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It’s almost Thanksgiving and, if you’re like most people, you’re getting ready for one of the largest and most festive meals of the year. Whether you plan to eat with family and friends or volunteer at a local shelter, you’ll soon be sitting at a table filled with the culinary delights of the season.
If you’re usually careful about your diet, you may be wondering if you should allow yourself the pleasure of indulging in foods you normally wouldn’t eat, or anticipating the pangs of guilt you’ll experience Friday morning.
So before things go any farther, let’s talk turkey! I say follow your heart – I definitely recommend that you enjoy the foods you love this Thanksgiving. However, as a doctor, I also recommend that if you do indulge, do so in moderation and don’t overstuff yourself.
HEALING MIND, BODY, AND SPIRIT
Our well-being depends on the food we eat and the air we breathe, as well as our inner peace and state of mind. When we consume traditional holiday foods, we receive nourishment that goes beyond what normal nutrients can supply. We relive wonderful moments with special people in special places. We strengthen bonds of loving and caring between ourselves and those who prepare the holiday food. We savor continuity from year to year and generation to generation — something often lost in these times of rapid change.
Thanksgiving invites us to notice and be grateful for our many blessings. It is a time to remind ourselves to slow down, to relax and enjoy the precious time spent with our friends and family, and to give thanks for the gift of life. By fully experiencing our appreciation, we open our minds, bodies, and spirits to love and healing.
A DAY OF SPLURGING WON’T UNDO YOUR PROGRESS
This is an invitation, an invitation to have health and pleasure spring from the same well. You have all made a significant commitment to yourself and your health. You have worked hard and accomplished much. I’ve included some tips below to help you navigate through the season with Joy and Ease.
Tips to Thrive This Holiday Season
- Never skip a meal
- Have healthy foods and shakes readily available
- Keep trigger foods out of the house as much as possible
- Don’t overbook
Record Keeping (Food Journal)
- People who keep records lose weight, people who keep better records lose even more weight
- People who keep records between Nov 15 and Jan 15 lose an average of 4-5 pounds
- People who don’t, gain an average of 3 pounds
- Start a dialogue creating holiday traditions that are satisfying and healthy
- Take everything out for review. What still has meaning? What have you outgrown?
- What can be improved and reimagined?
- Use alternative ingredients to cut down on calories and fat without compromising pleasure
- Leave out the worst
- Try Christmas Crafting instead of making cookies and sweets
Parties and Family Gatherings
- Don’t forget to let your family and friends support you
- Most people feel sick after overindulging
- Everyone appreciates healthier food
Knowledge, Attitude, Skills, Habits
- Practice, practice, and practice. It takes a long time for these skills to become automatic.
- Be gentle and enjoy yourself
- Exchange phone numbers or emails
- Set up walks, shopping, or calls
- Build a network of people who share your goals and preferences
- I can be happy and healthy
- I can trust myself
- I can respond to my own needs and wants
- I can care for myself
- I can discover the best way for me to eat