As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.
I think Thanksgiving and respect go hand in hand. We give thanks on Thanksgiving Day and when we give thanks, we are grateful. When we’re truly grateful for something we have the desire to maintain it or keep it. For example, I’m grateful for my husband and children and try to do my part to keep them safe and healthy and happy. I’m grateful for my current state of health and therefore work to keep it that way. I’m even grateful for this awesome computer and try to treat it nicely so it doesn’t die on me (even though sometimes I want to throw it out the window).
So since Thanksgiving and respect are like cousins, I want to propose that although you might look forward to filling up without regrets on Thanksgiving dinner, may you also keep in mind just a few things.
Below are 10 Thanksgiving Day Tips:
1. Whether you’re religious or not, your body is your temple. Give it some turkey, veggies, and don’t weigh it down too much with the mac and cheese or neverending bread rolls.
2. Be mindful of every bite. Be grateful for every bite. I once inhaled 3 pieces of pumpkin pie only to realize, much to my dismay, that I forgot to enjoy a single bite of those 1000 calories! What a tragedy…
3. Go for fresh and simple. Green bean casseroles are yummy, indeed. But, have you tried plain steamed green beans with a little seasoning and salt? So fresh and flavorful and a perfect compliment to other heavier foods. Easy to make too!
4. Distract yourself from food. For some reason I eat less on Thanksgiving than I do on the other days of the year. I’m weird in so many ways, believe me I’m just happy that in this regard, my weirdness is actually beneficial! Anyway, the reason I eat less is I’m overwhelmed with everything else going on. I’m bopping along to music, talking and joking with others, seeing what interesting special is on TV, etc. The point is, I’m not eating too much, and I’m having fun. You too, can balance out the large meal you’re going to have by getting up after dinner and trading seconds for a fun impromptu dance in the living room. Or karaoke. Or whatever, you get the point.
5. Be picky. I don’t eat certain dishes every Thanksgiving. Not because I don’t like them. It’s just that I like other dishes more. So by being a little picky, I can reduce lots of calories and carbs and still enjoy some of what I really love-like dessert!
6. Focus on people. Ask anyone what they think is most important about a Thanksgiving gathering. “People, loved ones, family, friends” is usually the answer. However, we spend tons of money on food, eat tons of it, all at the expense of our health and in the end, don’t our loved ones want to see us healthy and feeling good? A great way to distract from food is to focus on all the conversations you have with family and friends. Act like food isn’t the main attraction (even if it is).
7. Get creative. I once knew a family that had an interesting way of avoiding over-eating. Instead of eating and then lingering at a table covered with possible second helpings, everyone would eat slowly and when everybody finished, they’d all get up and help out with clearing the table. They would just leave out water and wine and sit and talk without all the food tempting them to eat some more. I thought it was a great idea. They would soon relocate to the living room for more talking, TV, music, and games. And everyone went to bed without feeling like a stuffed turkey.
8. Tweak holiday meals. You don’t have to replace your favorite dishes. You can do a lot of good by just searching for healthier alternatives online. Try a search, I guarantee you’ll find lots of raved about recipes.
9. Breathe deeply. Holidays are stressful. Lots of heart attacks occur on Thanksgiving and the days surrounding Thanksgiving. Try to remind yourself to breathe deeply throughout the day and try not to sweat the small stuff.
10. Last but definitely not least, don’t forget to test. In particular, don’t test right before eating, test an hour before eating. Trust me, you don’t want to find out your blood sugar is high right before eating. This happened to me once and I sure regretted having to eat dinner all alone at the table an hour after everyone else.
It may seem a bit much to go to so much trouble for your health on Thanksgiving but, remember, one of the greatest things to be thankful for is your health. Treat your body like you’re truly thankful for it. Unlike all that stuffing, it always loves you back in the end.
Check out last year’s post, Be a Grateful Diabetic on Thanksgiving Day.