Thanksgiving is absolutely my favourite holiday. I love that there is an occasion just for the purpose of getting together to celebrate our food!
Whether you are hosting yourself or traveling to visit friends and family, you want to look forward to this weekend, and not stress or worry that you will overeat and feel terrible afterward. Yes, you can partake and still feel great, I promise!
These tips will bust the old myth that you can’t fill your plate or eat tasty foods without gaining weight or feeling guilty at the end of the weekend.
Create a Healthy and Delicious Meal
The easiest way to eat what you want at Thanksgiving is to have all the available choices be healthy ones. And, since this is a family affair, getting the whole group involved in helping to prep your whole food ingredients will get them on board and keep your sanity at the same time.
If you’re hosting, it’s easy to plan the meal around healthy and delicious dishes. But even if you’re just contributing a dish, plan on making one that is traditionally unhealthy (see the stuffing recipe below).
No deprivation here! Check out this mouth-watering meal plan. Recipes in the links
Veggies and dip
Prosciutto-wrapped asparagus – wrap each spear (or 2) in half a prosciutto strip (cut lengthwise), sprinkle with sea salt and pepper and roast in a 400-degree oven for 15 minutes!
Turkey (of course!), or spiral cut ham if you prefer
Stuffing substitute: Sweet potato and turkey bake (this is seriously good and tastes just like stuffing)
Cranberry sauce – Place 4 cups cranberries, 2 cups water, juice of one orange, 1 tsp each fresh ginger and ground cinnamon, and 2 tbsp honey in a pot. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer until berries are soft.
Vegetable side dishes
Green vegetables such as broccoli or green beans
Delicious Berry Crisp (I usually change the fruit to apples for Thanksgiving)
Some of the keys to making healthy eating easier include the following. Click the links to learn more about each:
- Use smaller plates
- Hydrate before sitting down to eat
- Have a mid-day meal
- Load up on the veggies
- Indulge in only ONE of the following: bread, booze or dessert
Enjoy the Company
Having loved ones around is a great way to gain the social connection that is so important for our overall health. Sharing this special meal with friends is actually helpful for improving our nutrition as well. Read more about this in my post here.
And while you’re all together, taking a walk in nature is another tradition that is both fun and healthy. I love walking around the neighbourhood seeing all the families out doing the same thing on Thanksgiving.
Stores aren’t open, so we might as well fill our time with some exercise! And, exercise does us much more good than just burning a few calories. Check out the benefits of exercise here.
And, if it all seems like too much, use some easy stress reduction techniques. Practices such as alternate nostril breathing help us to reduce stress by activating our parasympathetic nervous system. It only takes a few minutes a day and can be done anywhere.
Also, the benefits are exponential as reduced stress can also result in better sleep, as well as improvements in both physical and psychological health symptoms. It will definitely help you get through the busyness of a Thanksgiving celebration!