As we all know, Thanksgiving is a time of year when family and friends get together to spend time with each other, break bread together, and express gratitude. While it is definitely cause for celebration, the season is also known for causing undue stress, and sometimes even more so for those of us pursuing healthier habits. But in the spirit of this week, today we will go over some helpful insights to get the most out of our shared holiday and make the most of our time with the people we care about without succumbing to the pressures this time of year often brings. Where to begin? The first step is always the hardest, but it sets the tone for the whole week!
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
This is a season where everyone is seemingly showcasing their holidays on social media, morning shows are sharing the trendiest recipes, and news networks report on travel delays, Black Friday deals, and other social statistics. Oh, and the President pardons a very fortunate turkey. In short, we are surrounded by Thanksgiving inside and out, and this can make us feel very anxious, if only because we feel like we have to live up to the images we see everywhere. But keep in mind, if we strive for perfection, we will always fall short. So, while planning our day (or week) is fine, we should be mindful of the fact that everyone we know is also stressing. Instead of worrying about every detail being exactly right, we should simply try and plan, accordingly, do our best, and not let our emotions get the best of us when someone’s nephew uses a spoon to catapult mashed potatoes into the ceiling fan. Where possible, we should laugh off the miscues and let ourselves sink into the joy of the day brings. Besides, in five years, nobody will remember if the gravy was a bit too thick, but everyone will remember the laughter.
Get an Early Start
A huge part of the stress Thanksgiving can bring is that it always feels like the clock is laughing at us, and we are always pressed for time. So instead of having a frantic few hours of setting the table and multitasking in the kitchen, start a day or two early! Setting the table, a day in advance means when it’s time to eat, everyone’s place is ready to go. Also, by leaving serving dishes laid out on the counter the day before means we don’t have to take our eyes off of the stove on the day of the main event. Finally, we should remember that a traditional part of Thanksgiving is leftovers, meaning that we are well aware that it keeps very well. While some dishes do have to be made on the actual day, certain foods can be prepared in advance and simply heated before the meal. If we get all of the prep work done in advance, whether it be chopping veggies or proofing dough, the actual cooking can go way smoother, and we won’t get frantic with stress!
Self-Serve Beverages out of the Kitchen
Every Thanksgiving gathering has a whole assortment of drinks for people of all ages. Whether it be soda, cider, wine, or all of the above, the variety is always there. But like the old saying goes, too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the broth. This is true even if only one of us is cooking. Even with one person, the kitchen is the busiest room in a home on Thanksgiving. By having refreshments and appetizers set up out of the kitchen, family and guests can enjoy whatever they prefer without taking up the precious free space we need to finish our culinary masterpieces. Speaking of appetizers…
Keep It Simple with Finger Foods
While it’s totally normal to have appetizers and other pre-meal snacks, Thanksgiving really is the one day we can take it very easy with these. Not only do we want to make sure everyone has room for the large meal ahead, going overboard with appetizers can also increase our workload to very stressful levels. Simple seasonal finger foods are perfectly fine, whether they be roasted nuts or small cheese plates. No need to go all out when we know full well that there are many, many heavier plates of food coming soon.
Take Tiny Breaks
Simply stated, a lot of the work that goes into Thanksgiving is tedious. This can be anything from tidying as we cook, cleaning dishes, or stacking plates. We should use these moments as a short break from the heavier work, take a deep breath, loosen up a bit and stretch. A little goes a long way and doing these a few times throughout the day can save us a lot of energy and concern.
Do What You Are Best At, But Accept Help
We all have favorite tasks in the kitchen. Some of us take pride in a perfect turkey, others among us like to work out our emotions by mashing potatoes furiously (they know what they did). But ultimately, the whole point of the day is to share time with our loved ones and be grateful for what we have. So, we should be grateful for the help and the company!
Forgive Yourself if You Overindulge
We had to sneak in a bit of friendly health advice in here! Between all the food and drinks, Thanksgiving is always a huge amount of food. For the most disciplined of people, managing portions, even on Thanksgiving, comes naturally. But for those of us who aren’t superhuman, we may not be able to resist the temptation. It happens. But we shouldn’t dwell on it and let it ruin the rest of our week. One day won’t undo the progress we’ve made in our weight loss journey. Instead, we should simply forgive ourselves, and move on. After all, generosity is one of the tenets of the season. Why not be generous with ourselves? But, if possible, try to get a short walk in before bed, if only to help digest.
We’ve come a long way in our weight loss journey. And for those of us who are still waiting to take the first step, there is no time like the present. But for now, we, the team at Olivera Weight Loss wants nothing more than to extend our gratitude and cheer this Thanksgiving. We are tremendously grateful for our patients and are thrilled and eager to continue working with you. So, from our family at Olivera Weight Loss, Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!
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