It’s that festive time of year. The weather is cooling down but we are winding up for quality time with friends and family. Besides love, what brings us all together? The food! My clients seem to dread the idea of eating during the holiday season, but I am quick to shine some light on the situation, by sharing some simple tips that ensure they can enjoy their beloved Thanksgiving feast, without sabotaging their health goals.
Photo by Vanille Verte.
Tip 1: Plate your food mindfully. Visually serve yourself the amount you feel comfortable eating. Note’: 2nd servings are overrated! It’s all about getting maximum enjoyment out of one plate. Add small amounts of all your favorites to your meal plate, so you get a taste for everything, and don’t feel like you are “missing out”. That way, you know you won’t overdo it.
Tip 2: Master the art of savoring your food. A little can go a long way. No need to rush, there is plenty for everyone. Take your time, slow down, relax and engage your senses in the eating experience. Take small bites, chew each mouthful thoroughly, and notice the flavors, textures and aromas. Bonus tip: Turkey is a great source of protein, so having a few slices (filling approx. ¼ of your plate) is a good way to create satiety in your body so that you don’t overeat.
Tip 3: Load up on veggies. There is always an abundance of nutritious plant foods on the table, so go for the Brussels sprouts (a cruciferous vegetable that aids the body with detoxification), green beans, winter squash and sweet potatoes. If you don’t feel there will be enough veggies on offer, take it upon yourself to be the one who makes a big autumn side salad for everyone to enjoy.
Tip 4: You want your digestion to be nice and strong while you enjoy your Thanksgiving feed, so try not to drink too much water / liquids during mealtime, as you risk diluting your stomach acid and other gastric secretions designed to breakdown food (sips as needed to wet the palate are fine). Instead, mindfully hydrate and consume you biggest water intake throughout the day between meals (stopping approximately 30 minutes prior to the meal, and resuming no sooner than 1 hour after). This will help to make you feel more comfortable post meal.
Tip 5: Go in with a plan when it comes to alcohol and dessert. Can you enjoy 1 glass of wine and savor it, instead of having 2? Can you share a piece of dessert with a loved one, instead of having one to yourself? I’m not here to tell you what you should and shouldn’t have, or how much! I’m here to remind you again to make mindful choices that you will enjoy, but also feel good about once the feast is over.
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