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Mindful Eating During Thanksgiving: Nourish Your Body and Soul

Updated: Nov 22, 2023

As Thanksgiving approaches this week, it's a time for gratitude, friends and family gatherings, and, of course, the fabulous foods! While this time of year brings fun and joy, there is often the temptation to overindulge in the seasonal treats and meals. As a wellness coach, I'm here to guide you through enjoying the Thanksgiving festivities mindfully, honoring your body's needs, and nurturing both your body and soul, without self sabotage and regret to come the following week!

Embrace Mindful Choices:

Thanksgiving meals typically consists of those "once-a-year" seasonal dishes that we can't wait to dive into! And the thpughts that we "have to try them all", right?So instead of filling your plate with over-sized helpings of everything prepared, maybe start by surveying the options, identify the favs that you "genuinely" enjoy, and take smaller portions of those. Prioritize your vegetables, salads, and lean proteins, and really taste each bite.

Savor Each Bite:

Once you have your plate, remember to savor your food, enjoy it! Appreciate the flavors, textures, and smells of the food and chew slowly and thoroughly, not rushing through the meal. Not only does this bring more enjoyment to the meal, but it also helps in digestion and in recognizing when you're full.

Honor Hunger Cues:

One of the key principles that I tech in mindful eating is listening to your body's hunger and fullness cues. Before going back more, take a minute to assess how you feel. Are you really still hungry, or are you eating out of habit or social pressure... "you've gotta try Aunt Sue's sweet pototo casserole!" Pausing between bites and checking in with your body will tell you when it's satisfied, and you'll feel so much better hours later...not bloated and just miserable, ugh!

Portion Control and Balance:

Portion control is crucial during any holiday or festive meals. Rather than depriving yourself of favorite dishes, aim for balance. Enjoy smaller portions of the treats while filling your plate with the nutrient-rich foods. This way, you enjoy the flavors of everyhing without feeling over-stuffed.

Slow Down and Engage:

Thanksgiving isn't just about the food; it's about connecting with our loved ones. Enjoy the time together, and the laughs. (Did you know laughter burns calories! Like 15 minutes of good belly laughs can help burn 10-40 calories in a day!) Eating slowly, taking in the moment and engaging in conversations allows your body to register satiety cues and prevents overeating, hence, you feel better later.

Create Healthier Versions:

Prepare healthier versions of traditional dishes. Experiment with lighter ingredients, reduce sugar or fat content, and incorporate more vegetables. There are numerous recipe options, so try a different healthier one this year, it may turn into your fav! Adding in nutrient-dense options helps build a balance to nourishing your body while also enjoying the meal.

Get out and Move:

Maybe join a local 5k Thanksgiving morning, those traditional Turkey Trots are always a great way to start the day before the indulgences! If you have a regular AM workout routine don't skip it, you'll likely regret it later after all the indulgences! Beginning your day with a healthy choice will keep the mindset of making better choices through the day, like not overeating. And after enjoying the fabulous meal, get outside and move! Go for a walk, burn a few calories and enjoy the fresh air and nature. Maybe a game with the kids and family. Make the activity a family affair and enjoy the time together!

Gratitude and Mindful Eating:

Lastly, embrace the spirit of gratitude, 'tis the season. Be thankful for the nourishing food on your plate, the hands which prepared, the company around you, and the moments you get to share. Practicing gratitude fosters mindfulness, making you more aware and appreciative of the gifts of this holiday time.

This Thanksgiving, let's approach our meals with intention, savoring every moment and nourishing our bodies and and our souls. In practicing mindful eating, we can better enjoy the holiday festivites all while honoring our bodies and overall well-being.

Wishing ya'll a Happy Thanksgiving filled with gratitude, laughter and mindful indulgence!


Keeping Body & Mind IN-MotioN,




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