Thanksgiving is here already! As a health coach, I get the question a lot on how to not go completely off the rails in terms of health over the holidays. Weight gain, stressful situations, and overindulgence can put a damper on the fun the holidays can bring. My main take-away tip is to not deprive yourself, but also be mindful.
If you L-O-V-E pumpkin pie, have one slice. Don't stress about the calories or potential weight gain. Enjoy that slice of pie and savor every bite. Feel the texture as you chew. Consider the taste as it hits different areas of your tongue. Think about why you like pumpkin pie (or whatever your favorite is). Does it remind you of old family gatherings? Did you used to bake it with a favorite relative? Is it the way the food feels in your mouth? Is it the taste?
Then, skip the second slice and instead take a moment to appreciate how it was to really experience your favorite food. A lot of times, you'll find that your feelings toward a food have little to do with the food itself. Eating can be an emotional experience as much as a nourishing one.
So this Thanksgiving, watch your portions and stay present. And aside from the food, be sure to take a moment to show gratitude for yourself, your health, and your loved ones. Write down three things you are especially grateful for before or after your holiday gathering and put it somewhere you can reflect on it later. Gratitude is a beautiful practice that helps us stay present. It also helps reduce stress. Start tomorrow (or today) and keep that gratitude going all holiday season long.