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Thanksgiving Day is already here! This holiday was originally created to give thanks for the preceding year and the blessing of the harvest. It’s told that Native Americans from the Wampanoag tribe helped the pilgrims at Plymouth, present-day Massachusetts, survive their first year in the Americas. So in the Autumn of 1621, a celebration took place with a holiday feast. Then, a tradition was born and the celebration carried on year after year.

What a wonderful concept!  A holiday celebrating gratitude. Yet, we have moved away from its original tradition nowadays. It seems like we have equated this holiday with a day of just feasting without celebrating its true meaning. It has become a day of overindulgence, without any reflection or commemoration of all the reasons we have to be thankful. For some, it is a day of lethargy; with many spending the day on the couch or watching television. Not to mention, a day of family drama.  And not just drama but outright chaos. A great majority of Americans report conflictive interactions at the Thanksgiving dinner and this is backed up by stats from law enforcement which report this day as a very hectic one.  

Thanksgiving commemorates gratefulness. Maybe this year, we can celebrate this holiday as it was originally intended. Let’s try to celebrate Thanksgiving in a healthier way and with the right attitude! Let’s express our appreciation for all we have and enjoy a healthy delicious meal and the presence of our loved ones!

 

A HEALTHIER THANKSGIVING 

The Food

Since Thanksgiving for most of us is meal-focused, it is important to keep healthy eating in the forefront. By now you may be aware that most commercial foods are not only far from nutritious, but even toxic. Therefore, I strongly encourage you to read labels and cook your meal at home in order to avoid adding unnecessary toxic compounds into your body.   

Here are a few tips:

  • Fruits and vegetables should be organic as much as possible.
  • For the turkey eaters: Keep in mind that the healthiest and tastiest turkeys are 100% organic, free-range, and antibiotics /hormone-free.
  • Try to stay away from regular soda and commercial juices, maybe you can try soda without sodium, sugar, or artificial sweeteners and coloring. Now there are many varieties that taste great.
  • Do not forget to stay hydrated throughout the day and meal. This is essential when you are having alcoholic beverages.

Roasted turkey garnished with cranberries on a rustic style table decoraded with pumpkins, gourds, asparagus, brussel sprouts, baked vegetables, pie, flowers, and candles.

 

It’s not all about the Food!

It is important to reiterate that in order to celebrate Thanksgiving in a healthy manner, the approach should be holistic. In addition to nurturing your body, you should take care of your mind and spirit so you are fully and positively engaged. Gratitude should be the underlying theme of the celebration, along with healthy interactions. For the purpose of embracing the meaning of Thanksgiving day, it is essential to focus on the positives. This approach can change interaction dynamics. The ideal is to stay away from negativity as much as possible and enjoy the opportunity to have a united meal. 

These are a few ideas for your Thanksgiving celebration:

  • The Atmosphere: Place little elegant cards around the house, embracing Thanksgiving themes like “Remaining Thankful,” “Leaving the Negativity Outside,” “Being Grateful,” “Blessed,” “Cherishing the Moment,” or something like that. It may seem silly but this simple gesture can raise the guests’ awareness and stir them in the right direction towards a drama-free Thanksgiving meal!
  • Being Thankful: When you are ready to eat, ask each guest to mention the things that they are grateful for – at least three. 
  • List the Positives: Ask each member at the table to mention positive qualities about the person to their left and their right.
  • Redirect: When hot touchy topics arise, jokingly remind your guests that politics, religion, money, or family conflicts are impolite subjects at the dinner table.
  • Introduce Positive Games and Topics: Keeping guests positively engaged and active deters inactivity. This comes in handy as most of us are over-stuffed after dinner and almost ready to suffer a diabetic coma due to sugar spikes from feasting. So, any kind of movement is always welcome and highly beneficial.
  • Donate: While remaining grateful, it is always great to extend our help to others. It’s a good time to donate to non-profit organizations.  You can even be more proactive and ask your guests if they would like to donate to a charity of their choice.

Having the right focus during this Thanksgiving can make a more connected, healthier, and happier experience for all. Besides enjoying a delicious meal and keeping engaged, this holiday can nurture your body and mind, as well as your relationships. Let’s demonstrate and experience the real tradition of Thanksgiving!!!

To a Fitter Healthier You,

Adriana Albritton

The Fitness Wellness Mentor

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