The holidays are here with 4 days until Thanksgiving. Another year of indulgence with stress and the craziness that it brings! But it doesn’t have be. Now this post isn’t going to tell you to avoid anything that is not healthy, I am not mean! I am however helping to avoid going completely off track where it’s so out of control you go down a shame spiral that you try to get out of every January.
This is the first year that my husband and I are celebrating in a different state away from family…well in a state that is too far to drive at least. Actually it doesn’t even “feel” like the holidays here in Dallas without the cold dreary weather that we are used to back in Chicago…which I am not complaining at all and something we will get used to. But for those of you who will be with family for this Thanksgiving I have created 5 tips to ensure a happy and healthy Thanksgiving. So leave your “breathable” pull up pants at home and follow these 5 tips.
Tip #1 Start your day with a workout and breakfast
It is imperative that you get a quick workout in, doesn’t have to be long…20-30 minutes and if you have more time then 45 minutes. But workout, get the heart rate up. Or if it will help to deal with the insanity of the day, go do yoga. Anything to get you up and out and kick in the endorphins for the day. I know what you’re saying “but I have to cook this…or bake that…I have no time”…MAKE TIME! Believe me not only will it help burn off the calories you consume, but it will put you in a better, less stressed mood. AND make sure to have a healthy breakfast or something before the dinner. There is no reason you should “save all your calories” for one meal. See tip #3 on avoiding overindulgence.
Tip #2 Easy on the alcohol
It is easy to get lost in how many glasses of wine, champagne, bottles of beer or cocktails that you have had… especially when you are using it to cope with family. Avoid any cocktails that are sugary with fruit juices, soda or sugary syrups or beer that is heavy and cause excess bloating. I usually stick with dry white wine spritzer (Sauvignon Blanc and seltzer water) and sip on it. This way you have 1/2 wine 1/2 water and still able to have 2 or 3 and be fine. Speaking of water, make sure to hydrate in between drinks and end the night with a glass of water (or more). Believe me you will thank me in the morning.
Tip #3 Don’t overload and overindulge
This is tricky but very important. If you are not the host and have a big plate in front of you, don’t take that as an invitation to put a huge helping of everything on it to where it is quite literally falling off. Having a taste of different things is fine, but it’s just that…a taste. This way it satisfies your cravings and you don’t offend anyone as we tend to feel when you leave food on your plate. Also, try to avoid going up for seconds. Sit for 20 minutes, sipping water (water helps curb the “need to eat more” feeling) and see how you feel. If you must have more of the turkey then go ahead, but remember you still need to leave some room for dessert.
Tip #4 Choose healthier dishes
I know, easier said than done. Especially when you are not the one cooking and especially when the typical Thanksgiving feast includes stuffing, buttery mashed potatoes, cheesy green bean casserole and candied yams. But if you can, either make a healthy dish and bring it for everyone or ask to see if the host can make a healthier version of a dish. Load up on turkey (if you are a vegan, then load up on veggies) and that one healthy dish and a “taste” of the not so healthy dishes (see tip #3) and try to limit those as well. This goes the same for dessert, remember you are trying to avoid the dreaded food coma that comes after (and no it’s not the tryptophan from the turkey that causes it) and essentially avoiding the dreaded added weight gain.
Tip #5 Laugh, have fun and give thanks
That is what this holiday is for after all, giving thanks and enjoying the time with family and each other. By following tips 1 through 4, you will be thankful for the energy and happy mood to enjoy all the laughter and joy the holiday brings!
Would love to hear how your Thanksgiving dinner was, please comment below.