8 Tips to Mindfully Eat this Thanksgiving

Holidays often end with people sitting around complaining about how full they are and about how much they ate.  Often times, the complaining is followed by exhaustion and ultimately a nap because their bodies need to rest so that they can break down and digest all of the food that they just ate.  

You see, eating is hard work on your body.  

The chewing is the easy part, breaking down the food into usable energy is the hardest part of the job!  So this thanksgiving, treat your body kindly and think about what you are actually putting into it.  

Additionally, there’s a lot of trash talking that we do to ourselves about what and how much we ate.  It’s a holiday ! You’re supposed to indulge and enjoy, but we are NOT suppose to bash or talk badly to, or about ourselves.

While there is a lot of buzz about mindfulness and meditation these days, many people don’t know that there is also such a thing as mindful eating.  

It’s all about taking the time to be present while you eat, allowing for more enjoyment, calmer mealtimes and often results in eating less.

Intrigued?  Want to know more about how you can enjoy your holiday meal more while eating less?  

Read on to find out my top tips for mindful eating this Thanksgiving.

  1. Begin the day with gratitude.
    • When you wake up take a minute to list out (in your head or on paper) ten things that you are truly grateful for that day.  The little things and the big.  When we begin with gratitude we are less inclined to stuff our emotions down with food – like when you inhale the cheese platter after Aunt Suzie starts to lecture you about your parenting for the 500th time.
  2. Fill up on the good stuff!  
    • Start your day with lemon water and something green, like a green smoothie.  Filling your body with important nutrients will insure that you won’t get to Thanksgiving dinner starving and eat everything in site before you even have time to think about it.
    • The more hydrated you are the less room your tummy will have to eat junk.
  3. Drink water throughout the day.  
    • Fill a beautiful glass vase with lemons and oranges, or mint and lemons and cranberries to leave on the counter for guests.  It will look beautiful and you will feel great drinking it.
    • Often we think we are hungry when we are truly just thirsty.  Staying hydrated will help you feel full and provide your body with the hydration that it needs to properly digest such a big meal.
  4. Don’t let the mean-girl talk sneak in.
    • Every time you start to mentally bash yourself because of the food that you ate –  shut that girl down!  This holiday stand strong and quiet the mean-girl in your head who is telling you that if you have the second piece of pumpkin pie you are a terrible person.  
    • Remember, you wouldn’t talk to your sister or your best friend or your daughter like that, so why would your talk to yourself that way.  Picture yourself as a seven year old girl and talk to yourself as though you were talking to her.  Be kind to yourself.  You are beautiful and smart and AMAZING and you don’t deserve to be talked to that way by anyone, including yourself.
  5. Be mindful of what you put in your mouth.
    • Don’t just stand by the baked brie and shovel it in while you talk to your great Aunt Suzie. Think about what you are doing, what you are eating, why you are eating it and then if you still really want it, take a plate and put some on the plate and eat it.  Enjoy your plate of food – savor each bite and truly enjoy each bite.
  6. Don’t deprive yourself.  
    • Holidays aren’t all or nothing. It’s not about being a fat pig or a miserable anorexic who is proud of herself for “only sneaking a bit of her child’s desert.” It’s about enjoying everything and anything you want, but doing so mindfully.
    • If you want something so badly that you eat everything else in site, it’s not really a good choice.  So – eat what you truly want and go from there.
  7. Make a walk part of your family tradition.  
    • Take a walk and enjoy the fall air with your kids, your grandparents or your cousins that you hardly get the chance to see.  Take the time to be together.  Sometimes those walks are the best memories I have of thanksgiving.  It allows for one-on-one time that often doesn’t happen with 25 people at a big gathering.
  8. Enjoy. Every. Minute.
    • Be present and enjoy.  Take a minute in the chaos of it all to see the smiles on your children’s faces, the happiness of the older people enjoying the commotion, the look of pride on the family chefs face when they present their all-day-slaved-upon-turkey, or just the simple gratitude for the shelter, warmth and abundance of food, friends and family.  Just be, just enjoy.

Remember – holidays are about mindfully participating in your life, in your holiday and knowing that you are in charge of your life – not the turkey or the last piece of pumpkin pie!

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You are strong, you are powerful, you are brilliant and you are going to feel amazing on Friday because you were truly present on thanksgiving and made conscious choices to truly enjoy every part of your holiday.

Lemme me know how it goes.  I love learning from other mamas!


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