the perfect way to help you enjoy Thanksgiving this year.  Here are four tips to help you stay mindful.

 

  1. Stay fully conscious. It’s easy to lose yourself in all the food, conversation and football.  If you maintain an awareness of your food choices, amount of food you are serving yourself and eating, you can avoid overindulging.  This can be difficult in a social situation, but if you set your intentions out in the morning, you can do it!

 

  1. Serve small portions. With a holiday that only comes once a year, you can easily serve yourself large portions of your favorite dishes.  You may even fall prey to “my eyes are bigger than my stomach”.  Start with small portions to avoid overeating yet still satisfies your craving.  If you are still hungry you could always have more.

 

  1. Listen to your body. Do you belong to the “clean your plate club”?  This year commit to staying present and listening to your body’s signals as you are getting satiated.  Stop eating when you feel comfortable, you can always wrap up the rest of your food and take it home.  If you do this, you will be able to enjoy your favorites when you get hungry again.

 

  1. Pace Yourself. During the meal, pacing yourself is key. Put your fork down and spend time talking to relatives in-between bites. This allows your brain to register the food that is entering your stomach. Your body will be able to signal when you are satisfied and have eaten enough.

 

The holidays can be a difficult time for someone who has just started on the intuitive eating journey.  Resisting the urge to overeat can be hard to overcome.  But you can do it! 

 

Recipe Modifications

 

While it’s great to eat your favorite traditional Thanksgiving dishes, consider modifying the recipes just a bit to better nourish your body.

 

  • Sweet Potato Casserole – Who doesn’t love sweet potatoes covered in marshmallows? But guess what… the marshmallows are not a necessity!  Instead, you can top the sweet potatoes with raisins, chopped pecans and a small handful of mini marshmallows.  This way you won’t miss the sweet melted topping, it is now just a lighter dish.
  • Mashed Potatoes – Do you normally take all skin off the potatoes and use whole milk when making mashed potatoes? Instead, leave the skin on and use low-fat milk or soy milk.  I promise you it will still taste delicious, but with less fat and more nutrients.
  • Salt – In many traditional dishes, salt is a staple. However, it isn’t the only seasoning that can be used to add flavor.  Try adding other herbs in place of salt, such as thyme or parsley.
  • Sour Cream – Do you serve baked potatoes topped with sour cream at your Thanksgiving dinner? Swap the sour cream for Greek yogurt and add a sprinkle of scallions for more flavor!

 

Still looking for more ways to have a mindful Thanksgiving?  Start your day off with a long morning walk to kick-start your body.  Also, don’t forget to eat breakfast!  This will keep you satisfied and help you avoid heading into dinner starving.

 

Check out this article from BRGHealth.com for tips on how to have a safe Thanksgiving.

 

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