Thanksgiving is right around the corner. In fact, the grocery store was packed today with shoppers getting ready for the big meal.
Notice I said “big”. Thanksgiving for most of us means both large varieties and large quantities of food… often more than can fit on a plate. But that’s okay, because you can always go back for seconds... or thirds. My memories of Thanksgiving always include pushing back from the table at the end of the meal feeling stuffed—uncomfortably stuffed—because, well, that’s just what we do on Thanksgiving, right?
But why? Why eat to the point of feeling uncomfortably full?
I remember the first year I realized I could enjoy Thanksgiving, savor the food, and not overeat. I just ate portion sizes that I usually eat and stopped when I felt satisfied. I enjoyed it just as much—maybe even more—because I ate to the point of feeling energized instead of eating until I was stuffed, lethargic, and needed to unbutton the top button of my pants so I could breathe!
Thanksgiving dinner often includes foods we look forward to every year: stuffing and gravy, pumpkin and pecan pies—yum! I’m not suggesting you deprive yourself of the foods you love… I’m inviting you to try eating a little more mindfully this year. Think of it as an experiment. You can still have some of everything you like, but just take smaller portions.
Before you take your first bite, take a couple of deep, relaxing breaths. There’s no hurry, you can relax and fully enjoy this meal and your family and friends you are sharing it with. Take in the aroma and all the wonderful scents—this will get your digestive juices flowing!
When you take your first bite of each food, notice the taste, the texture, and the flavor. Is it smooth, crunchy, savory or sweet? Take time to chew and savor each bite. Put your fork down and take a breath now and then. Remember, there’s no hurry. And to help your digestion even more, take a walk after eating if the weather permits.
Enjoy a delightful, mindful meal. And I wish you all a wonderful, relaxing Thanksgiving!