How often do we actually enjoy Thanksgiving?! I’m not talking about just the part of eating all of our favorite foods. I’m talking about the before, during, and after.

The other day I was listening to a conversation a group of women was having about Thanksgiving. One has recently started a diet, and was sad about all the foods her new diet doesn’t “allow” her to eat. All the other women sympathized with her, and a couple commented on how they should start a diet before the holidays so that they don’t have to feel so guilty about all the overeating of high-calorie foods they will be doing.

You guys. These are NOT the only options! These women are feeling guilty about foods they haven’t even eaten yet! What if, (and just bear with me here) instead of options:

A) overeating all of the delicious holiday foods and desserts, resulting in feeling physically stuffed, and guilty

B) restricting and depriving ourselves of all the foods we love

We go with….

C) making small changes, including getting rid of the guilt, and eat the foods we love.

I know it’s not easy, believe me, I’ve been there! I’ve been on this diet cycle more times than I’d like to admit, and getting out of it takes time and practice. And patience! Lots of patience.

So here are a few simple steps you can take to have a happier Thanksgiving this year:

  • Decide today that you are going to eat the foods you love, and you’re not going to feel guilty about it. I know this might sound crazy to some, but it makes a world of a difference. I promise. Just do it.
  • About 20-30 minutes before the meal is ready, drink a FULL glass of water. This will both help your body with the digestion of the meal, and give you a better chance of not overeating. Win-Win!
  • Pick the 4-6 (or however many) foods that you absolutely LOVE, and skip the rest. For example, we have Thanksgiving Dinner with extended family, and there are about 5 foods that are my absolute favorites, and several that I really could live without. Don’t waste space (and calories) on foods that you just sort of like. Go for the foods that you’re mouth starts to water just thinking about, and skip the rest.
  • Wait 20 minutes before going for seconds. It takes our brains up to 20 minutes to register that we are full. However, most of us are diving into plate number two (or three) before that time has passed. Take your time, enjoy every bite, and give that food a chance to settle before going for more.
  • Again, choose the foods you LOVE. When going for seconds, pick your top two favorites, and just get those. And again, take your time!
  • Apply all of the above for dessert. Drink a big glass of water before dessert. Skip the desserts that you don’t absolutely love, and freaking ENJOY the ones you do!

I firmly believe that food is meant to be enjoyed, fully! I also believe that we need to respect our bodies limits, and learn to listen to its cues. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and holiday season!

Get our FREE Healthy Holiday Guide for more tips and tricks to enjoying this season without the guilt!

 

If you’re looking for a new addition to your Thanksgiving menu, here is my mom’s Spinach Salad that is SO good. Try it, you won’t be disappointed.

Mom’s Super Delicious, and Ridiculously Awesome Spinach Salad (my words, not hers)

Salad:

1-2 Bags Baby Spinach

4-5 Strips of Bacon, cooked and cut into bits

1/2 Cup Caramelized slivered or sliced almonds

Small can of Mandarin Oranges, drained

6 oz. Swiss cheese, shredded

Dressing:

1 T. Poppy Seeds

1/2 Cup White Vinegar

1/2 C. Oil (I use canola)

1/3 Cup White Sugar

1/4 Cup Grated Onion

3/4 tsp. Salt

2 T. Yellow Mustard

Directions:

Put sugar in a little water in a jar with a lid. Shake/stir until sugar starts to dissolve. Add the vinegar, shake/stir again. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Add oil last.

Shake dressing really well right before dressing the salad.

I assemble salad right before dinner, and lightly toss with salad dressing. Alternatively you could let people dress their own. Enjoy!

*This recipe for the dressing makes more than you’ll need for this salad, so feel free to half or quarter the recipe. I make the whole recipe because we love it and continue to use it on other salads until it is gone.

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