Navigating a Holiday Dinner

A holiday dinner waiting to be enjoyed. Unsplash - Jed Owen

When trying to eat well and faced with a holiday dinner, such as Thanksgiving, you may be wondering, “what am I going to be able to eat!?” It is important to approach holiday dinners more mindfully. Bringing stress, worry and inner conflict to any meal will ruin it. In fact, those are the worst ingredients to add to a meal. So let’s just change our mindset and use these 10 helpful tips to bring joy and gratitude to this holiday time.

10 Helpful Tips to Bring Joy and Gratitude:

1. Go to (or have!) a holiday dinner

with the intention of wanting to have a great time, celebrate, have connections, enjoy the company, enjoy some favorite holiday recipes and leave feeling really good. Don’t you think that’s better than going with the worry and stress about what you are going to eat?! Put your mindset in the right place! No toxic thoughts!

2. If you are the cook, then make the food you know will make everyone feel great.

Keep it light, colorful, vibrant, beautiful, seasonal, and simple! If you are preparing a holiday dinner also remember that your guests taste and feel your energy. Create an inviting environment.

Preparing to bake dessert with dough.

Cook with love vs stress, create with joy vs resentment, and use special recipes that inspire you or carry on the family tradition. How you are feeling and what you are thinking as you are cooking, gets infused into your food, so ensure that only the best ingredients (of you) are added!

3. Begin by always choosing what you know will make you feel your best

such as, protein, salads, cooked vegetables and fruit for dessert, water or sparkling water, and tea. For the soulful nourishments that only come around once a year, enjoy a smaller portion of those, especially if you know they won’t make you feel your best.

4. Stay away from foods that don’t make you feel good.

If there are foods you really want to stay away from because you know they won’t make you feel good then do so without worrying you are going to insult the cook. Family and friends would rather have you leave their home feeling good than feeling awful. Don’t feel like you are missing out on those foods either. Wouldn’t you rather feel amazing than feel sick, bloated, inflamed, have poor sleep, and feel sluggish the next few days?

5. Bring your digest supports with you.

Digestive enzymes taken right before your meal will help aid digestion and prevent embarrassing gas, belching, and bloating! It doesn’t have to draw attention but it could make for great conversation and the person sitting next to you may just want what you have too!

6. No matter what you choose to eat, enjoy!

Do not negate, stress, worry, or eat with guilt. Food is meant to be enjoyed, savored, and celebrated.

Family enjoying dinner together

Eat with a good heart and a peaceful mind and you will be able to digest, assimilate and burn that meal much more effectively than if you ate it in strife.

7. Pay attention to how veering off path makes you feel.

You will get great feedback from your body as to what works and what doesn’t! This is an opportunity for nutritional growth and greater awareness.

8. Take the next step at home.

Once home, have a mug of hot water with lemon or peppermint tea to ease your belly and any discomfort.

9. The next morning drink 1 liter of water

with fresh-squeezed lemon to flush your system and move your body. Go for a walk, jog, do a class, or whatever you love to do that will make you feel light and energized!

10. Try this Ayurvedic Cleansing/Fasting tea.

You can drink this throughout the day. It keeps the body strong, rectifies agni (digestive fire), and helps digest and eliminate toxins. This is perfect for post-holiday dinners and indulgences when you need to reset the body and palette!

A Simple Fasting Tea

To make the fasting tea, use the following ingredients:

Mix ingredients and gently heat in a pot. Remove from the heat just before it boils and steep for a further 10 minutes. Filter through a strainer into a large mug or glass mason jar and drink or keep warm in a thermos to consume throughout the day.

Don’t Forget Vitamin G

Finally, remember that the most important nutrient you can bring to your Thanksgiving meal is Vitamin G — Gratitude. Eating with gratitude is the best way to put your body in the optimum state to digest, assimilate nutrients, and to turn on metabolic power. That is right! You will burn more calories eating in a grateful state than eating in a stressed and ungracious state. It also guarantees a tastier meal!

Apple pie homemade.

Be grateful for the delicious food that was made with love. Take in the aroma, the color, the taste, and the people you are sharing your meal with. Think about where your food came from, the farmers that grew it, and all the people that handled it before it even reached the table. Really care about what you are eating and take the time to enjoy it.

My hope for you on this Thanksgiving is that you will cook with pleasure, bake with joy, roast with laughter, eat with gratitude and celebrate with love. What could be more nourishing than that?!

Happy holidays everyone!

Yours in health & vitality,


Amy Bondar is a leading Nutrition expert and Certified Eating Psychology Coach who is passionate about helping her clients achieve maximum health and vitality through personalized nutrition and lifestyle coaching.

Amy Bondar’s comprehensive skill-set, two decades of experience and compassionate approach have allowed hundreds of people to achieve the vitality we all desire, and deserve.

The days of generic meal plans, fad diets, yo-yo dieting and simple advice about calories and carbs are long gone. When you work with Amy you will have strategies and learn nutrition principles that are nourishing, doable, sustainable, personalized and that yield results.

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