Well, it’s officially unofficially started. It’s after Halloween and the holiday season is here.  I know the official start is Thanksgiving but to me it feels more like the holidays start at Halloween and don’t end until January 1st …when we can finally take a brief pause before moving into the New Year.

With the holidays comes a lot of talk about having the willpower to pass on all the sweets that are around. But here’s a secret…it’s not all about willpower.  In fact, it’s more about eating balanced meals.

Because when you do, your cravings won’t be so strong.  The best way to make your holidays healthy is by making sure you eat well-balanced healthy meals.

Easier said than done, I know.

So here’s how you make it easy …

  1. Plan ahead.  Create a Thanksgiving menu…for Thanksgiving Day and the days before and after when you will be a little crazed.
  2. Think outside the box and add some non-starchy vegetable dishes.  Try adding dark leafy greens to your menu.  A simple garlicky greens recipe would be a great addition.
  3. Consider and adapt some dishes for special diets – gluten-free, dairy-free, GAPS-friendly, SCD friendly – these are all very real and important diets — maybe for you or for one of your friends and family. Your body or your guest will so appreciate the consideration!
  4. Plan out what you can prep early.  You’ll save so much time in the long-run.
  5. Schedule time to do the early prep work.
  6. Ask for help.  Enlist family and friends to help you chop.  You can do a lot of catching up cutting vegetables.
  7. Map out your Thanksgiving Day.  Schedule what time you plan to eat dinner and work backwards from there.

I want to stress #3: Consider and adapt some dishes for special diets.  The holidays can be a stressful time for those of us that have food sensitivities. A lot of people often give in and eat something they shouldn’t because they don’t want to be a burden, don’t want to be rude or don’t want to ‘starve’.

But then they’ll spend days recovering… dealing with bloating, a foggy brain or low energy.

If this is you or you know someone like this, you know what I mean.  The best thing to do is to talk about it.  Talk to your host or your guests.

Ask your guests if they have special diet needs.  Ask how you can accommodate them – what is their favorite dish? Do they have a recipe you can use?  And ask if they can bring a dish to share too.

If it’s you with the special diet, let your host know.  Share your favorite recipe or a trick to make a dish suitable for you.  And offer to also make something that fits your needs and that others can enjoy too.

Want to make it really easy to do this?  Then join me for the Homemade Meals Cooking Club on November 14 or 2.  You can check off most of the items on the list in one night.

Homemade Meals Cooking Club is a virtual cooking class where you get to prep a weeks worth of meals in your kitchen alongside me and others.  I provide the recipes and the plan. You just need to do the grocery shopping and show up.  This month the recipes are centered around Thanksgiving.

All the dishes are gluten-free and dairy-free and they are delicious. If there is a special diet you need to consider, I can help you tweak the recipes to fit.

You can use the recipes for your Thanksgiving Day dinner or use the meals during the week so you don’t have to worry about eating healthy as you are coordinating picking up and dropping off friends and family.

Many of the items we are prepping can be frozen and used later.  You can use November 14 as a test run and November 21 to prep for Thanksgiving. Or just come to one or the other. I’ll give you ideas and recipes on how to use what we prep.

As you start planning your Thanksgiving week, consider what it would feel like if

  • you had dinners taken care of during that hectic week before or after Thanksgiving;
  • you had delicious gluten-free, dairy-free dishes you could serve and enjoy for you or your family with ‘special’ diets; or
  • all you had to do was throw some leftover turkey into a pot of soup that was already made the day after Thanksgiving.

It would be heaven, wouldn’t it?

If you said “Yes!”, then sign up today!  You can click here for more information and to register.  Early bird pricing ends Wednesday, November 9.