You know how most women's magazines tell you to carefully consider your portions on Thanksgiving and stick to, like, gravy-free breast meat and raw Brussels sprouts for your holiday feast? With maybe, like, an apple for dessert? Well, it's my official stance that, on Thanksgiving, you should pig the heck out. Forget this "here's how many calories are in green bean casserole" business, because that's going to make you miserable. There are tons of ways to be healthy on Thanksgiving that have nothing to do with the calorie count of what's on the table, because good self-care is so much more than that.
Let's be real: The holidays can be stressful as hell. Trying to take steps to be healthy on Thanksgiving — without disordered or negative thinking come into play — is like an emotional insurance policy for the rest of the year. If you can survive the day without getting into a fight about politics, or drinking too much, or flipping the bird at another driver while stuck in traffic, you'll probably also manage to keep your cool on Christmas and New Year's. Here are some ways you can keep up a healthful attitude while still stuffing your face with that insane marshmallow-topped sweet potato casserole your aunt always makes:
1. Actually Think About What You're Grateful For
That's what the holiday is all about, after all, and practicing gratitude makes you happier — plain and simple. Try and write out a list of 100 things you're grateful for. It can be as simple as "my apartment" or "the existence of Nora Ephron."
2. Go For a Walk
Or play touch football, or chase your little cousins around the house. You have the day off of work on a Thursday! Do you really want to spend it sitting down? Bonus: It will help you work up an appetite.
3. Enjoy the Feast
As I mentioned above, you shouldn't restrict what you're eating on Thanksgiving, in my opinion. It's also worth it to be mindful about eating — not in the sense of "does this have too many carbs," but in the sense of "do I enjoy this?" If you find yourself eating past the point of enjoyment, well, you're a grownass adult, which means you don't have to clean you plate if you don't want to. There are plenty of other ways to have fun.
4. Drink Lots and Lots of Water
Nothing worse than having indigestion on a very full stomach. Plus, if your family is anything like mine, you'll be drinking a lot of booze on Thanksgiving — keep that under control so you're not the one starting conversations about politics at the dinner table.
5. Try a New Recipe
Unless you're hosting the dinner, you'll probably be on side dish duty — why not take the opportunity to try a new recipe or technique? It's hard to eat your veggies in the winter, so consider this an easy way in.
6. Practice Koselig
Apparently, Norwegian people fend off seasonal depression by emphasizing the coziness of the winter months — something known as koselig. A holiday feast is the perfect time to get cozy — light a fire, snuggle with your family under blankets, watch the Macy's Parade, and feel happy.
Instead of getting into fights with your family over Donald Trump, why not excuse yourself and meditate instead? It couldn't hurt.