Thursday's Thanksgiving. I'm sure you've heard. Any other year I'd be spouting off about how the average person eats approximately 3,000-5,000 calories at Thanksgiving dinner and lacing up my sneakers for a nearby Turkey Trot so I could enjoy that (insert favorite carb-heavy, dunked in lard, dish here) guilt-free.
Not this year. It's all true of course. Stuffing is really just a bunch of bread, saturated in fat, going straight for your hips (sorry to be the bearer of bad news). But does that really matter? Does one day - one meal for most - make a difference in the grand scheme of things?
What we eat a few days out of the year has very little consequence on our health. But how we eat has the power to affect not only our health, but our relationships, our self awareness as well as our waistlines. So this year, I encourage you to ask yourselves: Are you tasting your food? Or scarfing it down at a ravenous pace so you can acquire seconds before everyone else? Are you listening to and respecting your body cues - hunger, satiety, fullness? Or are you ignoring all bodily signs, unbuttoning your jeans, in the name of glutton and greed? Are you enjoying the company of those around you? Or are you so consumed by what you're consuming that you've checked out of the conversation?
As you gather around your table on Thursday, make a few things more important than the food that's on your plate.
1. The family you're stuck with. Not everyone will be sitting at a full table. Be thankful for who is gathered there.
2. The friends you've made. The support that they provide isn't a guarantee, but rather, a gift.
3. The fresh food in your kitchens. Many will instead be blessed by soup kitchens, community meals and the donations of others.
4. The festive spirit in the air. Not everyone greets the season with joyful celebrations and merry making.
How wonderful it is to love and be loved by those around you, and to have reason to be thankful. Let us not easily forget that.
Eat Well. Live Well. Be Well.