Thanksgiving is my very favorite holiday, hands down. Perhaps it’s because I usually host this holiday and I love to entertain guests. Perhaps it’s because this holiday is all about food, which I’m fairly passionate about. Or perhaps it’s because the Thanksgiving holiday doesn’t subject us to weeks of social engagements, shopping, wrapping, decorating and a general assault on the senses. It’s simple and heart-centered – a celebration of all that we have to be grateful for.
Whether or not you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner, here is a list of ten ways to create a Wellegant™ Thanksgiving holiday…in other words, one that supports you in feeling great and enjoying all of the pleasures of this beautiful day:
- Begin the day with a leisurely and balanced breakfast. For those of us who are either hosting or travelling on Thanksgiving, it’s easy to start running from the moment our feet hit the ground. If it’s at all possible, begin the day by treating yourself to a balanced breakfast and the time to sit and savor it. Pour a cup of your favorite coffee or tea, turn on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, chat with a friend or family member, or enjoy a little solitude – do whatever helps you begin the day pleasantly and mindfully.
- Get outside and move for a little while. If the weather permits it, enjoy a little outdoor time – a walk, run or some other activity that gets some fresh air in your lungs. It will provide you with energy and get those endorphins (the ‘feel good’ hormones) flowing!
- If you’re hosting, plan your tablescape (nothing too complicated) and set the table before the guests arrive. Here are some creative tablescape ideas, which might inspire you!
- Make sure there is at least one healthy appetizer option and eat more of that. I love apps and always partake in them, but I try not to overdo it (not always easy, I know!). I find that there’s almost always at least one healthy option – crudites and dip, cocktail shrimp, roasted peppers, etc. – and I try to eat more of that than the richer, heavier apps. Occasionally, If I’m going to someone else’s house and I’m not sure that there will be lighter fare, I’ll bring it myself.
- Forego the bread. With so many wonderful dishes, I find it pretty easy to skip the bread basket on Thanksgiving. Bread is something that’s readily available to most of us, so why not indulge in something on Thanksgiving that’s more of a special treat, like stuffing!
- Take time between courses to relax, digest and connect. Sometimes the nicest conversations take place in my kitchen while some of the guests and I clear the dishes or on the couch, as we gather around the football game on television. It’s nice to step away from the table and take a breather between courses, so that you can chat and give the body time to digest.
- Dress in a chic but comfortable outfit. While I do NOT recommend dressing in yoga pants and elastic waistbands of any kind, this is also not the time for evening wear and sky-high heels. Whether you’re hosting or not, chances are you’ll spend a good part of the day in the kitchen and moving around. Choose an outfit that both feels comfortable and looks stylish.
- Choose a couple of nice wines to serve. Confer with your favorite wine merchant ahead of time (many wine shops host wine tastings around this time of year) and select a couple of wines that pair well with the meal. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are generally recommended, as they pair well with turkey. Have fun selecting the wines and, perhaps, trying some new ones.
- Savor a favorite dessert. No need for guilt. This is a special occasion and indulging in a favorite dessert is entirely appropriate. The thing is…savor it. Don’t scarf it down quickly and then move on to the next pie or cake. That’s when we cross the line from indulging to OVERindulging. That’s also where the self-imposed shame and guilt come into the picture. When we take time to choose consciously, eat slowly and mindfully, and focus on this sensory experience, we experience more pleasure and are much more satisfied.
- Express gratitude. You might wish to prepare and deliver a toast or simply say a heartfelt thank you to your host and/or those who contributed to the meal. Each of us has our own individual style, but let’s not pass up this incredible opportunity to acknowledge and appreciate the blessings in our lives and the people who love and support us.
And at this time, I’d like to express my heartfelt gratitude to those of you who read this blog and the many people who have supported me in creating it. I’m honored to be able to connect with you all in this way and I hope to support you, as we cultivate lives of vitality, pleasure, passion and purpose.
Many thanks and have a wonderful, Wellegant™ Thanksgiving!