How to Eat Well and Enjoy Thanksgiving

I realize that there are those who would tell you how to watch portion sizes or choose less calorie-dense foods on Thanksgiving. But I am not one of those people. Surprise!

I believe that Thanksgiving is a time to enjoy family, friends, and yes, food. I think that the meal itself should be enjoyed, savored mindfully until you’re full (not uncomfortably stuffed to the point of near-explosion) and then done. Think about giving yourself permission to enjoy treats you might not normally partake in, like your aunt’s pumpkin pie, your mom’s famous stuffing, or other equally special items that you don’t normally have.

However, don’t think of the holiday as an excuse to go on a 3-day binge that includes pie at every meal, or eating mashed potatoes and gravy to get the sweet taste out of your mouth, or eating an extra turkey sandwich just because you don’t want leftovers to go to waste. You can make amounts that are realistic for the number of people served, or wrap up leftovers to send home with those who want them.  That way, you can relish the meal, but then get on with eating healthfully.

You can also think about adding some physical activity into your Thanksgiving.  You can take a brisk walk or play a game of family football or run in a turkey trot or one of the many walk/run races on Thanksgiving day to burn off the calories.  Doing the cooking or the dishes?  Hey, I’m counting that as activity.  😉

Bottom line, if you watch every morsel that goes into your mouth, you will likely feel cheated, and you might even make up for it later by eating something like a junk food or dessert that doesn’t really even appeal to you, rather than enjoying a treasured family recipe that you only get to eat once or twice a year. Give thanks, savor spending time with those you love,  and enjoy the Thanksgiving meal.

So, bon appétit and Happy Thanksgiving!