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6 Steps to Enjoy Thanksgiving 

Thanksgiving is a holiday feast I look forward to every year! And just like any special event or vacation, these six steps help ensure I'm well-prepared to enjoy every moment!

 #1 Plan Beyond Thanksgiving

This Sunday, November 20th, I will shop for the Thanksgiving meal, and most importantly, I will shop for the weekend after Thanksgiving. I buy and prep the freezer-friendly, healthy meals I want on hand the weekend after the holiday feast. When I put effort into planning and preparing before the holiday weekend hits, I easily slide back into my healthy habits and escape the excuse to eat out at restaurants all weekend.

To avoid holiday weight gain, plan to "carve out" the feast to share with the family and then return to your healthy, established eating pattern. A holiday is a simple shift for a day!

#2 Leftovers

Give all the leftover food away except the turkey. Why? The side dishes are often high in starchy carbs and excess fat. And while they're incredible indulgences we all need to enjoy on holiday, eating them for more than one day afterward isn't healthy. I've got a delicious and healthy turkey salad recipe for the leftover turkey. And if you don't already, grab these containers to have ready to "gift food" to your guests. 

#3 Extend Overnight Fast

If possible and reasonable, extend your overnight fast until the feast. Most holiday meals begin with appetizers as early as noon and are often served hours before the main course. So if you can, plan to eat then and break your overnight fast with the appetizers. 

 #4 Get Moving Early

Start your day with a turkey trot! See if your city offers a family-friendly walk to bring the community outdoors to get everyone moving before their feast. I find a way to get outside and walk fast (late to a meeting pace) to activate my metabolism. After dinner, I invite my family to walk with me more leisurely to make room for dessert! 

#5 Hydrate All Day

Start early and drink water throughout the day because hydration helps the metabolism, immune system, and much more. I find it easy to forget to drink water on a holiday when drinking alcohol and other seasonal beverages. That's why I'll fill up my clear water bottle and keep it with me, so I remember to keep drinking water all day. 

#6 Eat Exceptional Food!

No limitations or restrictions. Thanksgiving is a time to gather with loved ones and celebrate with food! It's not about restriction or elimination or avoiding anything. I never say "no" to the food I want and look forward to eating it this time of year. When I make the exception, I will make sure it is exceptional! So for me, this means I'll scoop up the homemade sweet potatoes and stuffing and skip the standard store-bought versions I don't enjoy in the same way. By all means, indulge in exceptional food and enjoy!

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