8 Tips for Enjoying a Healthier Thanksgiving

I can hardly believe that it's already October. The air is getting crisper and the sun is going down a whole lot earlier. The leaves are beginning to turn and I'm craving everything pumpkin! I busted out my legwarmers yesterday and have embraced the fact that I can no longer get away with just a jean jacket outside.

It is Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend and I'm looking forward to spending some time with Corbin and his family on Monday. It can also be overwhelming to navigate a big meal with family when you're trying to embrace a healthier lifestyle. I've been doing some brainstorming and enlisted the help of some friends on Facebook and Twitter, and came up with the following list of tips to enjoy a healthier Thanksgiving meal.

How to enjoy a healthier Thanksgiving

  1. Make great food choices leading up to the meal. Have a stellar breakfast and lunch or snack so you're not ravenous when you sit down for dinner. It will help you make better choices during the meal and ensure that you're eating to nourish yourself and enjoy the food, and not eating because you are starving!

  2. Take the time to do a workout during the day on your own or take advantage of the gorgeous fall weather and take a nice walk or run. Getting some activity in will feel awesome and give your day some balance and 'you' time (which is especially helpful if you're having a lot of family time!)

  3. If you're the one making the meal or can influence the chef, ensure that there are some awesome, healthy options included. Ditch the butter and cream. Have a selection of beautiful veggies, make a delicious fall-inspired soup or try some healthier alternatives to classic dishes like cauliflower mashmushroom miso gravy, lentil loaf, a great shepherd's pie or vegan pumpkin pie. There are endless possibilities to what your meal could look like and it's a wonderful time to try something new, perhaps creating a new tradition.

  4. When you're filling up your plate, make half of it veggies! You'll get a lovely assortment of goodness, while being able to feel great about your meal and still leaving room for more indulgent choices.

  5. Be sure to enjoy your favourite parts of the meal. If you love stuffing, have stuffing! If you're a pie person, enjoy some pie! Practice moderation and work on enjoying your food rather than feeling guilty.

  6. Skip the things that don't excite you and since you're an independent person, you don't have to eat certain foods just to be polite. Aunt Ida will forgive you. I promise.

  7. Remember that it's not the last supper. For real. It's seriously just another meal and you don't need to eat everything in sight, just because it's there! If you celebrate Christmas, you're going to be seeing all of those foods in a month and a half anyway. There's also nothing stopping you from making/having pumpkin pie or stuffing on a non-holiday. Just sayin'.

  8. Make it less about the food and more about giving thanks. Focus on the things in your life that you are grateful for and the time you get to spend with your family and friends. 
I feel thankful for so many things in my life right now: my incredible relationship, my wonderful friends & familia, my health and the opportunity to do so many things that I love! Life is pretty sweet and I'm looking forward to having some time to reflect on all of that this weekend. 

I hope these tips are helpful for you this weekend (and give my American friends a head start on their plans in November!) Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone xo

What are you thankful for?
What is your favourite tip for enjoying a healthier Thanksgiving? 

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