This year, Thanksgiving will probably look a lot different for most of us.
Normally on Thanksgiving, Marco and I would be gathering with 40+ family members at my aunt’s house, looking forward to mashed potatoes with gravy, turkey and stuffing, green bean casserole, bread (dunked in more gravy!), cranberry sauce… and the desserts!
This year, we’re staying home and having a small dinner with two friends in their backyard.
But some things always stay the same. For example, visualizing how I want to feel on Thanksgiving Day, journaling what I am grateful for, and focusing on being in the present moment.
No matter what your plans are for this Thanksgiving, here are some things you can do to plan a day to be thankful for, and truly enjoy all the food!
1. Meditate on these truths
Thanksgiving is about being grateful, spending time with loved ones (near or from afar!) and feeling good.
If you’ve spent past Thanksgivings feeling sick & stuffed after the big meal, try to reframe your thoughts on the food. First of all, remind yourself that you can eat these foods ANYTIME you want. You could eat all of your favorite side dishes in July if you want! We have created this one day as the only day to have yummy foods, when in reality, you can have these whenever you crave them!
Secondly, you’re likely going to have leftovers for the entire week, so there’s no need to eat it all on Thanksgiving Day.
Thanksgiving comes once a year, but the food is an option every single day. You can make Thanksgiving food (turkey, candy, pie, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole) anytime through the year if you want it again! How fun would that be?!
2. Practical Steps
Eat a regular breakfast the morning of. If your Thanksgiving Day meal is not until 4:00, have a regular breakfast, lunch, and snack before you go.
You do NOT want to “save room” for a huge meal before you go. Doing that will ONLY set you up to have a HUGE MEAL.
We’re going for a “normal meal.”
Dress to be comfortable & confident. Wear something that you feel good in.
Spend a little extra time getting ready today, and put on your favorite outfit, even if you’re just staying home! I promise it will help your overall mood for the day.
3. Dream up your ideal plate
Think about your FAVORITE Thanksgiving foods. If you could have your dream plate, what would be on it?
Would there be turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, or something different?
If you didn’t have to think about calories, being “healthy,” or anything like that, what would you truly want to eat? Since some of my clients won’t be joining with their families, they are actually making their dream meals, not including the “traditional” Thanksgiving foods! If it’s just you or a few friends, do you dream of a waffle bar? Tacos? What sounds delicious to you?
This is the food that will TRULY satisfy you. Thanksgiving means there will be A LOT of food, but we only have room for so much in our stomachs! So let’s use that room for the food that is truly fabulous and satisfying.
When you figure out what your dream plate looks like, recreate it at your Thanksgiving dinner! Don’t love turkey? Don’t worry about it! You only need to eat what you truly love.
Your plate may not look like the “perfectly balanced” meal (three types of potatoes and a little bit of pie) but that is totally okay! Your body will help you balance it out over the course of a day or a few days. Rather than stuffing yourself with foods that you don’t love, just savor the ones that you do!
4. Visualize your Day
Visualize how you want your holiday to go. No matter if you’re with your family or spending time with a few people outside, just picture how you’d like to enjoy your day. What’s the environment like?
Next, think about the food. Where is it? Is the table full? What’s there? How do you want to feel when you see all of that food? As you’re remembering that you can have this food ANYtime you want it (not just on this day), how does the need to have it all now lessen?
See yourself sitting down, slowing your body language, leaning away from the table, relaxing into your chair, talking to others, and calmly chewing through each bite. Breathe deeply. Really taste everything. What does that feel like?
Visualize yourself staying calm throughout this experience. Remind yourself that you can have fun and be calm at the same time. It’s about your mindset and your body language working together.
Taste each thing on your plate, eat slow and really roll around the flavors on your tongue. How much are you enjoying your food? Visualize how you want to feel after dinner. When dessert comes, are you hungry? Or could you take something home? If you’re hungry, how much room do you have? How do you want to feel when you’re done with dessert? If you’re going to take it home, take little bits of whichever desserts sound good. Give yourself full permission to enjoy dessert the very next time you feel hungry. Remember, calmly, that you don’t have to have it all now if you’re feeling full already.
Visualize yourself feeling full, but not stuffed. Just about right. How does that feel? How much better do you feel about Thanksgiving?
Wherever you are in the world, I wish you and your loved ones so much peace and contentment, on this day and always.
I am grateful for YOU.
Grateful that you invited me into your life.
Grateful that you’re here, reading this post.
And grateful for the trust you place in me to guide you on the topics that I love talking about; intuitive eating and living, budgeting and finance, personal growth, routines, goals and self-care.
It means everything to me.
So please know that I appreciate you and I am writing this note to simply honor you.
Wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving!