Thanksgiving means different things for different people. For some, it is a day full of friends, family, food, floats, and/or football. For others it signals the beginning of the shopping, I mean the holiday season.
Whatever it means for you and your family, the day usually centers around a carbohydrate parade of dishes from sides to desserts with the guest of honor, the turkey. The day is a food fest with little consideration for eating healthy.
One of the things that I often hear in my office is “I will start a diet after the holidays”, or “I will start eating healthy during the new year”. I hate being a “killjoy” but what if
- eating healthy was part of your everyday life?
- there wasn’t a time to be “good” or “bad”?
- you started to realize that you have access to food no matter when you want it and no longer need to gorge yourself excessively?
What if the holidays became what they were supposed to be? A time to be thankful for all you have and the potential to become? A time to be compassionate for those that have less than you do?
If possible keep in mind:
- Do not starve yourself all day long! Continue to follow the Nutrition Map plan and have breakfast within 1 hour after you wake up in the morning and then every 2-4 hours thereafter.
- Make fitness part of your day. Enjoy a morning walk, run or hike with the family or before you leave the house for family gatherings. Schedule activities or games throughout the day that require physical movement, and no, walking from the table to the couch and back does not count.
- If you have a juicer consider juicing for the day for breakfast, lunch or snack depending on what time you are scheduled to eat. No juicer? Do not fear. You can make a smoothie with water or milk (or milk substitute like soy or almond), fresh or frozen fruits and toss in a few handfuls of spinach or kale. If blended properly, you won’t even know the greens are in there.
- At dinner time, have a plate and stick to 1 plate only. Don’t pile the food onto your plate. You can have more in 2-3 hours if you are hungry again. Spread out those carbohydrates. Your gut will thank you for not subjecting it to indigestion (reflux, “upset stomach”, food “not agreeing with you”).
- As always: Listen to your body! When you begin to feel full, STEP AWAY FROM THE TABLE!
- Have plenty of fruits and vegetables:
- Have at least 1 fruit and 1 vegetable with each meal and snack throughout the day.
- Have at least 2 non starchy vegetables with your main Thanksgiving meal.
- Be that guest! Bring 1-2 different fruit and/or vegetable dishes to the meal.
- If all else fails and you overindulge remember that you can jump right back on the eating healthy wagon.