Thanksgiving Day was so nice with my family, and I was able to mentally prepare for the meal partially because a few folks in our family have recently gone vegan. Not eating dairy or meat or eggs meant they had to use spicing, soy, and a little magic to make some truly amazing fruit, veggie, and whole grain dishes. The quinoa cakes were to die for, and of course I dug into the green bean casserole. I aimed for 75% of my plate to be filled up with fruits, veggies, or whole grains, and I did it! I am no vegan (ate some of that tasty grilled turkey for sure), but I love getting my proportions a little skewed toward plants.
That being said… AFTER Thanksgiving is when the real trouble starts for me. I’m pretty well-versed in making great plates, but I am still a child when it comes to resisting plates of dip and chips, piles of cookies, cheese trays, and more. Snacking is something I do with relish when there are just one or two options, but I get overwhelmed and make pretty poor choices when (like at the holidays) there are options to eat all the time.
No judgment for snacking aficionados – I am one! That being said, I’ve developed a few guidelines that I hope will carry me through the season:
- A Taste is Fine: One of my great joys is trying new things, so I’m never going to deny myself one almond, one cracker, one cube of bacon cheddar. If I aim for a diverse group of tiny tastes, I will still make a moderate dent rather than a full stomach.
- Load Up on Veggies When I Know I’m Craving: I try, these days, to be the person who brings the veggie tray and a big container of fruit salad, because I know I want to be able to mindlessly nosh on something that will only benefit me. I take much longer to finish a tiny plate of raw broccoli than the same plate piled with fudge, so it also takes up some party chitchat time.
- Forgive and Forget… Focus on Good Memories! I know that my Thanksgiving week was punctuated by some serious splurges on French onion dip and peanut butter bites, but I refuse to let them make me feel guilty and wrong. I don’t want the holidays to feel like a time of scarcity, but rather just want to establish some general thoughts for myself in the midst of the snack abundance. If one or two days go south… I’ll forget them as soon as I can, and dwell instead on the great times with friends and loved ones.