Ahhhhh, the holidays.
Family, friends, and food. Lots of food. With a little forethought, you can go from feeling like an overstuffed turkey to inspiring your friends and family to be healthier (without a bunch of eye rolls.)
Here are my best tips for staying healthy at Thanksgiving:
1. Move your body
Most Thanksgiving meals don’t start until late afternoon, so wake up and get moving! Running a Turkey trot 5K, 10K or even half marathon (you go girl) is such a great way to set yourself up for success for the day. The air is always crisp, the leaves are beautiful, and you’ll be surrounded by others who want to stay fit. If that isn’t an option in your town, grab a friend/spouse/dog and take a long walk in a park, or even around your neighborhood. It doesn’t matter what you do, just get movin’!
2. Drink lots of water
Start the day with some lemon water, and keep sipping it throughout the day. Staying hydrated is key to avoid overeating and bloating. Lemon water will also help cleanse your system a bit in preparation for the big meal!
Decide in advance what you’re most looking forward to eating. Pie? Stuffing? Potatoes? Pick one (or two things) that you really want to eat, and go lighter on the other options. Decide in advance how you picture your plate to look. This will help keep you from overdoing it.
4. Focus on things other than food
One of my favorite traditions at my husband’s family’s house is we all stand in a big circle before we eat. Each person says something they are thankful for and then we pray before eating. It’s such a great tradition and it's always funny to hear what the little ones are thankful for.
Remember, while food is often the focus at most holiday parties, the real reason we are together is for family, love, and thanksgiving. Focus on what you are Thankful for this year (besides the abundance of food)
5. Eat breakfast
Don’t starve yourself all day waiting for the big meal. Keeping your blood sugar stable throughout the day will help keep you from gorging at meal time. Oh, and don’t forget to slow down when you’re eating. If you finish your plate in under 10 minutes, you’re eating way too fast honey.
6. Easy on the apps
You don’t need 1 lb. of cheese and crackers before the meal. Pick a few things and enjoy them while visiting with family and friends
Offer to bring a dish (or two). Not only will you be super helpful, but you can then control the ingredients. This year I’m bringing a gluten free, healthy-ish pumpkin pie. It’s delicious, and I guarantee no one will be the wiser.
Don’t’ forget to enjoy yourself. Its ok to splurge on the holidays. Just be sure to get back into your healthy routine the next day (not the next week.) If you do go overboard, forgive yourself and move on. Really, it’s one day, don’t sweat it.