The other day I was asked which dessert was best to eat at the Thanksgiving meal, the pecan pie or the pumpkin pie. Giving the standard healthy answer based on the least fat and calories I answered the pumpkin pie. I love a pumpkin pie – it’s creaminess, the hint of pumpkin and it’s the perfect bit of sweetness without being too sweet. That being said, I am rethinking my answer.
Maybe pumpkin pie is not your favorite. Maybe you don’t really appreciate the simplicity of it or the flaky crust. Maybe you really, really like the oozy, gooey pecan pie – and especially if it is warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. If that is the case, then why waste your time and calories on the pumpkin pie if you don’t absolutely love it? So, unless everything is completely equal, I am changing my answer. I am going to say eat the dessert that you absolutely love. Eat what will make you feel happy, warm, thankful and satisfied with your once a year Thanksgiving meal.
This is not the time to stress about what you are going to eat or not eat. I’ve done that enough for all of us, and it doesn’t help a single bit. In fact, it just takes the enjoyment out of a wonderful, festive holiday that you only get an opportunity to experience one time every year.
I am telling you not to worry about “being good” or only having one bite, or only eating the healthy things that are offered. I am telling you to enjoy your day. This is a day about food and how it brings us together and gives us an opportunity to slow down, sit at a table dressed up for Fall, and truly appreciate the time and effort required for such a feast. It is the one day that is simply about being thankful and appreciating good food. So many of us are all so blessed to have such a wonderful opportunity.
Here is the next thing I’m going to tell you. Don’t worry about it! Don’t you dare say, “I’ve blown it!” feel bad if your pants are a wee bit tighter on Thursday evening or the next morning. Don’t get on the scales and don’t say one negative word.
So what if you enjoyed some good food and your pants are tight. One holiday meal is not going to ruin you. Most of the time you are making the best choices. Most of the time you are moving and exercising and drinking tons of water, eating a salad and getting in lots of steps and eating your kale. Most of the time you feel great about your choices and your healthy lifestyle. Just keep it up . . . before and after this one wonderful day of feasting.
If you normally follow the 80/20 or 90/10 rule you are setting yourself up for success. If that is the case you are also setting yourself up to enjoy a treat, a dessert, a glass of wine. You are deciding what makes you feel good, what you really love, and you are making that choice to enjoy.
Nutritionist Keri Glassman calls this “empowered eating”.
Thinking about my Thanksgiving meal, I am already planning on what I am going to really and truly enjoy. I am going to take those bites and enjoy and savor them. I haven’t quite decided on which dessert I’ll be preparing and enjoy this Thanksgiving, but you can bet that it is going to be delicious and worth every single bite. I am going to just have it and enjoy it!
The trick is to realize it is just one day and not have your one fabulous feasting day turn into another, and another and another . . . .
What is your favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal? Are you a pumpkin or pecan pie kind of person? Or is there something else you wait for all year long?
Enjoy Your Day!