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Healthy Thanksgiving Tips for More Presence & Pleasure

healthy thanksgiving tips

Happy Thanksgiving week, gorgeous! Many of the questions that came up with clients this past week involved Thanksgiving. Like… how do you navigate Thanksgiving when you’re trying to be healthy most other days? Should you just overeat that day or TRY to be healthy? How do you avoid any guilt or second-guessing that revs up in your head? I thought it might be helpful to share three thoughts that I like to consider at Thanksgiving in order to enjoy the day to the fullest.

“How full do I WANT to feel?”

Let’s put it out there: on Thanksgiving, it’s likely that you’ll overeat. And that’s OK! In my opinion, overeating is not necessarily a BAD thing. It’s not like an oops, a flaw, or a mistake. I personally believe that all humans blessed with food overeat from time to time, even healthy ones. 

I’ve overeaten when savoring the most delicious pasta in Italy, when losing track of time laughing at a restaurant with my girlfriends, and when enjoying delicious food on Thanksgiving. What takes it from a mistake that you have to make up for with extra exercise or calorie control — to a non-event that you can bounce back from right away — is the power you assign it in your mind.

Personally, on Thanksgiving, I like to aim for 8 – 9 out of 10 on the fullness scale… versus 15. 😂📈 I prefer that sweet spot of enjoying a scoop or two of everything, but not going so far past my limits that I feel sick. No matter what, even if I overdo it, I just feel thankful for the meal and get back to my usual life (and meals) after. You can decide where YOUR sweet spot is, and do the same!

“Do I LOVE this food?”

Everyone has their favorite Thanksgiving foods. For me, apple pie and stuffing are among the tops. But I’m not as crazy about pumpkin pie or, oddly enough, even turkey. So I load up on the foods I love the most, and leave the other foods for the people who love them the most.

I’ll be satisfied with a bite of pumpkin pie, instead of a whole slice. I’ll be content with a few pieces of turkey to get just a taste, instead of a whole pile. I want to save the room on my plate for the other things that I love even more!

Watch the video I made you this week about this:

“This is SO delicious.”

This is literally something I think to myself when eating, and I often recommend that my clients do the same. Playing this mantra in your head reminds you to slow down and actually taste what you’re eating. Slowing down reduces your stress response, gives you more satisfaction from each and every bite, and aids digestion — especially with a full Thanksgiving dinner.


I hope you have a wonderful, delicious day! What’s your favorite Thanksgiving dish — are you more of a stuffing gal or all about that pumpkin pie?! The rolls?! The green bean casserole?! Gah, so many yummy options. Happy celebrating!

P.S. Want some healthy + yummy Thanksgiving recipes? Check out this paleo pumpkin pie or delicious apple crisp! Or, get the Fall Meal Plan for 30+ delicious, easy, fast whole-food fall recipes. So fun!

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