What a Healthy Thanksgiving Really Looks Like

Happy Thanksgiving eve everyone! I am writing to you from my parents’ living room. Thanks to the winter storm on the east coast, Bernie, Koji, and I made the trek westward late last night to avoid the snow. While driving late through the night wasn’t fun, it’s nice to sleep in and enjoy some pre-Thanksgiving peace and quiet.

Today I want to talk about Thanksgiving. Specifically, about the food! Ahh, the fooooodddd…..

thanksgiving

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read a fellow blogger’s post all about how to have a “healthy” Thanksgiving holiday. The thing that irritates me about these posts is the feeling that enjoying the holiday for what it really is—a glutinous feast with your loved ones—is always frowned upon. That you should be having a “healthier” holiday. Replacing ingredients for lower fat and calorie options, forcing ourselves to endure intense pre-Thanksgiving workouts just so you can “justify” that piece of pie. Well, I’m here to tell you how to have a real “healthy” Thanksgiving:

Step 1: Do what you want the morning before the meal. Go for a run if you want. Sleep in if you want. Drink some coffee while you watch the parade. All that matters is you get to do what makes you happy and feel fulfilled.

Step 2: Eat. Everything. Does your mom make killer stuffing? Eat it. Does your cousin buy fantastic cookies from her local bakery? Devour them. Delicious wines and cocktails tempting you? Drink them. How often do you get to eat like you do on Thanksgiving? Once a year. One day will not make or break your waist line. Moderation is the key to life. Everything in moderation…even moderation.

Step 3: Be present! The greatest part about Thanksgiving is the time you get to spend with your loved ones. Oftentimes, it’s one of the few times a year where you get to see certain family members or friends. Make this time count by giving the greatest gift of all—presence. Giving presence is opening up, listening, and recognizing how blessed you truly are, and you can’t do that with your face in your phone.

For me, a perfect Thanksgiving is starting the day with a run, because that’s what I love and that’s what makes me happy. This year, Bernie and I are running the Troy Turkey Trot before we chow down. Then, I plan on eating every delicious bite my mom places in front of me. After our bellies are full with turkey and gravy, we will sit around the table sharing stories and liquors just like my Nana and Papa did at their house everything Thanksgiving when I was younger. It’s in those moments that I feel happy, that I feel present. There’s no way you can do that while still focusing on calories, making “healthy” food choices, or sacrificing taste for that extra half a pound on the scale (believe me, it’s not worth it.)

 

So please, join me in having a healthy Thanksgiving, one that’s full of laughter and memories, not of deprivation and sacrifices. Because pie is definitely worth every calorie.