Cranky Fitness was going to skip doing a "how to get through the big holiday meal" advice post, because everywhere you look, from newspaper to television to blog to podcast, someone's offering up suggestions, tips, or warnings about Turkey day.
Why add more noise? Because, well, Thanksgiving is tomorrow and Crabby loves to give advice! The temptation, much like the golden brown crunchy layer of marshmallows sitting atop the candied yams, is proving irresistible.
But rather than issue dire warnings about overindulgence, Crabby is feeling contrary this year and wants to suggest sort of the opposite. Instead, consider this:
Thanksgiving is Just One Day of the Year. So while advance planning may keep you from overdoing it to the point of puking and/or self-loathing (always good things to avoid), don't stress too much about what you eat for one dang meal!
Yes, Christmas is coming too, and there will be other holidays to contend with. But to repeat a point made previously about Halloween: the problem most people have with unhealthy eating does not come from thoroughly enjoying a holiday celebration. It comes from treating every damn day of the year like it's a holiday.
Traditional Thanksgiving dinners mix a lot of healthy ingredients (turkey, cranberries, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, green beans, fruit, etc) with more nutritionally questionable ones (butter, sugar, cool-whip, marshmallows, gravy, white flour, mayo, etc). Sometimes you have control over the ratio of healthy to unhealthy, and sometimes you don't. But as long as you don't totally pork out to the point of pain, and try to lean towards the healthy stuff that you actually enjoy, there's only so much damage you can do. So cut yourself some slack!
Maybe you can go ahead and have a roll and even put butter on it. Or pour some gravy on your spuds if you love it. Or whatever the particular pleasure is that you usually deny yourself. And perhaps the best motivation for not going totally overboard at dinner-- is so you can save some room for a small slice of pie for dessert!
But then it's probably NOT a good idea to treat the special Thanksgiving meal as an excuse to eat gravy-soaked mashed potatoes and stuffing and pie and other decadent leftovers in huge quantities for the next four or five days. Thanksgiving, like Halloween or Christmas, works best when it's celebrated as a Day and not a Season. (And sure, enjoy some leftovers later--but after the Big Day you may want to load up on the healthier items, skip the worst offenders, and supplement with salads and new veggies, etc).
Thanksgiving is already a healthy holiday in a lot of ways--it's about giving thanks and appreciating the people you care about, whether you all get to sit at the same dinner table or not. Maybe you can make it even healthier by going out for a nice crisp fall walk or run, perhaps joined by family or friends. Or not! Don't stress if it's just not practical that one day of the year.
Seems like it's a good day to focus on the positive, rather than making it a test of will power that you must not "fail" at. Just one Crab's opinion.
Crabby hopes, however you choose to celebrate it, that Thanksgiving finds you with lots of things to feel grateful about. (And high on Crabby's list of things to feel thankful for is getting to know, at least a little bit, all the wonderful people she's met through the blog!)
So have an awesome Thanksgiving, unless you are from somewhere else and are not celebrating it tomorrow. In that case, have an awesome Thursday!
***IMPORTANT BLOG UPDATE!***
There will actually be a new post up tomorrow (Thursday) and it may even contain an Announcement! So if you're around, please stop by Cranky Fitness to see what's cookin' besides turkey and candied yams with marshmallows.