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Confession….I freaking LOVE Thanksgiving. It is my absolute favorite holiday. What’s not to love about a day of giving thanks?! I mean gratitude changes everything and here we have an entire day to be grateful.

I also really love to eat and the smorgasbord of food available on Thanksgiving makes my belly happy.

But here’s the thing….

Thanksgiving can also be a day of unhealthy.

  • Unhealthy food – sweet potato casserole with marshmallows?! 
  • Unhealthy relationships – Grandma doesn’t have any boundaries and Dad better be quiet about who he voted for, know what I mean?
  • Unhealthy expectations – we feel like we’re supposed to have this amazing and blessed day with family. It’s supposed to be perfect and no one, and no family, is perfect. 

Not to mention the fact that it often feels like it’s a day devoted to what other people need, want, and dictate. Leaving very little to no time for yourself, your health, your wants and needs. 

So here are a few tips to embrace this Thanksgiving to make it a better, happier, and healthier day.

#1 Express Gratitude – Jot down a handful 5-10 things that you’re grateful for first thing in the morning.

#2 Create Quiet Time – Find at least 10 minutes of quiet for yourself this day. Breathe. Walk in nature if weather allows. Spend 10 minutes alone with your thoughts. Meditate.

#3 Exercise – If you regularly exercise then today should be no different. Go for a run, do a Turkey Trot. Go to your CrossFit gym for a workout. Do something. Do Yoga. Move your beautiful body and be grateful for the ability and opportunity to do so.

#4 Eat healthy BEFORE Thanksgiving Dinner – If you know you’re going to a family dinner where the food is not going to be Paleo/Primal or even remotely healthy then eat beforehand. Have a Big Ass Salad. Then, when you’re at your lovely family dinner, eat what you feel comfortable eating and skip the rest. Eat the turkey and the green beans, for example, and skip the marshmallows. 

#5 Consider Loosening The Reins a Little Bit – If you feel comfortable with it, consider loosening your food restrictions on this day. Eat Paleo/primal and then enjoy the other foods that you want to enjoy, but enjoy them in small amounts. On the day after Thanksgiving, go back to your 100% healthy foods/Paleo/Primal approach. Relax, just a little bit on Thanksgiving.

#6 Go For a Walk After Dinner – My grandparents, and parents, were not healthy. Not at all. But one tradition that we did have was to take a walk after dinner, and before dishes. It’s just nice to get out of the house. To digest food while moving. And to have conversations with family members. Kids love it. Parents appreciate the break after dinner and before cleaning up. And it’s better for your digestion.

#7 Don’t Engage – You likely have that one family member that pushes your buttons. Don’t engage with them. Set the intention before you see them that you’re going to set boundaries for yourself and you’re going to stay calm and untriggered. If you need to, walk away from a conversation. Separate yourself from the stress. 

Finally, consider your alcohol intake. If you drink, then consider limiting yourself to one drink or one glass of wine. If you don’t drink, today is probably not the day to start :D.

Thanksgiving happens once a year and while it can be stressful, it doesn’t have to be. It can be whatever you want it to be. If you want it to be a day of peace, gratitude, and delicious food then set that intention and Happy Thanksgiving!


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