How to Have a Healthy Thanksgiving

Eat pie and give thanks Thanksgiving illustration

Gluten-free stuffing recipes aside, Thanksgiving is a day to celebrate and (as the name implies) give thanks. One of my favorite ways to show gratitude is by honoring my body, savoring what’s on my plate (literally and figuratively), and making happy, healthy decisions.

Below are a few great ways to savor this fall holiday and enjoy a guilt-free, feel-good Thanksgiving.

Participate in a Turkey Trot

These races range anywhere from a mile to a 10k. Run, jog, or walk with friends, family, and pets for a healthy Thanksgiving morning activity.

Spend Time Outdoors

Enjoy an early morning Thanksgiving day hike, or take a relaxing jog around your neighborhood. Try to prioritize your outdoor activity for first thing in the morning so that the craziness of trying to prepare dinner and entertain guests doesn’t dissuade you from logging a little mileage.

Eat Well

Of all the days in the year, Thanksgiving is NOT the day to totally restrict yourself. If you’re on a meal plan, call it a cheat day and enjoy some of your holiday favorites. (P.S. This doesn’t mean you should eat everything in sight.) Don’t mindlessly snack on appetizers all day before dinner, but if Mom’s pumpkin pie (that she only makes once a year) is your jam, enjoy it! Be thankful for the opportunity to eat, drink, and spend time with friends and family, and remind yourself: #yolo.

Healthify Your Meal Plan

Whether you’re the host, or you’re contributing a side dish to the feast, try making a new, healthier recipe that focus on seasonal goodness. Try a vegetarian-friendly stuffing accentuated with kale and butternut squash, opt for lots of roasted veggie dishes, like brussels sprouts, roasted carrots, or cauliflower puree, and minimize anything processed or from a box.

Enjoy a Nourishing Breakfast

Before the flurry of Thanksgiving day cooking and entertaining, sit down to a balanced, nutrient-filled breakfast. Whether that’s a green juice and some avocado toast, or some scrambled egg whites, fruit, and veggies, focus on a satisfying, healthy breakfast to give your body the energy it needs for the day, as well as counteract some less-than-perfect meal decisions you might make later on in the day.

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