If you’re anything like me, you love a festive holiday gathering with family, friends, and, of course, heavenly food. Thanksgiving is truly the kickoff to such a spirited time of year, and it is probably the holiday best known for its beautiful feasts. However, I’m sure many of you can agree that sticking to your health goals on this holiday can be challenging. I know I’ve been there, but after years of practicing holistic nutrition and finding ways to balance healthy eating and healthy indulgence, I feel comfortable and confident in how I spend Thanksgiving.
I want you to feel your happiest and healthiest on Thanksgiving, too. I know the days leading up to the holiday can feel intimidating when you have specific health goals in mind, but I promise these feelings are possible. So, I’ve outlined how I prepare for Thanksgiving to give you some ideas that you can implement in your own life this holiday season.
Plenty of Hydration
One of my biggest objectives for staying on track during the holidays is to stay hydrated. Truthfully, this is an everyday goal of mine, but I particularly emphasize it on Thanksgiving. To feel my best, I actually start consciously hydrating the day before, and I stay consistent throughout Thanksgiving day and over the course of the following few days.
Adequate water intake gives my complexion a natural glow, keeps my hunger cues and feelings of satiety in check, and detoxes my body (i.e., water assists in breaking down fat, prevents fatigue, and keeps bodily processes flowing).
Exercise and Movement
As a holistic nutritionist, my area of expertise is not solely focused on food but also encompasses other health-related lifestyle factors such as exercise. I make it a point to get in a workout earlier in the morning on Thanksgiving day, whether I go for a walk or take a yoga class. Exercising sets me up for success by jump-starting my metabolism, which I definitely want since I plan to eat a large delicious meal later in the day.
Staying active (even on holidays) keeps me looking and feeling my best, and it is essential to a balanced life. The endorphins released during my workouts place me in the right mindset to fuel my desire to live life to the fullest and feel my most thankful every day.
I’ve been practicing intermittent fasting for years, which works best for my lifestyle. Intermittent fasting helps me immensely with my digestion, and I can better listen to my hunger cues and feel more mentally sharp. So, especially on Thanksgiving Day, I make sure to not break my fast until around 1pm. However, I will consume a low-calorie green juice or Athletic Greens with collagen in the morning to keep me from feeling lightheaded and lethargic. I’ll also supplement with digestive enzymes to set my body in motion first thing in the morning.
Light Yet Nourishing Snacks
When it is finally time for me to break my fast, I always opt for nutrient-dense foods that will keep me satisfied without feeling sluggish. One dish I love for times like this is my Creamy Curry Carrot Soup! This is a great option to keep me going before a holiday dinner because it’s warm, comforting, and full of healthy fat and colorful vegetables. This soup is filling enough to keep me content until it’s time for the main meal.
My favorite part! Because I do my Thanksgiving health prep work, I can fully enjoy my dinner and all the festivities that come with it. Still, I’m mindful of my portions because, once again, it keeps me feeling my best.
For example, if you know me, you know I lean toward plant-based proteins as much as possible. But on Thanksgiving, I don’t want to deny myself any of the traditional foods on the table. So, I’ll add a small portion of turkey and one carb option to my plate (this can be hard, but I do my best). Then, I load up on salad and veggie dishes to balance the meal. And for dessert, my family always serves a classic option and a gluten-free option sweetened with monk fruit! This way, I can still indulge in something sweet while staying aligned with my health goals.
Self-Care with Supplements
Finally, since I strive to start my day right, I want to be sure to end it right, too. I do so by taking a few supplements to help with digestion and reset my body for the next day:
- Just as I supplement with digestive enzymes in the morning, I supplement with them in the evening to aid in the breakdown of the delectable food I just ate.
- I also utilize Mag 07, one of my favorite cleansing tools, to further detox my body and set my digestion in motion.
- Supplementing with probiotics (i.e., good bacteria for your gut) and prebiotics (i.e., food sources for the probiotics) is essential for my gut microbiome. Optimal gut health plays a significant role in maintaining normal digestion, which I especially want after a holiday meal. I always recommend the brand Genuine Health!
- Activated charcoal also helps balance my gut microbiome and aids digestion, but I take it particularly to help detox any alcohol I’ve consumed. I typically limit my alcohol intake, but I’ll have a glass of wine or a festive cocktail on a special holiday. So, I take activated charcoal to cleanse the toxins from my body after I drink.
The holidays can be overwhelming, but they’re ultimately meant to be enjoyed. Giving yourself a day to truly delight in the joys of a Thanksgiving meal with your loved ones is vital for your mental health. Plus, one day won’t completely disrupt your wellness journey. Still, if you’re looking for that extra help to reset your body and set you back on track after the holidays, sign up for my S.O.U.P. Cleanse! Its digestive and detoxing abilities will help you end the season as the best version of yourself.