Healthy Holiday Eating – and More Healthy Breakfast Challenge Updates

It’s US Thanksgiving this week so I’m sure, as usual, many of my friends to the south are getting ready to wear their stretchy pants.

However, there’s no need to wear your stretchy pants if you’re equipped with some healthy eating strategies to ensure that you don’t go overboard during the holidays.

Thanksgiving and other holidays are almost always linked to overeating, and that’s why people go into ‘food comas’ after the meal, or require elastic waistbands, or gain weight during the holiday season.

It’s just ONE MEAL, so although it’s a special meal due to the amount of effort that goes into cooking it, and the people you’re sharing with, it’s still just a meal. So treat it as if it is. Eat as much as you would eat at a regular meal, and:

  • Slow down. Eat slowly and savour each bite, and you probably won’t feel the need to go for seconds. Your body needs around 20 minutes for satiety signals to kick in, so that’s how long you will need to know if you’re still hungry or not.
  • Enjoy the company. That really is what makes Thanksgiving and the holidays special – being with the people you love. So spend more time enjoying the company and less enjoying the food.
  • Careful what you drink. Drinking excessively calorific drinks leaves little room for indulging in your favourite foods, so try to stick to one glass of wine or juice with dinner and otherwise drink water.

Dr. Wendy Bazilian has said that studies show that people who fast prior to arriving for a Thanksgiving meal go straight for the fat – fried, heavy and rich foods, and therefore end up eating at least one third more calories than they would have otherwise.

So, don’t starve yourself to ‘save room’ for the big meal. Just treat it like any other day. I promise that you won’t be suffering for it – you won’t miss out! There will be leftovers galore and honestly, even if you don’t eat all of your favourites on Thanksgiving Day, they will be on the table again at Christmas, and next year, and the year after that…so don’t go into a “now or never” mentality, as that is always a guaranteed way to overeat!

Also, here are some healthy vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes, courtesy of The Guiltless Life’s recipe archive, to enjoy on Thanksgiving Day:

APPETIZERS

MAIN COURSES

DESSERTS

One surefire way of not overeating is to eat as you always do leading up to the meal. I know many people eat Thanksgiving meal around mid-afternoon, so make sure you fuel up with a healthy breakfast to keep you satiated and help you avoid overeating at the main meal.

Here are some healthy breakfasts the #HealthyBreakfastChallenge participants have been sending in to give you some ideas…

Lucie at Fit Swiss Chick has sent in:

  • Spinach-tomato omelet with low-fat Swiss cheese

Courtesy of Fit Swiss Chick

  • Eggs and greens

Courtesy of Fit Swiss Chick

  • Choco-apple quinoa with low-fat plain yogurt and almond butter

Courtesy of Fit Swiss Chick

  • Paleo oatless pumpkin oatmeal with coconut and walnuts

Courtesy of Fit Swiss Chick

Nadja (on Twitter) has sent in:

  • Overnight oats with a mashed banana

  • Oats and berries

  • Oats and fruit

  • Oats with yogurt, banana and a dash of cinnamon

Elle at We Can Begin to Feed has sent in:

  • Oatmeal and quinoa breakfast bake

Courtesy of We Can Begin to Feed

  • Banana omelet with natural peanut butter and an orange

Courtesy of We Can Begin to Feed

  • Eggs oat scramble with lean ham, grated cheese, tomato and grapefruit

Courtesy of We Can Begin to Feed

  • A mixture of flax, hemp, chia, raisins, coconut, almonds, banana and almond milk

Courtesy of We Can Begin to Feed

  • Eggs and oats with veggies and grapefruit slices (recipe here)

Courtesy of We Can Begin to Feed

  • Pumpkin protein cake with yogurt

Courtesy of We Can Begin to Feed

Karey at Nutty About Health sent in:

  • Banana ‘n’ Cream Dream French Toast (recipe here)

Courtesy of Nutty About Health

  • Pumpkin pancakes with raisins, sugar-free maple syrup, cinnamon raisin peanut butter and frothy coffee

Courtesy of Nutty About Health

  • Stuffed apple cinnamon ‘n’ cream French toast with peanut butter and fat-free cream cheese (recipe here)

Courtesy of Nutty About Health

Claire at Flake and Cake sent in:

  • Blackcurrant yogurt with fresh strawberries – an on-the-go breakfast

Courtesy of Flake and Cake

PS. Get entering the Healthy Breakfast Challenge NOW! There will be a giveaway coming up for those readers who have participated in the challenge, and you don’t want to miss it!

PPS I’ve linked this post up at Healthy Diva Eats’ Marvelous in My Monday link party – even if I am a bit late to it! Check out the other posts here!

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Comments

  1. Karey at Nutty About Health says:

    Wow, great post Anna! Thanks for all of the healthy recipes, although I’ll be eating brunch out with my family for Thanksgiving…. I’ll be sure to keep all of your healthy tips in mind – plus, have my healthy breakfast first. 😉

    Thanks again for including me in your post!

  2. Great ideas here and all the pictures are fabulous. Thanks for including me!

  3. to me, slowing down is the key. this is something i constantly struggle with. but you can’t do this if you are starving – so i always at a good solid breakfast on thankgiving day and a light snack and hour or so before the big meal. that way i can maintain control! or at least have a better shot at it!

    • YES I definitely agree. That’s part of why I recommend enjoying your company more. I find that when I’m involved in a really scintillating conversation I eat less, I’m more focused on the conversation, so I slow down with my eating.

  4. Thank you so much for including me! mmm, these recipes all sound so delicious….I think I have to organize a Thanksgiving just for them! 🙂 We do not celebrate Thanksgiving over here but christmas will be here soon and there I will take advantage of your tips, thank you!!

  5. You always have great detail in your posts! This is a another great one! The holidays can always throw me off track, but I love your points. Especially the slowing down. It’s ok to enjoy the day and enjoy the company that you are with! 🙂
    Great recipes as always!
    Have a great day!

  6. It’s so important to remember that the holidays are about family and friends and less focus should be on food! 🙂

  7. So many of those breakfasts are very pretty – think I need to up my game ;)! Thanks so much for the Thanksgiving tips, although we don’t celebrate it here I’ll be saving them for Christmas!!

  8. Hey! I’ve posted a Headstand How-To, inspired by your comment. Maybe it will encourage your practice!
    http://becominganandi.com/2012/11/21/how-to-headstand/

  9. Great post, Anna! What really helps me keep the holidays healthy is knowing that so many other bloggers and readers are trying to do the same. It’s such wonderful motivation! All these breakfasts look delicious!

  10. i really have to take better pictures ‘coz they look soo ugly haha. Anyways, thanks for your tips for the holiday, as i also have my exams in one month, it’s going to be hard to stay healthy…

Trackbacks

  1. […] if you’re interested in some healthy Thanksgiving tips, check out Anna’s blog, The Guiltless Life.  She made a great post about how to enjoy Thanksgiving & also featured yours truly in her […]

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