Thanksgiving Guide to Success: Plan, *Indulge* AND Feel Great!

8 Nov

Can you believe Thanksgiving’s only 2 weeks away???

Wow.

Well, that means it’s time to make a game plan to set you up for holiday eating success! So buckle up, put on your creative thinking cap and let’s hit the open road of holiday eating. It’s going to take some planning and some creativity. I can’t promise you perfection but we can work together to make this your healthiest Thanksgiving yet. The great news? You don’t have to give up turkey, cranberries, pumpkin pie or the taste and feel of those beloved “comfort foods.” You can even allow yourself to indulge in some “off-plan” foods  if you so choose. Doesn’t sound that bad does it? Let’s go!

#1 Set Goals

What’s your goal for this Thanksgiving? Are you throwing your entire healthy eating plan out the window for a of day of indulgence? Will you keep portions small while still indulging? Are you going to stick to your regular clean eating (yes, that’s actually realistic) throughout the holiday weekend? Are you the only one eating healthy/Paleo?

Your answers to those questions will help you to clearly define your holiday eating goals. For example, since eating Paleo (clean) is how I eat every day, I decided last month that I would schedule a “relax weekend” for Thanksgiving. What does that look like for me? Well, I’m fortunate enough to be going to my parent’s house, where my mom and sister eat Paleo. We’ve created a game plan where we will incorporate many Paleo foods into our meal. Since it’s already a planned “relax weekend” for me, I won’t allow myself to feel guilty if I have a cookie or my grandmother’s potato salad.

I understand that many of you are the only ones eating Paleo or clean within your home and at your holiday gatherings. Keep reading because I will show you some realistic options that will make you actually look forward to eating healthy over the holidays.

The key is to make up your mind before hand on how you can be healthy, eat wholesome foods and indulge in moderation if you so choose. If you’re eating clean, your body really doesn’t crave those unhealthy options so don’t over do it and stuff yourself. There’s just no reason to go there.

#2 Don’t Feel Guilty!

That brings me to our next key to holiday success. Once you’ve determined your goals, stick to them and don’t feel guilty. If you’ve decided that, heck, you eat clean all the time and you just may have a big ole slice of traditional pumpkin pie WITH whipped cream — Don’t ruin your treat by feeling guilty. Just don’t accept that guilt because you chose, planned and made up your mind before hand how you would handle the holiday and you’re sticking to that plan.

Now, I’m saying all of this because I know that I am speaking to self-controlled, strong, capable people who aren’t looking for an excuse and are instead looking for help in sustaining healthy habits before, during and after the holidays. So, I know you won’t go nuts-o on me. Right? :) I just don’t want you to ruin a perfectly acceptable treat by feeling guilty.

Make your game plan, stick to it and ENJOY yourself.

#3 Determine What You’ll Eat (and what you won’t)

This is essential and this is the part where you can get really creative. For example, I’ll probably want the comfort feeling of mashed potatoes with my turkey so I’ve volunteered to make and bring Mashed Faux-tatoes to our family gathering. This key to your holiday success is especially important for those of you who are making the “traditional” Thanksgiving dinner and are the only ones eating anywhere close to healthy. Make your life easier by making options you can eat.

I have to recommend a cookbook here because they did such a FABULOUS job of planning Paleo parties and gatherings. I bought this book myself so this recommendation is completely out of my own passion. There is still time for you to order “Make it Paleo” online and get your menu together for the holidays. You should totally do it! Look at the gorgeous holiday round up they have in the cookbook:

Can you say YUM?? And look at that you’ve got turkey, cranberries, PUMPKIN PIE, mashed “faux” tatoes and a delicious looking carrot casserole. Wow. That just makes you want Thanksgiving to be today doesn’t it?

The second part of this key to success is determining what you won’t eat. This will look different for everyone. For example, I won’t eat dairy. That means no ice cream or cheese (I actually miss cheese more than ice cream believe it or not.) This is on my no list because dairy makes me physically ill now that I’m eating clean. Eating dairy is welcome stomach cramps and just feeling plain awful. For you it may be avoiding a certain food or gluten because it makes you feel gross or … fill in the blank. Just determine if you have any foods on your do not eat list as part of your success plan.

That’s it! Now that wasn’t that bad, was it? Do you feel encouraged? Do you need more ideas? Do you think this approach is realistic? Tell me in the comments below!

I really do hope that you do make a plan for your Thanksgiving eating success. Hopefully this post helped you to see that it’s totally doable AND enjoyable. Could you just take the whole holiday off from eating healthy and eat whatever? Sure. Ask yourself, how will you feel after that and then make that decision.

~ Kate

1 comments
Jen Oglow
Jen Oglow

The key thing is discipline although I will admit that I'm not too strong to resist temptation that's why I'll make an exemption for thanksgiving :) Thanks for the advice :)

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