Healthy Thanksgiving: A Cheat Sheet For Busy Brides

Healthy Thanksgiving? Is that an oxymoron? Fortunately it’s not, and if you’re feeling nervous that the holidays will ruin your healthy-bride routine I am happy to tell you that it’s time to let that worry go.

Today I’ll walk you through a healthy Thanksgiving game plan that will have you licking your plate and help you feel amazing the next day.


Healthy Thanksgiving | mindbodybride


My first Thanksgiving was in 2010 when I visited America for the first time with Nate (my then boyfriend, now husband). As an Australian I had never seen so much food laid out for one meal before. Because I didn’t know what to expect, I didn’t have a game plan and when I emerged from my food coma I wondered what had hit me.

Since then I’ve come up with a Thanksgiving strategy that helps me feel great before, during and after the festivities.

Healthy Thanksgiving Cheat Sheet ~ mindbodybride

1. Boost your metabolism and mood with a morning workout.

Not only is exercise important for your physical health, it’s a natural stress buster. Challenging your cardiovascular system makes you breathe deeper and increases blood flow to the lungs and heart leaving you feeling alert, awake, and ready to tackle that turkey.

You Could:

  • Sign up for the local Turkey Trot
  • Take a walk or run through your neighborhood with your hubby-to-be
  • Join me for an online workout video that you can do in the warm comfort of your own home


Download Your Free Workout Calendar


2. Think About Lunch When You’re Eating Breakfast

Think about your main meal for Thanksgiving Day. Consider what’s on offer and all of the things you’re likely to try – does the thought of mac and cheese make you weak at the knees? Do you secretly love pumpkin pie more than your fiancé?

If so, balance lunch with a nutrient-dense breakfast that will leave plenty of room for treats. An ideal breakfast is low in sugar, refined carbohydrates, and excess fat.

Try This:

Scramble eggs, green vegetables, mushrooms and herbs. The protein and healthy fat from the egg will keep you satiated and minimize snacking throughout the morning. The green vegetables and herbs are alkalizing and detoxifying, and the mushrooms provide a good dose of the anti-inflammatory mineral selenium.

Healthy Thanksgiving | mindbodybride

3. Eat Whatever You Want

My clients often tell me that they struggle with food at holiday parties. Either they don’t allow themselves to eat any treats, or they go overboard and end up bingeing.

By saying you can’t / won’t / shouldn’t eat certain foods you’re setting yourself up for failure … the forbidden fruit is always the sweetest after all.

Ditch the all-or-nothing attitude. A healthy Thanksgiving includes trusting that your body knows what to eat and when to stop.

One slice of pumpkin pie, one serve of mac and cheese, or one scoop of creamy dreamy mashed potatoes won’t derail your long term bridal health plans. By savoring and enjoying these foods without guilt you are far less likely to overeat.

How To:

  • Start by deciding what treats you really want. Calories aside, you don’t want to waste your appetite on foods you don’t care about.
  • Eat mindfully. Put the food on a plate and eat slowly, and without distraction.
  • Don’t stand near the dessert table. It’s too easy to nibble without awareness when you’re leaning against the buffet.

4. Wrap It Up

I recommend taking a walk after lunch. This time blocks the meal and stops the afternoon from turning into one long graze-fest. Getting some cold, fresh air will re-energize you and give your metabolism a little boost.

The morning after Thanksgiving is the perfect time to return to your normal eating and exercise habits.

Image: Pinterest

5. Be Thankful

Thanksgiving would be just another meal if not for the giving of thanks. Instead of getting caught up in the feeding frenzy, remember that the holiday is more about gratitude than gluttony.

Nourish your soul throughout the day by thinking, writing or speaking about all that you have to be grateful for from the past, the present, and the magical moments that lay ahead.

Now I’d love to hear from you!

What’s your number one tip for feeling healthy and relaxed on Thanksgiving Day? Share it with the MBB community in the comments below.

Yours with stuffing and kisses,

Jennifer Dene

P.S. Want a little more healthy inspiration? Check out my healthy Thanksgiving sides makeover article on The Overwhelmed Bride.

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2 Responses to Healthy Thanksgiving: A Cheat Sheet For Busy Brides

  1. Jennifer Dene! You are spot-on with your suggestions. I love the idea of Thanksgiving being about thankfulness and gratitude; not about eating. Keeping that in mind will help me stay on track, keep portions small and stay away from foods I really don’t like (green bean casserole – bleh). Why waste the calories!? Happy Thanksgiving to you and Nate!

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