Prompt(s): Book report – What’s your favorite book and how can you tie it to your health? Or Write about something taboo.
I spent the better part of an hour these morning attempting to tie my favorite book – Gone with the Wind – and other than a thin connection between Scarlet’s obsession with Tara, and my former obsession with the number on the scale, I could not generate anything.
Then I spent the rest of said hour trying to think of something taboo to write about. But I am really a people pleaser, conformist, happy-go-lucky person at heart – and have no desire to write about taboo subjects.
That left me to choose from the bonus prompts. And when I realized that Thanksgiving is only 9 days away, it became clear to me that I could write about how I approach the holidays. Specifically, how I incorporate clean eating into a holiday that is synonymous with gluttony and sinfully delicious, fattening foods.
Step One: Let go of the expectation of perfection. Sure, there are probably some folks in the world who can bypass Grandma’s casseroles, Aunt Sue pie, or Cousin Myrtle’s cake at Thanksgiving. But I am not one of them. I decided ahead of time what foods I am willing to splurge on and which ones are not worth it. For example, if my mother-in-law makes a thin layer chocolate cake, I will be having a slice. But I will pass on the mashed potatoes and gravy.
Step Two: Find healthier alternatives to your holiday favorites. Thanksgiving is not Thanksgiving without sweet potato casserole. However, the normal preparation methods can make it a caloric bomb. In order to satisfy my need to have it while staying within my diet guidelines, I will be whipping up a batch of this version. This could be done for other side dishes including – mashed potatoes or desserts.
Step Three: Incorporate movement into the day. My Thanksgiving holiday will start with an unofficially “Turkey Trot 5k”. A group friends and I will meet at the local track to run 3.1 miles before we head off to our respective celebrations. I am also planning on suggesting a game of tag, kickball, or doge ball with my nieces/nephews/cousins after the meal. This serves two purposes: 1) I am sneaking in exercise and 2) If I am outside and active, I am less likely to graze on the leftovers following the meal.
Step Four: Remember it is a single day. Thanksgiving is the official start to the season and often the unofficial start to a “no rules, just eat” mentality. Instead, of continuing to indulge from Thanksgiving to Christmas, I am planning on going right back to my clean eating plan on Friday. That means no Thanksgiving leftovers for me. …and a return to my routine.
How do you handle the holidays? Any tips/tricks for balancing a healthy lifestyle with a few holiday indulgences?