A Mindful Thanksgiving

 Mindful Thanksgiving

Photo by Bill Longshaw from FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Thanksgiving is a holiday of reflection, community and great food! Seize this opportunity to share mindful eating with loved ones and reinforce your mindful habits.

You may be tempted to take a “break” from mindful eating on a day when food is in abundance. As your mind is preoccupied with hosting dinner, seeing old friends, and your spirit becomes light with holiday cheer, being mindful may be the last thing you remember. Yet, Thanksgiving is a perfect time to deepen your mindfulness practice, since the holiday centers around giving thanks to our loved ones and all we have around us!.

Remember how rich the experience of mindful eating is and the deep thanks you can touch when savoring each bite. With this is mind, you will realize that by taking a “break” from mindful eating and living,  you actually miss the greatest of joys available on this day of thanks—the joy of living deeply in each moment.

To stay on track during Thanksgiving, I offer you the following suggestions:

• Before dinner, ask everyone around the table to share one thing they are thankful for.

• If you are hosting, print out a copy of the 5 Contemplations for each of your guests as a Thanksgiving gift for them to enjoy, read the 5 contemplations to your guests, or pass the 5 contemplations around and have one person read one sentence before the start of the meal, in addition to your traditional grace.

• If you are a guest you may wish to bring a print-out of the 5 Contemplations to share with the table before dinner.

• If you are hosting, use smaller plates to encourage tasting and smaller portions. If you are a guest and you are given a large plate, be mindful to fill it, not overfill it.

• Try a new healthy recipe! Ana Borrajo’s pumpkin soup and Tess Challis’ roasted cauliflower with rosemary and garlic are healthy, delicious Thanksgiving dishes. Or visit The Nutrition Source for brussels spouts with shallots, sweet potatoes with pecans, and wild rice with cranberries.

• While food is being passed around the table, take a look at each dish, smile to the dish, and silently, to yourself, name all foods in it. You can see the whole cosmos and much hard work reflected in each dish.

• Savor small bites and chew thoroughly.

• Eat slowly. If you find yourself speeding up, put your eating utensils down between bites and engage in the conversation at the table.

Savor the togetherness with loved ones and the nurturing meal!

Happy Thanksgiving!