Get ready for turkey, stuffing and pie! People traditionally see this as a time for family, friends and food, which is exactly what it’s for. If you’re worried about the big splurge, don’t be. In the grand scheme of things, it is one day. AND, you don’t have to stuff yourself just because seconds of pecan pie are offered. Here are a few tips for a more comfortable holiday:

  1. Do eat throughout the day before dinner. If you show up ravenous, you’re more likely to a. get drunk too fast on mulled cider or wine or b. overeat. Eat lighter fare before you show up such as veggies and hummus, fruit and yogurt or a bowl of steel cut oats w/chopped nuts.
  2. Drink plenty of water. Our urge to drink declines in colder months, so we’re more likely to be dehydrated. Dehydration can lead to fatigue, crankiness and overeating. Aim for 16 oz. of water (about the size of a plastic bottle) with each meal and more if you’re exercising.
  3. Move it. Don’t view exercise as punishment or “work” in order to pig out. See it as taking time for yourself, improving your fitness, lifting your mood, building strength. Start a holiday tradition of a family walk or hike. Do some yoga. Exercise is not just for “burning calories”, though this certainly won’t hurt during the holidays.
  4. Be a food snob. I know exactly what store bought pumpkin pie tastes like, so I skip it. You can have nuts or cheese cubes as appetizers at any party you attend any other time of the year. Splurge on the foods you’ll really enjoy and pass on the rest.
  5. Don’t waste food. Turkey, ham and dessert freeze well. Cranberry jello mold? Not so much, but you can mix it into Greek yogurt for breakfast! Turn mashed potatoes into potato soup. Make sweet potato bread from leftover casserole.
  6. Give back. If you’ve got too many cans or boxes of things you won’t use, donate them to a local food pantry or People’s Pantry Cincy. Toiletries from your travel hotels also welcome! Locations can be found at facebook.com/peoplespantrycincy/ 

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