holiday eating thanksgivingHappy T-day minus one! Or two, in my case, since we’re doing Thanksgiving a day late this year (we have other plans on the actual T-day…long story). So we will do a turkey breast, the sourdough-artichoke-Parmesan stuffing from Sunset Magazine that I’ve been making for 20-odd ears, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, Brussels sprouts and of course pumpkin pies. All that after I go all Black Friday crazy by shopping at my local Goodwill. (Black Friday at Goodwill is the best…last year I scored a vintage faux leopard fur coat!) The rest of the long weekend? Writing, writing, cleaning up my yard, more writing.

Anyhoo, I hope you have something nice planned for Thanksgiving, whether you’re flying solo or joining a crowd. If you have any food fears about what is arguably the most food-focused holiday of the year, I’ll tell you four things I’ve been telling many of my patients the past few weeks:

  1. Thanksgiving dinner is one meal on one day. Enjoy it, and keep it special by eating normally before and after the day. (See my recent Seattle Times column on “How to eat mindfully during the holidays” and a longer article I wrote for this month’s issue of Today’s Dietitian on the same topic.)
  2. Remember that this is not your last chance to eat Thanksgiving foods, so don’t feel that you need to stuff yourself like a turkey. You’ll have more opportunities to eat turkey, stuffing and pie in the future. (See my Times column on “Enjoying holiday food traditions—healthfully.”)
  3. You are under no obligation to eat foods you don’t like or are too full to enjoy just to make someone else happy. (Study my Times column on food pushers from a few years ago.)
  4. Think about how you want to feel after the meal. You might not mind feeling a little fuller than usual, but feeling truly overfull probably doesn’t feel very good. Put your fork down between bites, and check in with yourself every so often to see where you are on the hunger-fullness spectrum. Extremely hungry? A little hungry? Neutral? A little full? Stuffed? Aim for neutral or even a little full, if you want.

But Wait, There’s More

Be sure to check out my latest On Nutrition column, “The two faces of sugar: natural vs. added.” And, in case you’re flying this weekend: How to be mindful at airport security.

Have a good weekend, and I’ll be back Monday with an announcement!