This is my good friend, nutritionist and funny woman, Shira Lenchewski! She has a vast knowledge of food, nutrition AND the foodie brain! Like, she knows when I’m going to crave carbs way before I do! How?! I love this chick for a million reasons… her naughty sense of humor and her ride or die-ness girlfriend style to name a couple…but today she’s getting a bit more… serious…shall we say? Today, she’s wiping you free of that Thanksgiving food guilt and helping you gear up to get through the holidays in the healthiest way possible!
Look, there’s a good chance you overate during Thanksgiving (it’s not called Elastic Waistband Thursday for nothing). I’m here to tell you the most productive thing you can do is move on. It may come as a surprise, a nutritionist talking about an indulgent holiday without summoning guilt. It’s because you shouldn’t feel guilty. I’m a firm believer that at the most basic level food is nourishment and pleasure. And you can’t live a happy, healthy life without both. It doesn’t mean every day is a free-for-all, but it does mean letting yourself enjoy the foods you love, as long as you do it sensibly. Hopefully you enjoyed every morsel you ate, but even if you didn’t…onward and upward.
The December holidays are rapidly approaching and let it be known, I’m no Grinch. So here are some of my tips that don’t suck, for the coming month:
- Speaking of elastic waistbands…I recommend against them during mealtimes. While there’s nobody who loves a modal/spandex blend more than me (Haylie can vouch for this one!) – I recommend putting on real pants for meals. Form-fitting clothing can make you more conscious of how full you really are, so it’s not as easy to overeat.
- Ditch added sugar for 2 weeks. As we know, the holidays will be here in no time, and you should absolutely enjoy your favorite seasonal foods in moderation, including your favorite treats. But in order to avoid feeling like you overdid it come January, I recommend going sans added sugar until the Winter holidays get here. This doesn’t mean cutting out healthy carbs like a piece of fruit, and 1/2 a sweet potato. I’m talking about added sugar in coffee, in salad dressings, and nut butters (where it doesn’t need to be)…so be sure to check labels.
- Resist the urge to skip meals. After big meals like Thanksgiving, and the subsequent cleanse talk, people tend to consider something drastic and punishing like skipping meals. I’m here to tell you it doesn’t work because it sets the body up for intense cravings and an insatiable appetite, leaving you headed to binge-town. Instead, I recommend forgiving yourself and getting serious about portions.
- Amp up your water intake. It may seem counterintuitive when you’re feeling over-stuffed but it actually helps big time. Drinking more water helps your kidneys excrete excess salt and fluids after a big meal. I recommend hitting 2L if you can.
- Walk walk walk. The post-Thanksgiving exercise narrative really bums me out because it always includes lists of foods and the corresponding workouts required to burn them off. It’s a bummer because it frames the meal like a free-for-all and encourages guilt. Instead, I’m all about getting a good walk in daily to help digestion and keep bloat at bay.
xo Shira Lenchewski
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