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I am always challenging clients to get rid of what is in their way to having the healthy life they were meant to live. And in terms of naming the obstacles, I have to say that the holiday season ironically ends up being one of the biggest obstructions to living a balanced life. Holiday parties with their rich food and lavish drinks throw people off healthy eating routines, and gift-giving rat-race turns the whole holiday season into a material frenzy.

It’s often hard to remember that we have choices during days like BLACK FRIDAY. We can consciously decide to spend the day far away from the commercial chaos and instead find ways to reconnect with ourselves and the people we love. Mother Nature Network featured a blog last week encouraging people to buy nothing on Friday, November 26.  I encourage you to think through the four reasons to buy nothing, and see how much of this is true for  you.

It the face of Black Friday and its corresponding ads and  gimmicks it is easy to forget that living a balanced, well-nourished life has nothing to do with stuff.  For many of my family members and friends Thanksgiving is their favorite holiday because it is about being together with people you love around a table. Yes, there is eating and often over-eating involved, but what really nourishes us on a day like Thanksgiving is our gratitude for the relationships in our lives that we hold dear.

Stay tuned for future blog posts where I intend to write more about consumerism’s impact on Earth and its people as malls around the country declare open season for shopping. Happy Thanksgiving!

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A typical Thanksgiving meal in the U.S. weighs in at about 3,000 calories. Below are tips for trimming calories while enjoying the day.

  1. Give thanks with every bite. Remember, gratitude is meaning of the thanksgiving holiday.  Keeping your focus on gratitude for your meal, your hosts, your friends and family allows you to stay in the present moment and to celebrate all those elements as gifts in your life.
  2. Eat slowly. Chewing your food slowly and with gratitude will help you slow down, stay present and better embody the meaning of the day.
  3. Consider your plate. Back in the 1950’s when waistlines all over America were quite a bit trimmer than they are today, the dinner plates we used measured no more than 9.5” in diameter. If you live in an older home you may have had the experience of your dinner plates not fitting on the shelf where you’d most like to put them. That’s because the size of dinner plates has grown – and so have U.S. serving sizes. When dishing up your thanksgiving meal – give your plate a critical view—if it measures over 9.5” in diameter, then do not fill it to the rim – leave a half inch, inch or more around the circumference to serve yourself a 1950’s portion.
  4. When cooking, a few substitutes can bring caloric counts down. Substitute low-fat plain yogurt for sour cream or applesauce in cake recipes that call for margarine, butter or oil. Instead of mashed potatoes one year my sister steamed cauliflower and whipped it with chicken broth to come up with a delicious dish that took the place of mashed potatoes.
  5. Load up on green and non-starchy vegetables: Thanksgiving ‘s starchy carbohydrates are well renown but often there are green beans, broccoli, salad and other kinds of green, low starch vegetables that take second billing – take a generous portion of these and “crowd out” some of the more starchy choices
  6. Contribute to positive dinner conversation. Stay positive in though and word – it will help foster good digestion for you and all your dinner companions.
  7. Let your stomach tell you when you need more, not your head. It’s always a good to wait about 20 minutes letting your stomach do some of its digestion work before you reach for seconds or for the dessert tray. Your mind will always think that more is a good idea but your stomach tells the truth. Go with your gut.
  8. Drink water. Remember to keep hydrated – many of the beverages served with thanksgiving meals including wine, beer, cider and coffee have a dehydrating effect. Be sure to drink water, and perhaps substitute water for that first, second, third or fourth glass of alcohol. Water has no calories and when you are well hydrated the hunger you feel will be hunger. Often times we confuse thirst for hunger and we feed our dehydrated bodies more than they need.
  9. When serving dessert the pie – make small portions an option. The size of the average pie has grown even larger than the average plate size – instead of cutting the standard 6 to 8 slices, try cutting the pie into 10 slices or more. This tactic could also cut down on waste when the “eyes bigger than stomach” syndrome sets in.
  10. Do some kind of physical activity before and after the meal. A workout before the meal is a good idea because it means your workout will happen. After the meal – motivate others to take a walk,  rake leaves or play a game of touch foot ball before they plop themselves down in front of the TV for the long football watching marathon.

Health & Nutrition Counseling

An integrative approach to health and nutrition which includes Earth consciousness.

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