How To Give Thanks On Thanksgiving Without Giving In To Guilt
Thanksgiving is upon us and soon families will gather together and prepare homemade dishes for everyone to enjoy.
It's definitely a happy time of year! Orange, yellow, red, and brown leaves falling. Smells of cinnamon, apple cider and wood chips in the air.
Days are shorter and the temperature is cooler, but, this can also be the time of year when we usually end up eating so much food that leaves us feeling like we've gained 5 to 10 pounds, and then we become irritable, fatigued and full of guilt.
I have a question for you! This year, would you rather, (A) starve yourself all day so you can eat more than your body can handle and feel awful afterward with nagging, negative guilty thoughts, or, (B) nourish yourself before arriving at your big feast, enjoying your food, your company and leaving with beautiful, positive thoughts without guilt?
If you would like your answer to be (B), then here's some inspiration on how to give thanks on Thanksgiving Day without giving in to guilt - well after the leftovers are gone.
1. Be grateful
Start your day by giving thanks. If you already write in a gratitude journal, write down all the things you're grateful for. If you're not writing in one, start by writing down one or two in a notebook, or just say them to yourself or, better yet, why not draw a picture! This is a wonderful way to start your day and to transition to a positive mindset. Here's mine: I'm grateful for my beautiful stomach. Without it, I wouldn't be here and I wouldn't be able to digest all the yummy food I'm going to eat today!
On days like these, it may seem difficult to put yourself first. You're probably saying, make time for ME today? Yeah right! If you can find 5 to 10 minutes for yourself, you WILL notice that your day will go smoother.
You will feel more at ease, calmer and happier. Take a walk outside, sit outside and soak up some sun, watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade with your kids (one of my favorites), read a chapter of your favorite book, listen to your favorite music (or, even better, start playing your favorite holiday music) and dance around the kitchen while you bake your pumpkin pie. Here's what I'm thinking I'm gonna do: watch the parade while baking an apple pie and then definitely getting outside in the sun and go for nice walk!
3. Eat before the feast
Do you say, "I'm not gonna eat anything all day so I can fill up on turkey this afternoon?" If so, what you're doing is causing your body to go into starvation mode. When you finally eat, you're body thinks it's starving, and then as you gobble up your food, your body doesn't assimilate the food properly (because it can't handle all that food at once), which causes bloating, constipation and the desire to eat more.
You're doing your body more harm than good. So eat breakfast and/or lunch before your big feast. Your body will thank you.
Here's what I'll be eating: I'll be starting my day off with eggs for sure! There's no way this mama can go without eating all day until the big feast. This way when it's finally time to eat, I'll be able to check in with my hunger satisfaction and be able to leave room for dessert! Awww yeah! Love dessert!
4. Thanksgiving food is healthy
Everyone talks about how turkey can cause you to feel sleepy, but did you know that it's a wonderful protein filled with Vitamin B6, Niacin and Selenium (a cancer protection nutrient)? It's actually great for energy, especially if it's pasture raised.
How about sweet potatoes? They provide your body with fiber, beta-carotene and iron. It's a great dessert on its own. Pumpkin is an antioxidant that helps lower the risk of heart disease.
How do you feel about butter? It's not very well liked these days, but it should be, especially if it's grass-fed. Butter is a real food that helps the body absorb vitamins and minerals and provides the body with Vitamin A, E, K and selenium. These foods are very nourishing!
And, remember, if you're eating real, whole foods 80% of the time, 20% non-whole food won't harm you! So enjoy! Here's a secret: every year I make sweet potatoes with natural sweeteners, pecans and marshmallows! Oh yeah, ya read right! :)
5. Start a new family tradition
After a big meal, instead of lounging on the couch for the rest of the day, start a new tradition (after your nap).
Go for a family walk, have a family football game or take the kids to the park and run around with them.
Grab the men and tell them they HAVE TO participate in the family kitchen dance party, which consists of dancing, washing, drying, laughing and maybe even some singing (my favorite!).
Finding an activity that you and your family can do at the end of the day will move your body and put a smile on your face and your families.
6. Have fun
No matter how your day goes, remember to laugh, have fun, catch up and be grateful for everyone who has touched your life (each one of them have made you who you are today).
When you eat food prepared with love, surrounded by good company, and slowly enjoying the pleasure of it all (rather than gobbling it up unconsciously), your body and mind will leave you feeling healthy, happy and whole. I will definitely be giving thanks for this! :)
From my family to yours...wishing you a gratifying Thanksgiving next week! Happy Thanksgiving!