Q&A – Making Thanksgiving Food Normal

Hi gals!

Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and last week I gave you all an opportunity to send in any quesitons that you had about Thanksgiving. Today, I’m answering those questions below. I’ve had so much fun with this post!

How to make Thanksgiving normal and not get stuffed

Q: What is your least favorite thanksgiving dish?

What a fun question! I always think about what I love on Thanksgiving… Honestly, I’m really not a picky person. So, here’s what I’m going to say… A bread roll would be my least favorite Thanksgiving food. It’s so plain compared to everything else, and takes up space in my stomach that could have been used to enjoy my absolute favorites (mashed potatoes and gravy, moist turkey with cranberry, a little bit of stuffing, etc.)

Q: How can we balance out the day with more meals so that we don’t overeat when dinner comes up?

Ah, I used to struggle with this balance SO MUCH. I think what most of us have learned is to “save room” for that one big Thanksgiving meal.

But I recommend actually doing the opposite. Sure, you want to be hungry when you show up for that yummy meal because you want everything to taste amazing and there will be so many things that you want to try.

But my recommendation is to not skip meals before Thanksgiving. Eat AS NORMALLY AS POSSIBLE the morning of Thanksgiving.

For example, I’ll definitely have my normal coffee, eggs, and toast before our meal. I’ll also probably have something around noon again. Like, an open faced turkey sandwich, a couple slices of avocado toast, or a smoothie… Not something so big that it would hold me over too long, but something that will carry me over calmly into that 3:00 Thanksgiving meal.

Aim to feel ready to eat, but not starving.

Q: Do you work out on Thanksgiving Day?

Depends on what I’m feeling like. If I want to, say, go for a run because it sounds good, sure, I’ll go. But I am NOT working out with the intention to make up for any uncomfortable amount of eating that I’ll do later. No no.

If you need to skip your workout to help neutralize your mind around food and dieting, do it.

If you want to do a workout purely for that adrenaline rush, being in nature, or feeling your body work, do it. There’s no harm in exercise unless you’re using it as a form of punishment or to make up for any kind of behavior.

Q: How do you deal with comments and family pressure in regards to food around the holidays when your eating looks different than everyone else?

I get this all of the time… Since I am a Health Coach people will often look at my plate and say things like “what are YOU eating?” or “YOU are going to eat THAT?” As if I eat in some special way. I’m just normal, guys!

Sometimes comments from other people can feel awkward, but what I think we can do is call a truce and just assume that people usually have good intentions. Even if what they say feels insulting.

The way I would encourage you is to DO YOU. What feels good for you? What do you inherently know is the best thing for you? What is it that allows you to feel the way you want to feel on Thanksgiving? That’s what you get to do.

Also, a reminder for us all, I’d encourage us to NOT call attention to ourselves by making any comments about our food. For example, you don’t need to say things like “oh, I’m so full but I’m going to have desert. It’s okay because I’ll be better on Monday.” 

You don’t need to justify ANYTHING that you’re eating. Your goal is to enjoy yourself, AND feel good when you walk away.

Allow all of your expectations to meet in the middle. You don’t need to “be good” and you also don’t need to “go all out and just not care.” Take that pressure off yourself to be perfect, or to not check in at all.

Step back, remain calm, enjoy the most important things, and let the food just be food. Enjoy your most favorite flavors, savor them, and appreciate the people who cooked for you (and yourself if this is you!).

Q: I was wondering if you had any tips on how to politely decline food once you’re full?

Ah, yes! This one is tough. I deal with the same thing (I think we can all relate to ALL of these questions!). My biggest tip here is to keep the food LOW-KEY. On Thanksgiving, people like to make a huuuuge deal of the food.

So, rather than having the mentality (like most people will) that this is the biggest meal they’re going to eat all year and then diet afterward, remember that you ALWAYS get to eat normally. This is just another normal get-together where you get to eat a delicious meal.

Rather, approach Thanksgiving as a special time to focus more on family, more on conversation, more on catching up with that cousin who you haven’t talked to in six-months. More on being Thankful and thinking about what is going well.

Here’s the way to politely decline food once you’re full: “Oh, no thank you, I’m full.” That’s it.

Yes, people might make comments. But you are the only one in control of how those comments are received. It’s really no big deal. Go take a seat, engage with someone else, and move on. Let people do them, you do you. It’s all okay and not worth you feeling sick over.

I hope this post has been helpful! 

And to end, here is a Thanksgiving GIFT to you. A Thanksgiving Day Worksheet. Download it here. If you use this, share with me how it helps you. I’ve already received several emails saying that it’s helping you girls to feel more CALM. Beautiful!

Have a comment? Didn’t get a chance to ask a question? Comment below and I’ll do my best to answer any more questions today. 



Love, Paige

Learn to tap into ease and joy every day and in every area. Savor the life you’ve created. Visualize Your Happiest Self.

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