Dear readers--cheers and a happy Thanksgiving! May your day be filled with love, spicy aromas, mouthwatering food, luscious wine and sanity. If you can eat whatever you like without repercussions, skip the rest of this post. For those of you (like me) for whom Thanksgiving is both a glorious celebration of food and the most challenging day of the year, read on. This day will mark the apex of hospitality, the day when years of refining recipes yield a perfect meal, a celebration of plenty with overeating expected and glorified, a day coded with layers of family history, when sometimes the old scars get picked instead of happy memories shared, a day when those of us who must exercise discipline to maintain a normal weight struggle to feast without overdoing it to the point of self-loathing. Here are some tips to enjoy the day:Pal up! Find a family member at the dinner who has the same problem of overindulgence and decide to help each other make good choices. If your family sabotages you, arrange to have a friend's cell number for phone support.
Gear up! Just as an athlete would survey the course and make a plan, figure out what is good for your body and what is not and strategize.
Put a circle around it! Allow yourself one plate of food filled as much as you want and a small dish for dessert, but not one bite or nibble more. Like eating in general, it's the nibbling that can add up, so no "cleaning up" in the kitchen that doesn't involve washing the dishes. You know what I mean!
Be in the moment! Slow down and eat each bite like it's the last one you'll have in this world--really enjoy what you're eating--slowly!
If all else fails, I'll tell you my secret if you promise not to laugh--visualize being a pig. I came to the painful realization over ten years ago that I just cannot eat chocolate sanely and in moderation, so I decided to not eat chocolate--one day at a time. When all my defenses are down, I use my power of imagination and visualize myself in a trough of chocolate, wallowing in every type of chocolate dessert and stuffing myself, getting bigger and piggier with every bite. The mental image is so disgusting that I want to make a better choice to eat something like pumpkin pie that I can eat sanely. As foodies, we live to eat, but like love, food should always be kind and never hurt us. There's a world of delectable food--and wine--to be savored, but let's eat and drink with gusto but not excess.