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4 last-minute tips for a healthy, happy, in-harmony Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Yup, it’s the day before Thanksgiving, the big food holiday that precipitates a whole bunch of other ‘eating’ occasions.  This year, don’t leave your health, happiness and self- harmony to chance.  Take charge!

Here are 4 last-minute tips for you:

1)  Make it happen once.  If this is indeed a feast celebration for you, have it last one meal.  One meal only.  It’s not the occasional circumstance that slams your health and sticks it to your figure.  It’s the repeated and habituated.  I’m making a concerted point to eat today, the day before Thanksgiving, with all the best for my bod and you’re welcome to borrow my menu:  big bowl of oatmeal and chopped pears for breakfast, crunchy colorful salad  and sandwich for lunch, spinach salad and butternut squash soup for dinner.  This is the stuff from which slim, energetic and well-fed bodies are made.

2)  Don’t save up your calories.  Even if Thanksgiving Day will come with mountains of rich fare as an option, eat well earlier in the day.  When you pay attention to lots of fiber and fresh foods from breakfast on, you crowd out the higher calorie fare in a way that will work for you.  Remember, research subjects who start a meal with salad or vegetable soup naturally eat less of the more concentrated foods in the meal that follows.  Work it baby.

3)  Eat for yourself and no one else.  Honestly, your Aunt Carol doesn’t really care what you are eating.   Most people are conditioned to encourage you to eat holiday flufferfood and act like something’s wrong with you if you don’t.  It’s really nothing personal at all.  Just social conditioning. I’ll give you the ‘but I did it for my aunt!’ once every 3 years or so.

They may pester us to eat more, to try another bite, to put that casserole on our plate but the truth is we aren’t swimming upstream from their food pushing. We’re swimming upstream from our own inner struggle. Who cares if they want us to eat more food? Who cares if they want us to try a slice of the home made pie Gramma made when she got up at three in the morning to begin cooking? Who cares how much gravy is covering the turkey, the mashed potatoes, the stuffing, the green beans and the delicious sweet potatoes with the tiny melted marshmellows? We worry about them pushing the food, when in fact we should be focused on our (in)ability to say no. We can’t point fingers at those people standing around offering us mounds of food, blaming them for another day of over eating to the point of making ourselves uncomfortable and for some of us totally out of control and opening the door to binge eating.

“No thank you“,  “I’ve had enough“,  “I’m going to pass“.                               ~from a life-changing journey

Diversion tactics: Another, less direct ‘no thank you’ strategy:

This is easier than you might think.  You just need some skills.  Attention diversion usually works.

For example, “Dear, you are looking so thin!  You MUST have some of my caramel-fried turkey!”  Answer “Aunt Carol, you always know just the right thing to say and make such a beautiful table!  I’m booked right now, everything is so yummy.  How do you do it?  Oh!  I meant to tell you, I noticed the front walkway looks totally charming, did you do some new plantings?  What is the name of that plant with the orange lantern-like blossoms?”…

It just takes practice and a compassionate, confident attitude.

4)  Get out and move.  Walk, walk.  Before, after. Or slam out a good workout early in the day.  You’ll be empowered and energized and feel so much better in your threads – and your skin.

There you have it!

Any suggestions you have for holiday food survival, please share them in comments below.

 

Thanks for reading this post.  Please join me now on my facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/lanimuelrath.  See you there!

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Responses

  • Sophie says:

    Hi Lani, well if this isn’t perfect timing! I’m inspired that’s for sure and you got me going on good food today when I was starting to ‘mentally’ slide

    I love the suggestions for, as you call them , ‘food pushers’. I can see how both of the strategies you suggested would have their place.

    Thanks and happy Thanksgiving – wanted you to know you helped today!

    Sophie

  • Lani says:

    Sophie! So glad I could help. I know it can seem like the basics, but it’s not uncommon to have some wavering going on, just as you suggest.

    Thank you so much for sharing your reflections – I really appreciate it!

  • Fran Rush says:

    Hi Everyone,
    For the last four years, I’ve participated in the huge Turkey Trot 5-mile run/walk/race here in Austin, TX. I walk with trekking poles (since I’ve had both knees replaced) and just try to finish the five miles before they close the course!! Last year, I had just turned 70 and since I was the youngest in my age group and there were only two women, I actually won a trophy!! More fun. Burned off a lot of calories and I know that I wouldn’t have gotten that exercise had I not signed up for the race. So, think about me Thanksgiving morning and I wish you all a wonderful, healthy, Thanksgiving.

    • Lani says:

      Fran, so you’re on again tomorrow? Excellent! And no way you’re 70!

      Sounds like Austin is a great place for good food, what with Engine 2 and all!

      Good luck tomorrow – and do report in! Maybe another trophy? Thanks so much for coming by to tell your story! You also demonstrate wins in spite of challenges, as in the knees. You go grrrl!

  • WendyD says:

    I’m stuck at carmel fried turkey…:-)

    Great diversion strategy! Carmel Fried Turkey…this one gave me the giggles.

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