Happy Motivation Monday!
When I spoke to my clients this weekend about Thanksgiving, I’m sure they anticipated that I would tell them not to eat the pumpkin pie, to only have turkey and vegetables, or to stay far away from their favorite dish.
(picture source … not a strategy I recommend :))
Quite the contrary! While I believe in moderation for all things, and I also believe that most Thanksgiving plates are pretty excessive, I think that a bit of Thanksgiving indulgence is just fine, and even recommended. It’s (hopefully) not every day that you get to have pumpkin pie, freshly roasted turkey, and all kinds of delicious side dishes, so you should enjoy them!
I fully believe you should enjoy your Thanksgiving favorites, but I also believe you can do a few things to prioritize your health without sacrificing your holiday. Here are just a few reminders:
- No need to eat to the point of being incredibly uncomfortable just because you think you “should” or you “can” on Thanksgiving.
- Avoid loading up your plate with things you don’t really even like, just because it’s Thanksgiving. Go for the things you enjoy!
- Always remember to find a balance – I will aim to have 1/3 of my plate filled with turkey, 1/3 filled with greens (my Healthier Green Bean Casserole, a salad, or maybe even some roasted vegetables), and 1/3 for all the traditionally carb-heavy side dishes. And then if I go back for a little extra of some of my favorites, at least I’ve had some semblance of balance the first time around!
- Remember that Thanksgiving is a holiDAY. So many people consider Thanksgiving the beginning of a long holiday season, and allow themselves to “throw in the towel” on their health from now until January 1st. There’s no need for that, and it will only make your job harder come January. Instead, enjoy the holiDAY, and get back on track the very next day! No need to make it a holiWEEK or holiMONTH (nutrition-wise, at least).
- Most importantly, remember the meaning of the holiday, and enjoy time reflecting on gratitude, enjoying your family and friends, and relaxing a bit. It doesn’t have to be ALL about the food!
I’ve done several posts on Thanksgiving. Check them all out here for lots more healthy Thanksgiving tips!
7 Tips to Enjoy Thanksgiving Happily and Healthily
Fit-It-In Turkey Day Workout (such a good one!)
Healthier Green Bean Casserole Recipe and a Thanksgiving Recipe Round-Up!!
So tell me in the comments … What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish? Any tips on how to stay healthy through Thanksgiving?
Great post Megan … I have to confess that I used to subscribe to the ‘this day is lost’ mentality, where if you had a huge piece of cake for breakfast, well just because … that meant the day was shot so you might as well have a huge fried meal for lunch and overeat on pizza and beer and ice cream for dinner.
Which is, of course, utter nonsense and is just bizarre thinking. But it was what we were taught back in the 70s – the ‘tomorrow is a new day’ mentality.
We should have been taught ‘your next meal is your next opportunity’.
And that is true at Thanksgiving as well. We used to have this massive breakfast, and than wouldn’t be very hungry for dinner, but would still have loads of appetizers and a huge turkey dinnner. Why?
This year we are not doing the big breakfast, and for the last few years I have been ensuring taht we have plenty of veggies (with hummus and fresh salsa rather than creamy dip) and grapes and so on along with gourmet cheese – and you know what? That helps us with more controlled portions at dinner.
My fave is sweet potato – just baked, don’t need anything but fresh pepper on it. And that occupies half of my plate, so it scales back everything else. As a result I get a taste of everything I like and fill up on what I love.
Happy Thanksgiving! 🙂
Love the ideas of having veggies, grapes, a baked sweet potato, and other healthy foods to fill you up, while you enjoy smaller portions of the heavier treats! Sounds like a perfect strategy to me, and I hope it was a wonderful time with family!
Pumpkin pie for me!
Yum! I enjoyed a slice, too, Lauren!
I dunno, I was thinking that pumpkin pie to the face with a mask of cranberry sauce would only up my antioxidants!
haha yes, and laughing burns calories! LOL!
great BALANCED approach friend
Hah, you’re right, Suz – power-packed antioxidant combo of cranberries and pumpkin!
I’ve never really understood the need to eat yourself into a food coma on Thanksgiving. There is a way to enjoy the day without doing that!
If only everyone else realized that, Deborah!!
Always wonderful advice! Thanksgiving is the one day a year I make cinnamon rolls from scratch to go along with watching the Macy’s Day Parade. I look forward to this breakfast all year, so worth the wait every time! Moderation is key and definitely an early morning workout as well! Lucky for me living overseas, CrossFit is open for my 530am class on Thursday;)
Oh yum! Cinnamon rolls once per year are ABSOLUTELY worth it! Hope you enjoyed!