Thanksgiving is a time for relaxing and appreciating family & friends…and of course great food! But if you are trying to get healthy and lose weight it can also be a difficult and challenging time.
Sometimes you can have the very best of intentions going into the holidays… and somehow end up really falling off the bandwagon. You seem to be faced with 2 bad choices: Stick to your diet (and miss out on all of the delights sure to come your way) or let it all go and regret the consequences later… Afterwards you feel so guilty and wonder ‘How did I get here again?!’
At Homemade Cooking, we know for certain that it IS possible to enjoy an abundant, delicious Thanksgiving AND stay on track with your healthy eating and weight loss goals. Our mission is to show everyone how easy, joyful and sustainable this can be when you just follow the 3 Homemade Principles: COOK, EAT, LISTEN.
In this article, we will show you how to apply the Homemade Principles to your Thanksgiving to help you stay on track this Holiday season. And we’ve included some easy, healthy & delicious Thanksgiving recipes for you to try!
Principle 1: COOK your own food so you know what goes into it
The number 1 predictor of your success in achieving your health and weight loss goals in the long term, without dieting, is cooking your own food. That’s why at Homemade Cooking we teach our members how to cook quick & easy meals from scratch.
When it comes to Thanksgiving, your best bet to both enjoying a delicious, abundant meal and honoring your body is to make an easy, healthy Homemade turkey with all of the trimmings. This can help you avoid the deep fried store-bought versions as well as buckets of added fat, sugar and salt that comes with virtually anything pre-made.
To get you started, we’ve included some of our easy Homemade Thanksgiving recipes here for you to try (HINT: You don’t even need to use your oven!):
Herbed Pan-roasted Turkey Breast
Spinach and Pear Salad, with Pomegranate Seeds, Walnuts, and Shaved Parmesan
Stove-top Sweet Potatoes with Rosemary, Garlic, and Sage
Cranberry Orange Ginger Chutney
Principle 2: EAT whole natural foods in their natural state
The second key principle for achieving lasting healthy lifestyle changes is to eat mostly whole, natural foods as close as possible to their natural state. By avoiding highly processed foods, artificial sweeteners and refined sugars and carbohydrates, you will start to recalibrate your body’s natural hunger and satiety controls. You will then find you stop being so hungry all the time! And instead your body will start to re-adjust to its natural, healthy set weight and functioning.
What this means is seeking out and buying whole food ingredients, and using these in your cooking whenever you can. So eat an orange over orange juice. And an orange juice over orange soda.
When it comes to Thanksgiving and the Holiday season, you can go a LONG WAY towards achieving your health goals if you just practice this simple principle. So, eat an abundant, delicious Homemade thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings(!), but maybe skip the soda and chips before hand. Or enjoy a slice of the homemade pumpkin pie that your friend offers you or your colleague brings to work. But maybe consider avoiding the Starbucks Pumpkin Pie Latte or Frappucino (and much of the other ‘holiday season’ themed candy & junk food out there).
Choose quality because your body deserves the very best, most satisfying & nourishing food.
Principle 3: LISTEN to your body
Principle 3, Listen to your body, may be the most important – and also possibly the most challenging. What this means is reconnecting with your body’s ability to tell you what to eat and how much, your internal compass, and actually listening to it. This means eating mindfully and intuitively and stopping when your body says ‘I’ve had enough!’
We won’t lie – this is tricky and it does take a lot of practice. In fact, at Homemade Cooking, we have an entire Mindset curriculum dedicated to teaching our members how to transform their relationship with their food and their eating to one based on Nourishment & Satisfaction by learning how to listen to their bodies.
The upside is, that it is incredibly liberating when you really get it. It means you CAN enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner fully and mindfully and say goodbye to dieting, deprivation – and the constant guilt trips – forever!
To practice this principle, all you need to do is ask yourself if you are truly hungry whenever you get the urge to eat, and if so, then see if you can find the most nourishing way to satisfy your hunger. If not, then see if you can do something else instead and avoid mindless grazing – call a friend, take a walk, drink some water. You will see that the urge soon passes. And when you are truly hungry again, then you can really enjoy your food: win-win! It doesn’t mean being perfect all the time – it means being mindful and finding balance in the long term by listening to your body’s signals of hunger & satiety.
We hope this was helpful & please let us know your comments & questions below!
We wish you a Happy, Healthy AND DELICIOUS Thanksgiving
The Homemade Team