If I were writing this post last week, or even two weeks ago, I would probably be writing a few tips on how to create a healthy holiday by means of advanced planning for food preparation or scheduling in order to ease the stress of get-togethers and traveling. However, I’m a procrastinator by nature and Thanksgiving is tomorrow! Ready or not, the holidays are here, and this can be a particularly busy and stressful time of year for many of us. Not to mention, the holidays are notorious for an abundance of indulgent foods that may not be the healthiest of options. Between social obligations, traveling, shopping, cooking and cleaning, it’s not hard to get overwhelmed. To stay healthy, sane, and truly enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday, I am providing my top 5 last minute, no fuss tips!
- Stop eating before you are stuffed. We all know there are some no-so-healthy foods that show up on the Thanksgiving table. But the goal of Thanksgiving, even if you are in the midst of a healthy-lifestyle makeover, is not to get caught up on a perfect, 100% clean diet. Of course I would encourage healthy choices (load up on salad, swap white for whole wheat roles, etc), but the reality is you will likely be enjoying some unhealthy foods, and that’s okay! By eating until you are satisfied rather than stuffed to a point of discomfort, you can really cut back on the excess calorie consumption that so many of us have experienced before.
- Drink water throughout the day. I cannot stress this enough! Water is essential everyday and each individual needs a different amount to stay properly hydrated (aim for constant water throughout the day so that your urine is a light yellow). Thanksgiving should be no different. Staying hydrated can help ease the urge to overeat or drink by filling the stomach with a bit of a buffer.
- Move your body. Whether it’s running that Turkey Trot that you signed up for weeks ago, or going for a walk, tossing a football, or playing in the snow with the family, it’s a good idea to do some sort of physical activity for multiple reasons. Being active after a large meal can aid in digestion, and possibly keep you from going back for more when you are already full. Plus being outside, increasing your heart rate, and having some play time with your loved ones will get those mood-boosting, stress-busting endorphins flowing!
- Be thankful. It is, after all, Thanksgiving! Being thankful for what you have is a great way to shift the focus away from things that are causing you stress. Take a quick moment to make a mental note of all that you are thankful for, whether it be family, friends, new opportunities, time away from work, adventure, or the meal in front of you!
- Don’t worry & smile! If you are feeling particularly overwhelmed, take a few minutes to close your eyes and practice a few deep breaths. Even if everything doesn’t turn out exactly how you imagined it (and it won’t), accept the situation for what it is and move on. Don’t dwell on inevitable hiccups in the plan, but instead stay present in the moment and enjoy the day for whatever it brings.
There you have it, my top 5 no-fuss, no planning or preparation needed, healthy and happy holiday tips! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone!