Why do holidays and traditions always throw us off track? Why do we keep telling ourselves it’s okay to fall off the wagon on a holiday? It’s just going to come around again next year! What are we really missing out on if we don’t eat everything in sight? Yes, Thanksgiving is a holiday surrounded by food, but you can still enjoy yourself without “stuffing” your face. Pun Intended.
You probably consider Thanksgiving the day that you get to eat certain types of foods that you normally don’t get to eat through the rest of the year. And, that’s probably true, but it didn’t mean that you missed out on eating any desserts or specialty food items AT ALL in the last year, right? It’s not the ONLY day we treat ourselves to “off limit” foods.
We don’t save up ALL of our indulgences just for Thanksgiving! You probably indulged last week for a girl’s night out, or two weeks ago for your friend’s birthday, and a month ago for your birthday, and last night, just because you were over it! Am I right?
You don’t have to make excuses to eat things you shouldn’t just because of a holiday. Thanksgiving IS a day to look forward to and believe it or not, there are ways that you can enjoy it AND stay on track. Save your indulgences for the days that aren’t planned around food. I always say, “cheat days will find you, you don’t need to find them.” Meaning, cheat days will show up when you’re least expecting them. Plan to eat well on Thanksgiving and save yourself for an unexpected food event in the future.
There are two things you have to consider.
1. The type of food you are serving, or are going to eat (if you are not hosting) and
2. Your mindset about what’s most important to you. Food is fun and fun to eat, but this is a holiday to be thankful for everything we have and the loved ones that surround us. Focus on good conversations. Look at your family’s faces, instead of your plate.
Table Challenge: I challenge you to listen so hard to everyone at the table that afterwards you could write down at least one story that each person there told during dinner. Try it!
I know you are reading this, wishing that I would just tell you, it’s only one day, go ahead, have what you want. But every day, is only one day. And I don’t know about you (actually I do) but every day I am faced with temptations and some days we win and some days we don’t. But why on Thanksgiving are we already setting ourselves up to Lose!?
Treat this year like a challenge. You are still going to eat food that is delicious and feel good and not give in to unhealthy temptations. Don’t feel sad that you aren’t eating the mashed potatoes. Feel proud that you aren’t going to feel sick later and that it will be easier to get back on track tomorrow.
If you still feel like you just can’t say no to some of your favorite foods, think about how in less than an hour, everyone will be finished and food will be put away and you will go on with your life. It’s not the end of the world to say no. You will go to bed and wake up and it’ll be a new day again…. full of temptations.
Remember, tasting delicious food is fleeting and it’s ALWAYS available. Is thanksgiving really the only day you can have pumpkin pie? No. You can get it at a pie shop or grocery store or diner, any day of the year if you really wanted it. And so, what’s the worst thing that’s going to happen. The next day you will say, “I didn’t eat pumpkin pie! I didn’t think I could do that.” Okay, cool! End of story. Everything’s Fine.
Let’s look at the alternative. You tell yourself you are going to indulge in everything you want, or even one thing you love. Fine. So you eat it, it’s delicious, you finished it. Then what? It’s over. Fleeting. You probably will want more. You might have a stomach ache or feel extra full and you might wake up in the morning feeling blah, but that’s about it. You might feel depressed if you’re like me. Or you might feel guilty that you ate it. You might even step on the scale to see how much you weigh and be disappointed and then hate yourself for eating things you shouldn’t have.
Have you ever noticed that there is so much juxtaposition between Holiday Happiness and Eating Guilt? Well, you do have a choice between the two. Why make yourself feel like crap eating whatever looks good and however much? And, with all this being said, I don’t mean Thanksgiving has to be like any other day. Just take the emphasis away from the food a little bit. Shift your priorities.
To help implement what I am saying, try some of my favorite holiday meal alternatives below!
Instead of mashed potatoes, have mashed cauliflower or mashed turnips.
See the recipe on Marks Daily Apple Here!
Instead of Stuffing, have stuffing made of cauliflower & mushrooms
Instead of bread rolls, make quiche muffins.
The Recipe Girl has lovely pictures explaining her recipe here!
Instead of pie and ice cream, respectively decline, or have some berries with real whipped heavy cream.
Learn how to Whip the Heavy Cream Here!
Maybe you’ve read this entire blog and you really want to eat well on Thanksgiving, but you are still nervous about not eating that ONE thing. Fine. Try some of my alternative recipes above for all the other stuff and then have your ONE thing that you REALLY CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT (even though you can.) Just plan ahead!! Planning ahead is key to success!
Good luck! You can do it! It’s only one day. One meal.