Tips on how to survive Thanksgiving

It’s almost here…turkey stuffing, overeating, packing your small house full of people and the list goes on. How will you survive this Thanksgiving? We’ve put together some tips that will help you come out of the weekend with your sanity and pants size intact.

Make Ahead Food

If you are the host, you will want to plan your menu in advance. The last thing you need is the added stress of running around last minute because two stores in a row were out of cranberries. Make a menu that allows you to prep ahead of time so that you can actually spend time with friends and family on the day of Thanksgiving. Being shackled to the oven is no fun. One of the easiest thing to make the day before is often dessert. If you can make the dessert ahead of time, your oven timing won’t be quite so tricky.

Hire a Cleaning Service

You may have a full time job, be a full time parent and be in charge of cooking for the entire family at your home…so why add another stressor to the mix? If you can afford to, hire a cleaning service to come in a few days before Thanksgiving to give your house the once over. Then, the day before your guests are arriving, all you need to do is a quick touch up. Your guests will wonder how you have the time to be such a Martha Stewart host!

Eat a Healthy Breakfast

The day of the festivities, it’s especially important not to forget to eat breakfast. Something with lots of protein will help you get through all the morning prep work.

Fill Up at Lunch

Yes, all those traditional Thanksgiving foods are delicious, but skipping lunch in preparation for a heavy calorie dinner is not helping you keep that figure. Eat lots of complex carbs like lentils, brown rice, lots of veggies and a protein. This will ensure that by the time you reach dinner, you are not starving and eat way more than you were planning to. You can prepare your lunch the day before and reheat in your microwave so you don’t have the added stress of lunch to cook for yourself. It’s also a really good idea to prepare meals for your kids the day before so you aren’t dealing with whiny voices, “I’m hunnnnnnngryyyyyyyy!” while you are taking care of more pressing food prep.

Dealing with Picky Eaters

Whether they have legitimate food issues or they are just picky eaters, ask anyone you know who has a food issue to bring with them a dish that they can eat but can also be shared. You are already cooking for a multitude of people, it shouldn’t be up to you to make everything to everyone’s liking. If for any reason, this is not a possibility for them, ask them if they can recommend a recipe at the very least that you can follow that will be ok for them to consume.

You’re a Guest on a Strict Diet

If YOU happen to be the picky eater, then volunteer to bring your own dish and make enough for at least half the number of guests that are coming. Thanksgiving is often full of delicious, but unhealthy and gluten laiden dishes. Pick something you love and share it with the whole table, you never know, you could be the talk of the table!

Use Smaller Plates

Worried about overdoing the calorie count? Use a smaller plate for your portions and don’t go back for seconds. That way, you are able to control your portion sizes a little better.

Consider Inviting Some People Buffers

If your family tends to have arguments when you get together for holidays, but will often be on their best behavior when there are guests, then invite some! We’re not suggesting you throw your friends to the wolves, only invite them if you know your family will behave.

Plan Kid Friendly Activities

If there are a bunch of kids attending your event, don’t just rely on your TV to do the entertaining. Brainstorm some age and weather appropriate activities for the children to participate in. It doesn’t have to last long, it just has to keep them busy for a little bit so you can get your work done and the other adults have some time to talk. Once the kids are done the activities, set them free to do whatever they want until dinner.

Take a Walk

If the weather is on your side, excuse yourself or sneak out for at least fifteen minutes of alone time. This will leave you refreshed and give you the sanity to deal with whatever else the day has to offer.

Best of luck with your Thanksgiving this year! We hope you take the time to truly reflect on all the good things in your life. Gobble-gobble!

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