Thanksgiving is not the time for deprivation (really there is never a time), but there are few simple ways to make it through the holiday without totally overdoing it. Remember to always follow your intuition as you know your body best and don’t let anyone ever make you feel shameful about that. 

  1. Have More Than Just One Meal That Day 
    • Wake up with the intention of having breakfast and then a midday snack if you usually eat Thanksgiving in the early afternoon. If your family usually eats later and closer to dinner time, plan on having both breakfast and lunch that day.  Carry this mindset with you so you’ll be less likely to stuff yourself in one big meal.  Plus this is much easier on your metabolism and digestive system. 
  1. Lemon Water x2 
    • Immediately, as soon as you wake up, consume a warm mug of lemon water to wake up your body and get him or her ready for the day.  This is an important practice to do every morning, but if it’s not yet part of your routine make sure it is on Thanksgiving morning.  Simply squeeze half a lemon into a mug of warm water, stir, and consume like tea immediately upon waking.  If you want to help your body and organs not go into overdrive after consuming heavier or more foods than normal, also incorporate a second mug of warm lemon water 30 minutes before you go to bed or once you’ve stopped eating for the day.  This will help your liver filter out any additional debris and will keep your intestinal tract clear as well.  Bonus:  Lemon water is phenomenal for our immune systems too! 
  1. Splurge!  (On Your Favorites)
    • Thanksgiving is not a holiday built upon deprivation but instead on gratitude and showing thanks for what you have.  Take the opportunity to really enjoy the elements of the meal or pre-dinner appetizers that are your favorite items. Enjoy them and equally hold thanks for having the food available to you at that moment.  If you don’t splurge now and you end up feeling restricted, you are more likely to binge out later in the weekend.  Listen to your intuition and balance any splurges with smaller portions of your not so favorite items. 
  1. Soup or Broth First
    • Enjoy a bowl of warm vegetable or bone broth before your big meal to support your digestive system and to help you from over doing it later on. Or if you are worried about consuming foods you don’t normally eat, this will help your body better handle the variety of foods and ingredients being consumed.  If broth or soups aren’t your thing, opt for an herbal tea before reaching for that glass of wine instead. 
  1. Get Out and Move! 
    • Moving early in your day or an after Thanksgiving family walk may make you feel better about the food and rich recipes you are consuming that day.  Plan a family hike or yoga session to start the day and close out with a few steps around the neighborhood to soak in the changing seasons and temperatures. Plus, nothing feels more rewarding than consuming a big meal after a fun morning of sweating, laughing, and breathing in fresh air. The extra endorphins will help to ease any seasonal woes too. 
  1. More Veggies, Less Problems
    • When in doubt load up your plate with at least 50 percent vegetables to make less room for “the other stuff.”  When selecting your vegetables or different casseroles you want to try, make sure to always eat the rainbow. Think carrots, bell peppers, green beans, leafy greens, brussel sprouts, and sweet potatoes. The more variety and colors on your plate, the happier you’ll be later on.  The extra micronutrients found in the different varieties of vegetables will aid in further digestive support and nutrient absorption later that evening too. 
  1. Get Creative – Swap It Out This Year!
    • Let’s be honest, this year has been anything but normal, so why not switch up some of the standard items on your table too?  Offending your grandmother or the family recipe that’s been a generational staple is not the way to go, but do still consider what other recipes may have room for some adjusting. Swap out traditional uses of milk or creams for dairy-free options, opt for grilled green beans instead of green bean casserole, select turkey or meats that are grass-fed and free of hormones and antibiotics, and go light on the butter, salt and additional sugars. Check out some of these alternative Thanksgiving recipes for further inspiration:

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