Happy Mindful Thanksgiving

Give thanks for your life exactly as it is.

Mindful eating tips to help you eat less and enjoy more

  • Appreciate the look of food in front of you and take in a deep smell of it
  • Chew well and eat slowly
  • Notice the flavors and textures

As we fall past fall and wander into winter – we enter a season of festivities and cultural celebrations, that have evolved to largely revolve around food and the idea of “feasting”.  Traditionally however, most of these celebrations have a deeper meaning rooted in gratitude.

Thanksgiving is an example of a celebration day originally established as a time to gather with family and friends to give thanks for the many blessings of the year.  But it has become less about being grateful for what we have and more about overindulging in more than we need.

The aftermath of these celebrations has also strangely become something we accept.  It’s not uncommon to feel tired, sluggish, a little depressed, a little heavier, not to mention feeling lighter in our wallets.

Doing what we want, eating what we want in the moment and having a fabulous time is wonderful in the short term.  The issue with letting loose on our fancies, is that when we pile our carts with all the traditional favorites, we end up buying excessively, eating excessively and throwing out a lot of waste. Not to mention the toxins we put in our bodies. Have you ever noticed the trash cans or garbage bags on the streets after a day of celebrating?

Preparing for the Holidays

3 tips that will support our healthy habits:

The amount of food we eat – If we listen to our body’s cues and eat only when we are hungry and stop when are full (or 3/4 full ideally), we could reach the other side of our holiday celebrations feeling content that we have enjoyed our food without ending up feeling tired, sluggish, frustrated and in need of a detox.

The amount of food we throw away – This ties in with number 1. Think about your portion when you serve your food.  Clock in with how hungry you are and if indeed you are even hungry. Serve only what you need, or even a little less. If there are lots of things you’d like to try, serve only a little of each thing.  Try everything, enjoy everything but learn to feel content with just enough. It’s a habit to feel stuffed as a turkey, not a need. Overfilling your plate will always end up in one of two ways.  1. You will force yourself to finish it (and then overeat) or 2 you will leave it and it will be thrown in the bin.  When we throw food in the bin, we need to think about the hungry and homeless and we need to think about the food waste mountain that is contributing to climate change.

The amount of plastic we buy and throw away – It’s easy to go around the supermarket and be persuaded to buy all the festive throw away cooking pans, plates, cutlery, cups, ready meals, snacks and sides in plastic portioned out packages.  It saves us time and they look festive.  But be mindful of where it all ends up.  Try to opt for the recycled, recyclable or compostable products. Or save money and use the crockery you have but ask family to help with washing up. Buy produce whole and loose if you can. Pre-cut vegetables have lost much of their nutrients anyway. For condiments, make your own or if there is a glass option that you can reuse; choose that.

Tips to “Healthify” your Thanksgiving meal

Would it be fair to say that a Thanksgiving meal could be guilty of being a little bit beige?  With the turkey as center stage, the sides of potato gratin, stuffing and bread rolls, tasty gravy sauce, baked or roast vegetables (often leaving them a little colorless) and the classic pumpkin pie or other pie desert. To solve this dilemma and still enjoy all those yummy dishes consider the following:

Buy the best quality food you can afford. Better to have a smaller organic turkey that’s lived well with no hormones and pesticides. than its factory reared cousin.

  1. Add color wherever you can. Green leafy salad with mixed fresh herbs and topped with gems of pomegranate. Lightly steamed green beans, purple beets and tossed with butter and pine nuts. Add a condiment of fermented purple cabbage sauerkraut to feed your gut bugs as well as your soul. Cook sprouts to be al dente and still green rather than pale, soft and overdone.
  2. Be plant heavy. Make the meat 1/4 of your plate with the rest filled with vegetables and legumes.
  3. Use the leftover turkey bones with the giblets to make a nourishing bone broth.

    Tip: The color pigments are the active nutrients. When color is lost, so is the nutrient.
  1. Avoid the chemicals and sugars that are loaded in sauces and condiments by making your own or reading labels and buying organic options with no sugar.
  2. Use the best fats.  Avoid vegetable oils and margarines and use organic ghee, grass fed butter, coconut, olive, sesame and avocado oils instead.

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