Wow! It’s October already – how did that happen? And you know what that means – Thanksgiving is right around the corner, here in Canada.
I am a Registered Holistic Nutritionist but I’m also a Certified Coaching Practitioner – so for today’s blog, I’m going to put on my coach’s hat.
Before a big game, athletes need to prepare themselves physically and mentally. So how are we preparing ourselves for the big gorge that we call Thanksgiving. Let’s start with the intent of what we are not going to do – that is eating to a point of groaning and lying on the couch after the holiday meal.
I would suggest you start with a tall cool glass of … water – yes water. Hydrating yourself means you are addressing being thirsty, which many of us interpret as hunger.
Next – I would like you to “set the stage” for a relaxed, stress-free meal (or as stress free as you can be with family : ) It’s likely already a nice setting – tablecloth in fall colours, flowers, candles, sparkling crystal, shiny silverware, artfully-folded napkins.
It’s an occasion. Frankly, it would be great if we approached all our meals in that way – maybe not with ALL the bells and whistles – but with a nice environment.
We will pause in thanks giving – for having our family and friends gathered and for all the great food that has been prepared. Again – it’s always good to pause before you dive into your meal. To leave the stresses of the day behind and be present to eating.
Now – I’m going to suggest something shocking. Use a small plate.
Here is a typical plate by today’s standards – beside it is a plate from the 70s … wonder why North Americans suffer from obesity – we fill the plate, whatever size.
So go ahead. Fill the small plate – psychologically you’ll feel like you are feasting – but there will be smaller portions. And really, we only truly enjoy the first few bites of any food. That’s why it is great to share dessert. Slice of pumpkin pie with 2 forks … coming up!
Next – don’t laugh – I want you to chew, really chew your food. Note the tastes and textures. Put your fork down between each bite. How many of us have the next fork full waiting before we’ve swallowed the food already in our mouth.
Thanksgiving often means a groaning board, everyone has brought their favourite dish and you want to try everything. So even though you have only taken a little bit of everything on your small plate – you can enjoy it immensely.
Add an activity before or after the meal. If this isn’t part of your family tradition, make the “first annual” fill in the blank (ball hockey or football or hike or whatever), be this year.
with thanks to my sister who took this photo
And finally. It’s a great time to think of others. When we’re feeling gratitude for the abundance that we have – how about delivering a food or cash donation to your local food bank – so that everyone can have a Happy Thanksgiving!