LisaTheRD’s Survival Guide for the Thanksgiving Holiday


Well as I write this, Thanksgiving is over. I was, on the balance, pretty happy with the way I participated in my family’s Thanksgiving meal. I had a taste of what I wanted, balanced my plate well with a modest assortment of veggies, carbs, and proteins, and had enough of a nibble of dessert that I did not feel deprived of any “treats opportunity.”

And what about you? Are you proud at your success in eating the healthy, balanced amount of foods you had hoped or planned to? Did you eat just a smidgen more than you intended? Or did you leave your Thanksgiving table groaning at the massive amount of food you managed to cram down your gullet?

Let it go…

No matter how your Thanksgiving meal went, time now to let it go… since yesterday’s meals are the stuff of the the past. No matter you’re feast-time past, it is; time now to focus on moving forward. Because no matter how well you did (or didn’t) keep to your pre-meal consumption strategy, there are certainly lessons to be learned. These lessons, of course, depend not only on the way you did your Thanksgiving meal, they also have a lot to do with how you feel about it.

Keep it going…

If you approached your meal with healthy eating strategies, and honored them–good on ya. Do more of whatever you did with whatever attitude you brought to the table. Do keep it going for the upcoming holidays.

If you didn’t do quite so well, assignment number one is don’t beat yourself up. We should never hold ourselves hostage to feelings of guilt, judgment or disappointment. We have no control over the past, no control over choices already made. There are always opportunities to give things another shot, and reach for improvement.


Yet, if you are really disappointed in how you did your Thanksgiving, there are even ways to have a–sort of–do over. The key here is using techniques of mindfulness to repair past missteps.

For instance, if you hosted the meal, and have plenty of leftovers, on a subsequent day you might redo the meal you had wanted to eat. However, his time eat smaller, reasonable portions slowly; taking time to savor each bite.

Or whether or not you hosted, you might draw a picture of a plate depicting what you wish you had chosen for your meal. (You could even save the picture as a reference for next Thanksgiving.) Guidelines for your “picture plate” should be: one half veggies and salad, one quarter turkey or another protein source, one quarter a taste of each of the less healthy side delicacies.

Or you might just close your eyes, and visualize the plate you would have preferred to fill at your Thanksgiving dinner, and imagine yourself eating the way you would have rather eaten.

And then give yourself a break, and focus on taking care of yourself as best you can as the Holiday season–and all of its parties and feasts–jump into full swing. Because what matters here is doing at least a little better each and every time. When you get right down to it, whether you’re taking big steps or baby steps, what matters is consistent progress for your highest good.

Wishing you health, happiness, and well-being this holiday season!.