Five Ideas for a Guilt-Free Thanksgiving
For many of the vigilant, health-conscious eaters out there, we know you have thought ahead – maybe even made a list – of food you can, can’t, should, or shouldn’t eat at all the holiday meals and catering experiences coming up.
Even though you’ve navigated more than 1,000 meals (assuming three meals a day) this year – come November – the “healthy diet” tradition encourages you to reframe food as the enemy.
We have a different take on what makes a guilt-free Thanksgiving.
Can we encourage you to shift your perspective?
In the true holiday spirit, we gift you the right to toss any good and bad food lists for a guilt-free Thanksgiving. Don’t even “check it twice” because there’s no such thing as “naughty or nice” when it comes to your plate.
Of course, let’s not be foolish: if you have a medical dietary restriction or food allergy, you MUST be wise.
But this isn’t about actual reasons to withhold specific food from your diet. We are talking about the self-imposed stress, guilt, and worry from unnecessary and harsh boundaries you apply to your food consumption throughout the holiday season.
Because here’s the truth:
One indulgent feast won’t affect your long-term health.
This November, we invite you to enjoy a guilt-free Thanksgiving. And we remind you to savor the holiday meals and catering experiences you’ll share with your family and friends. In other words, show yourself the fullness of grace you afford others you love.
- Should you eat mindfully? Yes.
- Should you be intentional in what you select? Yes.
Also? The words mindful and intentional do not equal “diet.”
Instead, they can mean that you intend to fully embrace the freedom of enjoying all the foods that symbolize family, festivity, and friendship to you.
Plenty of studies indicate chronic stress and worry take more toll on our overall health than our food choices. And, it isn’t news to anyone that chronic stress can cause us to overeat.
Indulging in a slice of your aunt’s coconut cake or your sister’s skillet cornbread stuffing shouldn’t be a source of stress. Receive it with gratitude, knowing they prepared their dishes with love, so eat, enjoy, and let them know how much you appreciate their dishes!
Easier said than done, so how do we ditch the food guilt?
We know that ditching the food guilt and stress throughout your holiday meals and catering events is a feat of its own. So, we’ve listed five ideas to help you integrate some helpful boundaries, enjoy the fullness of the holiday, and stay present with your loved ones.
Idea #1: Spend time with your family – not in the kitchen
Remember that scene from Christmas Vacation where Clark Griswold stumbles upon old video footage of previous years?
You can do the same alongside your family and friends (but perhaps not in the attic). Go through old photo albums, find family home movies, and dust off that VHS player, or have everyone get out their phones and showcase photos and videos they love from the past year.
The point? Take time to truly catch up and savor the moment.
Idea #2: Eat the foods you’ve waited for all year long.
Speaking of savoring, we invite you to fully experience the foods and desserts that epitomize that “coming home” feeling.
When you think about Thanksgiving through the years, what foods do you fondly remember diving into each holiday season?
There’s a reason we gather about the table for meals. It’s a time to associate all those savory flavors with the family and friends you enjoy them with each year.
Idea #3: Slow down time – yes, it’s possible!
Take time this Thanksgiving to deeply consider your values and blessings. Ask yourself:
- What makes festive gatherings like this so incredibly special?
- What do you want to experience and indulge in – more than just food – this holiday season?
- What made this past year uniquely valuable – and how do you want to continue integrating that value into your life in the upcoming year?
Reflecting, meditating, and giving authentic and intentional thanks is a great way to remain mindful and present throughout the day and, yes, slow down the ordinarily frenzied holiday gatherings!
Idea #4: Start a new tradition or revive old ones.
As a child, did you gleefully watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade each year? Do you remember playing board games with your cousins after the feast was over? Did your family get outside to toss a football around? Revive old traditions from your childhood and pass them on to the younger generations at this year’s gatherings. Or, start new traditions entirely!
Idea #5: Get some delicious and guilt-free Thanksgiving support.
If you don’t already know, you can make it easy on yourself by letting us tackle your holiday starters, sides, and desserts with our holiday meals and catering services.
When you allow a personal chef to plan, purchase and prepare all your meal’s side dishes, you can focus on the pièce de résistance – the bird – and spend the rest of your time in relationships and creating new memories with your loved ones.
Regardless of how you choose to experience the holidays, remember this: There is no need for you to invite guilt or stress to your Thanksgiving table. Especially not when you can celebrate with joy and gratitude instead.
Gather and Enjoy
Appreciate the ability to enjoy good food, quality conversation
and life's sweetest moments!
Stay Up To Date
Subscribe to our newsletter to receive cooking tips, recipes and the latest news and updates with About the Table!