Food is often what attracts you to a gathering, but it’s the people that cause you to stay. The Thanksgiving feast is based on decades old traditions yet ever evolving and new traditions are always made.
If 2020 has taught us anything it is that we are in the middle of a significant culture shift – ultimately becoming more aware and concerned about health, the environment, and the treatment of our fellow human beings.
With Covid placing a microscope over the way we live our daily lives, now is the time for establishing new healthier traditions.
The Food – carbs, sugar, and deep fried turkey?
Does your Thanksgiving include different variations of bread, potatoes, and sweets with a fried turkey thrown in as the “traditional” protein?
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Food is a necessity. We expect a great deal from our bodies, and if they are going to do everything we need them to, we need to fuel them properly. Good nutritious food can be a gratifying way to give back to our bodies, even during the holidays.
For many families playing a family football game or going for an after dinner walk is a common thanksgiving day tradition. That and bonding with your family and friends is much more fun than what is culturally referred to as the food coma.
A healthier Thanksgiving meal make all of these things much accessible.
You don’t need to change the entire menu in one year, but what if you were to add or replace one item with something healthy your family already enjoys eating?
How to respond to food “bullies” and those who struggle with change?
Changing up tradition can be hard, and thanks to Covid we have already had so many of our routines altered this year. However, there is a big difference between someone being resistant to change and someone being a bully.
If you struggle with a member of your tribe who regularly has an opinion about how much or how little you eat, then you may be dealing with a food bully.
These statements can be hurtful, and while they may come from good intentions, there are much kinder and healthier ways to say them. Remember, the holidays are about bonding and good will.
If you bring a new food into the family and someone has negative comments or emotions about your efforts, respond to them with love. Ask them about their reasons for resisting the variation. Express how to you this change is positive. Share your desire to include others in your journey. Provide them with opportunities to enjoy traditional favorites and at the same time encourage them to begin implementing their own changes.
When we acknowledge other people’s feelings it is easier to get them to open up to the new challenges. Let’s acknowledge it one more time, the holidays are meant to be a joyous time. We can and should focus on that and remember to embrace the precious time we have with family and friends.