Two years ago I lead a group at my church all about women's wellness and healthy choices. It ran from September to December, which some say is the worst time of year to start implementing new habits. I totally disagree, but that's besides the point. These beautiful women of God were eager to learn and ate up what I had to say (literally), until the week before Thanksgiving.
I knew they were thinking I was going to challenge them to cancel the most loved dinner of the year! I remember the look on their faces when I said "eat your favorites and regret nothing."
Life is about enjoying food, not overeating it only to feel guilty for weeks after, as you spiral into the next year 10 pounds heavier. That is not mindful, healthy living.
I did have one challenge for them. Something I learned to do years back when I was full fledged vegan but still wanted to enjoy this beloved holiday with my family. I learned to upgrade.
Make just a few switches to have a more nutrient dense meal - your mouth won't know the difference, but the rest of your body will!
Instead of --> Try
Butter --> Ghee or Plant-Based Options
Regular Bread --> Gluten Free (applies to stuffing, too!)
Spice Packets --> Make Your Own Seasoning
Drink Mixers --> Fresh Ingredients
Farmed Turkey --> Organic
Sweet Potato with Marshmallow and Sugar --> Roasted with Cinnamon
Sugar --> Maple Syrup, Honey, Blackstrap Molasses
Try making some raw desserts, homemade ice cream or pie! Search handy dandy Pinterest for whole foods recipes for all your holiday favorites.
And remember - whatever you make and eat, enjoy it! Eating even not so healthy stuff in the loving presence of your family with joy will help digestion and your mental wellness.
Make a gratitude list this week and read it over each morning, giving true thanks for all your have been blessed with. It's hard to feel stressed or sad when you concentrate on what is good!