Stop Sugar Shock This Thanksgiving: 5 Tips to Have a Sweeter, Tastier Holiday

As visitors to this SUGAR SHOCK! Blog know, I often post pointers here to help you enjoy a sweeter, happier life. With this national pig-out day around the corner, I’m back again with some ideas to help you stay out of sugar shock on Thursday.

Stop Sugar Shock This Thanksgiving: 5 Tips to Have a Sweeter, Tastier Holiday

By Connie Bennett, C.H.H.C., "Sugar Liberator" and author, SUGAR SHOCK!

With Thanksgiving coming soon, I’d like to help you savor the holiday in a more meaningful way. Here are 5 tips to help you have a sweeter, happier, more nourishing holiday meal that contributes to your feeling energized, cheerful, energized and focused.

In other words, I’m here to help you stop sugar shock this Thanksgiving. My intention is to give you tools and tactics so you will NOT get depressed, moody, anxious, brain-fogged, hungover and libido-sapped after your Thanksgiving meal.

Feel free to spread these simple strategies to your friends and family members.

1. Pick a party purpose that’s not about the food.

Arrive at your Thanksgiving celebration with a non-food-focused mindset. Instead, select something substantive to accomplish that evening or afternoon — long before you stuff your mouth with sugary concoctions like candied yams, apple pie and cranberry sauce.

For instance, you may choose as your party purpose to get to know a long-lost relative better. Or perhaps you want to go for a half-hour walk after your meal or walk your host’s dog. Or maybe you’d like to make yourself useful by cleaning the dishes. Just do something that keeps you from over-focusing on the food.

2. Nibble before you nosh.

Before you even arrive at your destination (or before you open your door to guests), take time to have a small, healthy snack or mini-meal which includes some protein, quality carbs and healthy fat.

For intance, you could have a hard-boiled egg with a couple of sticks of celery or an organic apple. Or maybe you could eat a few raw almonds with some grapes. You may even wish to have a few bites of turkey, along with a couple of chunks of raw cauliflower.

When you nibble before you nosh, you’re basically taking out an insurance policy against pigging out at the party. Also, make sure NOT to skip meals on Thanksgiving day with the idea that you’ll be eating a lot that evening. Passing up on meals that day will just set you up for a binge that evening.

3. Zero in on the people, not the pies.

Remember that Thanksgiving is about being grateful that you can celebrate a bountiful meal with loved ones. So pay attention to the cool folks at your gathering.

Promise yourself to learn something that excites three of your relatives. Or for that matter, choose to talk to three spouses of relatives or three children of relatives. But make a point to draw them out and tell you about a hobby, job or passion that moves them. Thinking about what moves three people gets you out of yourself, involved in other people and less focused on food.

4. Please partake of polite portions.

I’m realistic that most of you will want to savor some, if not all, of the sugary foods offered at your gathering. But there’s a way that you can go about this that’s less intrusive on your body.

First off, make sure to have a well-rounded meal before you go for the sugar. That means you’ll eat some protein (a piece of turkey, I suspect); quality carbs (like vegetables) and some healthy fats (like olive oil on a salad.)

Before that evening even arrives, make a decision to mindfully select which sweets you’ll taste and how much you’ll eat. In other words, plan to slowly, deliberately, savor polite portions of desserts.

When you eat in a mindful, conscious manner, you’ll enjoy your food more and feel less inclined to gorge on the sweets that could send you into sugar shock.

5. Bring your own goodies.

Whenever you go to a party or family gathering, it’s best to expect that very few, if any dishes, will be healthy. It’s more likely — especially given the fact that 65 percent of Americans are overweight or obese — that you won’t have that many healthy options from which to choose.

The best way to combat this party conundrum is to bring some healthy foods that you’ve prepared and give them to your host. For instance, you could come to the affair with some raw veggies and a hummus or avocado dip. You could prepare a fresh fruit salad with almonds. Or perhaps you could make a whole-grain stuffing.

For those of you in the dark as to what to prepare to bring along to the party, check back here later today, because I’ll post recipes for three tasty, sugar-free Thanksgiving dishes prepared by culinary consultant Pamela Morgan.

  • Sweet Potato Heaven
  • Cranberry-Walnut Relish and
  • Spiced Baked Apple
  • Connie Bennett, M.S.J., C.H.H.C. is author of SUGAR SHOCK! (Berkley Books), with Dr. Stephen T. Sinatra. Connie is a sought-after "Sugar-Liberation Expert," speaker, frequent TV and radio show guest ("CBS News Sunday Morning," "Oprah & Friends Radio," etc.), certified holistic health counselor and experienced journalist/columnist. Once a heavy-duty "sugar addict," Connie reluctantly kicked refined sweets and carbs on doctor’s orders in 1998 — a health-generating move that made her 44 baffling ailments vanish, including her horrible headaches, crippling fatigue, heart palpitations and brain fog. Connie now laughingly pokes fun of her unsavory sugar past by dubbing herself an "Ex-Sugar Shrew!" She now educates thousands of "sugar sufferers" from around the world to learn about sugar’s dangers, to become a "Sugar Sleuth" and to break free their dangerous habit of overloading on "culprit carbs." She runs the popular SUGAR SHOCK! Blog and hosts the weekly Stop SUGAR SHOCK! Radio Show, where she interviews such acclaimed guests such as Dr. Mehmet Oz (YOU: Staying Young), Dr. Barbara DeAngelis, "The FlyLady" Marla Cilley, etc. Connie has been widely published (The Los Angeles Times, eDiets.com, etc.) To learn if you’ve been brainwashed to become a sugar addict, take the SUGAR SHOCK! Quiz at www.SugarShockBlog.com.

    Feel free to use this article, but please credit me by posting the above paragraph.

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    Did you blow your diet after the death of a loved one, your divorce or another trying time? Then did your eating get out of control for weeks, months or even years, and you packed on the pounds? I'm here to help you Rebound After Relapse™. Best of all, I totally "get" what it feels like to "lose" your willpower. That's because after my Mom died, I blew my diet bigtime for months, overate carbs and packed on 21 pounds -- this after eating cleanly for more than a decade and even becoming the bestselling author of Sugar Shock (Berkley Books) and Beyond Sugar Shock (Hay House). Stay tuned for my new, "I Blew My Diet! Now What?" Podcast and book."I blew my diet! Now what?"

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    2 thoughts on “Stop Sugar Shock This Thanksgiving: 5 Tips to Have a Sweeter, Tastier Holiday

    1. Thanksgiving: Planning Your Purpose

      Some good tips for avoiding Thanksgiving eating overload are on Sugar Shock! Blog today. The blog focuses on how to reduce your consumption of sugar and have a healthier, more meaningful holiday experience. Briefly, the tips are: Pick a party