In less than 24 hours we will begin a holiday known for feasting (and gorging). This is a time of celebration, giving thanks, and being with loved ones. We may be traveling far distances or gathering just around the corner, but one thing is for sure – food will be in abundance and not always food that is easy to pass on.
Last week I shared with you 5 stellar dishes that you’ll LOVE to serve for Thanksgiving that are delicious, nostalgia inducing, AND also pack a nutritional punch – so you can have your cake and eat it too. But what about that table spread that doesn’t include all of those kinds of dishes?
I’ve heard it all before from people during the holidays… “I don’t eat all day so I can stuff my self at dinner”, “I’ve watched what I’ve been eating for the past week so that I could splurge”, or “I wear my loose fitting, stretchy clothes so I can sneak that last piece of pie in (after I’ve already had 3)”.
Yes, it is wonderful to eat foods that are slightly more indulgent than we are used to. It is amazing to sit around a table or room with people who are important to us (even if they drive us nuts sometimes). But, wouldn’t it be nice to do all of that and still be able to keep blood sugar levels stable, the waist line steady, and your taste buds still in fact?
Check out the article below to learn the #1 thing you can this Thanksgiving and holiday season to do just that – without deprivation, counting calories, or beating yourself up.
I remember growing up sitting around the dinning room table (salivating at the food) and being forced by my step-mom to share what I (and every person sitting at the table) was grateful for before we could dig into the spread of food. At the time, I thought it was silly and stupid and most of the time people said something cliché or trite – BUT it was in this moment (if we allowed it) that we were able to reflect, identify our gratitude, and be present.
I’ll say (okay, type) it one more time. Be present. Many times as I rush into the holidays and all of the wonderful festivities and food, I get so in the groove of being “on” and going all the time, I forget to take a moment, be grateful, be present, and just be. AND I’m guessing (actually, I know) I’m not alone in this.
So instead of telling yourself you’ll splurge on Thanksgiving and then sweat it out in the gym the next day or depriving yourself of ________… just commit to being present. This means not only present with your meal but also with those who surround you. You’ll be amazed at what you can learn from others, how at peace you can feel when you just allow yourself to be present, AND how your choices and bodily response will be different with the one simple step.
So, you may be asking – “Katie, that’s great and all – but how the heck do I do that?” Well my loves, I’ve got a 60 second exercise for you to try this Thanksgiving.
- Once you sit down to your meal, plant both on the ground, place you hands on your thighs and slowly take a deep breath in. As you are taking the breath in, take a moment to look around the room and just observe. Observe the people, the food, the smells, the sounds, the ambiance. Your only responsibility during this time is to observe. Not think, not plan, not cut up your kids food, not run through a to-do list – just observe. Do this for 5 deep breaths.
- After taking 5 deep breaths and observing what you can see, take your next 5 deep, slow breaths and observe what you are feeling in your body. Is there tension? If so, relax it. Is warmth or cold more intense in certain parts of your body? What does your chest feel like as it is rising and falling with each breath? Is your stomach gurgling or already full from appetizers? Do you have a tear in your eye? Or a lump in your throat? Is your “gut” giddy with excitement for the holidays? Don’t do anything about these feelings and observations – just notice them.
- On your last 2 deep breaths (this is 12 total now… just to help with my strict followers), observe your experience and your body, and then select ONE thing in that moment you are grateful for – and just BE. Be present in that moment and your gratitude. Then, enjoy your meal as you.are.present.
Have a wonderful and present Thanksgiving!