Thanksgiving is kind of like a pregame holiday — everyone in the house starts cooking different dishes at 8 a.m., relatives fly across the country to visit loved ones and, more often than not, you end up with more food than could fit on the table. Considering the chaos that comes with the holidays, everyone could use some tips to survive the food comas and crazy family reunions that Thanksgiving brings.
Take your time with eating.
With all the delicious smoked ham, sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce, it can be tempting to wolf down your meal. But post-dinner food babies are often a result from eating too much food quickly, so pace yourself.
Know your food limit.
Everyone says “know your limit” when it comes to alcohol consumption, but there are limits when it comes to eating as well (as surprising as that may sound). Thanksgiving food is so scrumptious that you don’t mind going back for multiple servings, even when you feel like you just went up a size in pants. But once you feel full, remember you don’t have to eat more — no matter how many servings Grandma keeps putting on your plate.
Heavy drinks such as juice and beer make you feel full faster. Water isn’t only a good palate cleanser, but it also helps with your digestion and leaves enough room in your stomach for second rounds. If you want to drink something sweet, cranberry juice is a healthy alternative.
Exercise the next morning.
Exercise is always the best way to recover after an overdose of calories and sugar. Before hitting the gym in the morning, eat a light breakfast and go hit those cardio machines!
When a dozen cousins, your grandparents, family friends and distant relatives you didn’t even know existed show up, it can be overwhelming. There’s no better time to catch up with your loved ones than during a meal, but this also means you should prepare to have a bunch of questions thrown at you. If you start to feel flustered and stressed from hosting dinner, take a deep breath and remind yourself to make the most out of the time you have with your family.
Take time to remember all the things you’re thankful for.
As you sit with your gratitude (and new food baby), remember to give your family and friends an extra hug, thanking them for their endless love. After all, Thanksgiving isn’t only a great excuse to eat gluttonously and take time off from work and school, but it’s also a time to pause and reflect on all the blessings you have. That’s what Thanksgiving is all about.
Contact Claudia Marie Huynh at [email protected].