Last year, I panicked when I thought about the Thanksgiving (TG) meal and how much pain I would be in after not being able to say no to things that cause me issues. I thought about all the sugar my family puts in food. The salad alone has a full cup of sugar in the recipe for the dressing, which is not left on the side. If I ate only the foods without sugar added, that would leave the mashed potatoes, gravy and turkey. My mouth is sad at the idea of not enjoying everything I love, while my colon shivers at the thought of all the processed food consumption.
I ended up not being able to join my family for TG last year and made everything from scratch using ingredients friendly to my gut. My partner agreed, it was delicious. Plus, it did not put me out of commission 🙂 When we were planning our TG for two, we did not make every dish that is normally at TG and we did not miss those items because we realized we do not actually like them. Saved time, money and calories!
Its crazy to me to think I grabbed a lot of food over the years that did not bring me joy. Why eat something that is not worth the space in your tummy!? Instead of the stuffing and limp, sugar-loaded salad I could have had MORE TURKEY! Turkey is my favorite part of the TG meal. 🙂 I no longer feel stressed about holiday food anymore, since coming to this realization. Why did I let food stress me out? Food is meant to be enjoyed and nourish you.
Many folks stress about the impact enjoying holiday food will have on your body. According to WebMD, Americans typically gain a few pounds from holiday eating and retain at least a pound of that after returning to their normal diet. Before I began a workout routine, I would gain about 10 lbs between TG and the time I returned to college after winter break… It was mostly from eating too much and treating everyday over the break as if it were a holiday. I have since changed that habit.
Last year, I enjoyed all the foods I love on TG day and then continued to enjoy the leftovers broken up into multiple meals. I would heat up a serving of the Quinoa, Leek and Cherry Stuffing and top it with a poached egg for breakfast. Then have a turkey, cranberry sauce and brie sandwich for lunch or dinner with some spinach added. I tried to enjoy something that was not leftovers for at least one meal so that I was getting in something light for at least one of my meals. 🙂
So I say, Cheers and enjoy your holiday! That is what it is meant for, but remember to return to your normal habits after your festivities. Hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving!