Thanksgiving is a time to gather with the people we love and reflect on the many things we have to be grateful for. It can also turn into a week of indulgence and gluttony. If you’ve been healthfully mindful and vigilant about your diet lately, then you might be feeling a little anxiety creeping in right about now. After all, the food often takes center stage to family activities, and it’s not always healthy. But here’s the difference between genuine healthy living and restrictive diets:
It’s all about balance and moderation, not rules.
There is a way to enjoy yourself no-holds-barred at the feast, without the usual guilt or self-deprecation, and still stay on track with your healthy diet. Simply being present and fully engaged with your company, and knowing that you were both prepared with healthy habits in advance and will follow through with more in the days to come will alleviate any negativity about the big day.
That being said, do your best to eat foods prepared with wholesome ingredients. If you’re not the primary hostess, communicate with the organizer of the meal and offer to help with the shopping and cooking. You can also bring along your own healthy dish, like roasted butternut squash, quinoa salad, or even a big fresh salad with some delicious balsamic vinaigrette. Most hosts and hostesses are grateful for the help.
Here’s a little something to help you prepare your body before the feast, and then recover gracefully afterwards.
Pre-and-Post Thanksgiving Wellness Plan
Monday, November 21st
Eat lots of leafy greens, a serving of raw fruit, and other raw and cooked veggies throughout the day to give your body a little detox. Do your best to avoid sugar (save the cookies for Thursday), and dairy to help further clean your internal environment. And don’t forget to drink extra water too.
Tuesday, November 22nd
Make time for some exercise, along with a 10 or 20-minute meditation to center yourself and tune in with your body. Treat yourself to fresh juice, a hearty lunch of protein and veggies, and something nourishing that isn’t food. Bundle up and go for a long solo walk, run, or invite a loved one who you don’t see often to catch up while you walk. This will help satisfy your soul and rev-up your metabolism for the week.
Wednesday, November 23rd
Enjoy light and colorful meals throughout the day that focus on a healthy protein and veggies, and allow yourself some relaxation time in the midst of any meal prep you must do. Take a warm bath in the evening and give yourself a foot massage with scented oils before bed to relax your nervous system, stimulate circulation, and give you restful sleep.
Enjoy yourself! Focus your energy on your gratitude and loved ones, not on feeling guilty or anxious about your food. Remember this: The Thanksgiving meal itself won’t make you gain weight, it’s what you do in the days before and after that counts the most. And if you can, it helps to eat protein and veggies before you eat any sugar or starch.
Friday, November 25th
Have something light and refreshing for breakfast, such as a protein smoothie, fresh pressed juice or chia pudding, and do something active during the day to rev up your metabolism. Leftovers for dinner alongside a big salad are great, just don’t go overboard.
Saturday, November 26th
This is a great day to clean out something in your home that’s been waiting in a messy heap for your attention. Cleansing your outer environment will help you cleanse internally too. Play your favorite music while you clean to make it fun and drink plenty of water
Sunday, November 27th
To help conclude your week of self-love and mindful feasting do something special for yourself. Whether it’s getting a massage, going shopping, working on your favorite hobby, or watching a movie on the big screen, reward yourself with restful play. Enjoy cozy healthy comfort foods like herbal tea, homemade pumpkin cookies, toasted sunflower seeds, or apples with cinnamon and almond butter. Now you can start your work week feeling both nourished and rejuvenated, and ready to take on Christmas in a few weeks.