5-Step Post-Thanksgiving Recovery Plan

You’ve got Thanksgiving mastered. You know how to eat right: one plate, mostly plants. You know how to avoid Aunt Ruth’s inquisitive, but unanswerable, questions: with a glass of wine or two. You know how to avoid uncle Frank’s cheesy spinach and artichoke dip – by reading the China Study pre-dinner. 

Suffice to say, you’re prepared for battle.

You win.

But as you emerge from your Friday morning slumber, the resistance you employed on Thursday seems to have imploded. You have willpower fatigue. You open the fridge, and the food bombs start ticking away. They know it’s only a matter of time before your resolve weakens...

But before you delve into a cheesy carb fest and spend the rest of the weekend lamenting about your food blues, take these five easy steps on Friday:

1. Get your probiotics. 

Upon waking, take one capsule of a 25 billion 12-strain probiotic such as Klaire Labs Ther Biotic. This will help restore gut flora, reduce inflammation, boost energy levels and reduce cravings for sugar.

2. Make the entire family a green juice. 

Use organic cucumbers, fennel, cilantro, mint, apple and lime. The cucumbers and fennel are rich in potassium which helps reduce bloating from heavy carbohydrate indulgence. The mint and cilantro add vibrancy and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients to the juice, while the apple and lime give it a sweet kick. If you’re at your parents’ place, they probably own a juicer, an unused wedding gift. Pull it out for them.

3. Practice gratitude. 

Write a list of five things you are grateful for and five you are excited about. This will help keep you grounded and centered when everything else seems a little chaotic. If you're grateful for certain people in your life, tell them. We all love to be appreciated.

4. Take a yoga class. 

Be adventurous and try a different yoga studio or use Yogaglo or MyYogaOnline and take the practice at home. Encourage your 10 year-old niece to join you, particularly if she likes to copy everything you do.

5. Redecorate. 

Clear out the fridge for your parents. Toss left-overs that no-one should be eating, other expired foods and leave a note promising to fill the fridge with vibrant colored vegetables when you go to the Farmer’s market tomorrow. Warning: do leave some food in the fridge or be prepared to endure long conversations about the wastefulness of today’s youth (even if youth and you don’t really correlate).

Then relax, and enjoy time with your family. They really are wonderful people.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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About the Author

Dana James, MS, CNS, CDN is a nutritional therapist, writer and founder of Food Coach NYC. She holds her Masters in Clinical Nutrition and is trained in nutrition biochemistry, functional medicine and cognitive behavioral therapy. She believes that food should be viewed as nourishing, joyful and fundamental to self-care. Her goal is to help women break their antagonist (and often obsessive) relationship with food and their body. She believes that true beauty stems from grace, dignity and embracing our idiosyncrasies that make us unique and imperfect.

Dana created "How to Ditch Sugar" video series for mindbodygreen. Check out the program here: How to Ditch Sugar.

Dana coaches one-to-one, runs workshops in NYC, and holds teleseminars on various topics that help women lead a more beautiful and balanced life. To connect more with Dana, sign-up for her Sunday evening emails.