Are you ready to thrive this holiday? I'm here to support you! Have you noticed, with the holidays come a few challenges. Do any of these sound familiar?
* Traditional foods and family favorites leave you feeling guilty for indulging or deprived if you abstain? * After working hard towards a health goal, navigating good choices that promote a healthy lifestyle is HARD * Family and friends don't always understand your personal goals- they aren't on the same journey. Today, I’m going to give you some tips to help tackle these challenges so that you can create a permanent shift in your Thanksgiving traditions that are sustainable for years to come. Because, you know, holidays happen frequently and annually! All the tips can be applied to any special event!
Tip #1: Gobble Up
Food plays a major role in Thanksgiving celebrations. No Thanksgiving Day would be complete without the traditional meal. The key to long term success isn't necessarily avoidance, it's modification! Let's help you find updated healthier versions of your favorite foods! While some like to call ahead to check on the menu my suggestion is to simply prepare a “safe” and delicious dish that you can enjoy as well as others! Share a healthy option without friends and family and maybe YOU will inspire them to make a change in the new year! Remember, turkey is safe! Bringing your own side dish assures you have more options and won’t be left on the side lines watching everyone else OR worse, indulging in unhealthy choices and then feeling guilty and stuffed later. Here are a few tips but make sure to check out our FREE Thanksgiving Meal Guide for delicious healthy recipes. Stuffing/dressing Modify your recipe to a lower-carb version by replacing the bread with cauliflower. Roast turkey Turkey is packed full of protein so fill up! This "safe" food will make you feel fuller longer! Cranberry sauce Cranberry sauces is traditionally ALL SUGAR but did you know cranberries themselves are fairly lower carb? We have a recipe that in our Thanksgiving menu that allows you to enjoy this sweet treat! Green bean casserole or Brussels Sprouts Switch to blanched French green beans with butter and herbs instead of doing another rich dish like green bean casserole. Green beans are pretty low carb anyway so if this dish is a MUST just choose a recipe that doesn't have fried onions or breading. Roasted veggies are usually a HIT for many families. Remember, many people avoid veggies because they come from a can and are boiled. Knock your family’s socks off with some delicious, slow roasted veggies! Mashed potatoes Introduce your family to mashed cauliflower. Very quick and easy to make and the flavor will not disappoint. I will give you my secret weapon for creating the BEST caulimash...... the emulsion blender (AKA- the stick blender). Don't wait for a black Friday sale to grab one of these babies! It is one of my go-to appliances in my kitchen. Looking for a fast option to make this delicious dish???? Just pop frozen cauliflower in the microwave for 4.5 minutes. Drain. Dump in a glass bowl and add 2 tablespoons of grassfed butter and a generous sprinkle of salt. Use the stick blender to puree. Voila! Delish.
Here’s where most people struggle! Decide ahead of time what your boundaries will be. Maybe you will choose to indulge in a small slice of pie or a scoop of the trifle. No matter what, DECIDE AHEAD OF TIME! If you are looking to stay on track but still enjoy here’s a few pointers. Pumpkin puree is low carb. Add it to another fat like cream cheese or whip up some heavy whipping cream. Check out our holiday menu pumpkin dessert and you will feel like this is cheating without the tummy ache and blood sugar spike. OR do what some of our creative GetWell clients are doing this season: ! They take the Cheesecake Dessert Protein packet and add a tablespoon of pumpkin puree and some pumpkin spice and mix together! YUM!
Tip #2: Food Isn't The Centerpiece
Let your family and friends gather round the table to celebrate together. Make them the centerpiece of this annual holiday. Take to heart that the food doesn’t define the celebration, but rather the people you are surrounded by. What have you harvested this year that you’re grateful for? Write your gratitude list at some point during the day as you reflect on the past year. Share your highlights with guests at the dinner table. Makes this your centerpiece of focus over the food.
Tip #3: Shake Your Tail Feathers
A Turkey Trot is a footrace held on or around Thanksgiving Day. It can be a competitive race or a fun run/walk. Why not start off your morning with a fun run/walk with your family and friends? See which Turkey Trots are in your area. Five and 3-milers are popular distances. In Westminster and Frederick there is the popular YMCA Turkey Trot to kick off Thanksgiving morning. Maybe a 5k isn’t for you! Why not encourage the family to take a post Turkey trot or stroll!
Tip #4 Mindset Matters Most
Believe it or not, staying positive about the holiday meal is key. Don’t look at what you’re missing out on, look at what you get to enjoy. Not only with food but the friends and family you are spending time with. One of our BIGGEST keys to learning moderation and medication is deciding ahead of time what you will allow yourself to partake in. Before you leave to visit your family or friends, ask yourself these questions:
- What will I allow myself to indulge in?
- How much of __________ will I enjoy
- How will I feel if I don’t stick to my resolution?
- How will I feel if I DO stick to my resolution?
- How will I feel next week with the plan I am making this morning?
Whatever choices you make, stick to it!! When you stick to your resolutions, you will gain confidence that you can do it again and again!
Tip #5 StayWell For LIFE
My final tip is important. When on a health journey, we want to keep in mind we are building healthy habits for LIFE… not just adjusting our behaviors for a short time! This Thanksgiving and every holiday or event, try to stick to these StayWell tips we use forever to maintain our health. These tips will help offset blood sugar and digestive imbalances a (from indulging) and help you stay on track.
- ONE: Remember, it’s ONE meal…. Not an all day eating fest
- DRINK UP- make sure to still get your 100 ounces of water in throughout the day. It will help you stay fuller and will flush out the toxins and sugars a little faster. Don’t dehydrate.
- PROTEIN- Do not skip out on your daily proteins ESPECIALLY if you are on our GetWell program! Make sure to still have the 3 protein packs over the course of the day to balance your blood sugar. Even if you indulge or don’t stick to your main plan, staying on track with your protein packs is essential to getting back on track the next day!
- ONE: We start and end with ONE. Remember, it’s one day! The morning after a special event, make sure to get back on track with your healthy eating plan. The longer you delay, the harder it is!
Finally, we pray this Thanksgiving and holiday season brings your joy and laughter as we focus on what really matters, our friends, family and loved ones!
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