Reframing Thanks + Giving

I subscribe to a lot of health-based newsletters [like a lot]. So my inbox has been filled lately with articles on how to navigate the holidays this year, strategies to eat well on Turkey Day, among many other tips + “how to” lists for not letting this day create a snowball effect that negatively impacts your health for the rest of our holiday season. So, what do I, as a fitness expert and holistic nutrition coach have to add to the conversation?

Thanks + givingA simple challenge — what would happen if you reframed Thanksgiving? What if this holiday could be less about the pressure to not “blow it”, less emphasis on the potential detriment of food, the guilt, the indulgence and more about the thanks + giving? In truth, Thanksgiving dinner is no different than any other celebratory gathering; it’s just another meal. There are usually appetizers, dinner and dessert, right? In my home, I am lucky enough to have gatherings like this all the time. I LOVE having people in my home to share in good food, wine and conversation. And while providing those I love with good-for-you, delicious foods is one of the ways in which I express my love, the reason behind said get-togethers – and the reason for THIS season is for thanks + giving. To step back, look around and express gratitude for the multitude of blessings in your life, while being able to share quality time with loved ones. The food, the drinks are background noise – or they should be. Because happiness isn’t found in food. Sure, we can experience pleasure from the way flavors dance on our tastebuds or nostalgia from the memories certain dishes bring back, but at the end of the day, the meal is just a meal. But the reason for the meal is amazing and powerful. A moment in time for you to fill up your cup with love, connection and meaningful relationships — and that’s what really matters in life. Slowing down, appreciating the moment and choosing to be fulfilled in a different way this year [vs. a stuffed belly].

And within that, there is of course, room to enjoy the things you love. As my friend and fellow health coach Sarah Adler says – you can always approach the same situations with fresh eyes. There are always ways to upgrade your favorite dishes with real food ingredients that not only TASTE better, but are nutrient-rich and another blessing you can add to your book {for example, nitrate-free organic bacon with Brussels Sprouts, organic sausage added to your stuffing, your broccoli casserole made with real, grass-fed + organic cream, butter & cheese or your pecan pie made with maple syrup instead of corn syrup} – the possibilities are REAL and endless. The trick is to first determine what you’re most looking forward to {what you love} and know there is space for those; then, leave the rest. As I said earlier, let’s reframe the day to be about thanks + giving — could we be thankful for our favorites and give ourselves the space to consider what we consume out of habit vs. love? There’s a difference – both in the “why” behind consumption and how it’ll make you feel afterwards.

One great tool to reframe the day? Visualization. Wake-up and take a moment to visualize exactly what you want your day to look like – how you want to feel all day long; and while you’re at it, count your blessings. Visualize the things, people and circumstances you’re grateful for [don’t forget about yourself!] and be present in that feeling, soak it up. See yourself cultivating that deeper throughout the day and perhaps even take some time to express that appreciation to others. Sometimes the only thing we need to do things differently is a different mindset – a way to reframe our experiences to be richer, more meaningful and more in line with what we really want out of our lives.

HH PromoAnd since we’re on the subject, I want to tell you that I am grateful for YOU. For your support, for being here, for reading this and for allowing yourself the chance to create vibrant health alongside us. And in light of such, I have a small gift for you. Coming back by popular demand December 8th, we’re going to be re-launching our FREE Holiday Helpers series. So while the tips don’t start until then, you can get the recipes {including our Curried Pumpkin soup – a great appetizer/starter dish} and the workouts {all bodyweight so perfect for your Thanksgiving travels or need for a quick pick-me-up} NOW. Sign up here: to get the packet right to your inbox.

Last, because I do love real food so much {and want you to experience it’s divinity as well}, here are some great recipes ideas from some of my own favorite real-food resources to try on your table this Thanksgiving:
Salted Caramel Pecan Pie {from the Spunky Coconut}
Roasted Root Vegetables with Turkey {Dr. Mark Hyman}
Citrus Crab Salad {Dr. Mark Hyman}
Cranberry Sauce with Orange + Ginger {Joyful Belly Ayurveda}
Kale, Butternut Squash + Organic Sausage Stuffing {The Greatist}
– Twice Baked Yams with Pecan Crumble {Simply Real Health}

Or try a Macks Mo favorite – Caramelized Brussels Sprouts: 1 lbs. Brussels Sprouts, 1 Tbls. coconut oil, 2 handful shiitake mushrooms, 3 heads of garlic {or 1.5 tsp.}, sea salt, pepper + red chili flakes AND organic, nitrate-free bacon!

  1. Cut bacon into small pieces and saute first. When crisp, remove from pan and set aside.
  2. While bacon is cooking, mince garlic finely and thinly slice the Brussels Sprouts [make sure to chop ends off first + discard].
  3. Add garlic to bacon grease + coconut oil and saute for 1-2 minutes, until brown but careful not to burn.
  4. Next add mushrooms and Brussels, sautéing until brown but not mushy [about 8 minutes on medium heat].
  5. Season with sea salt, pepper and red chili flakes to taste and add bacon back in at the end. YUM!


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About Whitney Mack of Macks Mo

Whitney Mack is a holistic nutrition health coach, fitness + movement specialist, feel good fanatic and founder of Macks Mo - a healthy living business that empowers busy women and mommas to connect to their desires and they want to feel daily in order to macks-imize joy, freedom, vibrancy, energy and ease. Through her programs + services, she uses real food, movement and signature health coaching strategies to guide clients in creating a more meaningful and fulfilled life (soulful, joyful, healthful) through nourishment and love. And turns out, as their love grows (for their life, themselves, their spirit), their body intuitively sheds the mental + physical weight holding them back from a life and body they're excited about.

One response to “Reframing Thanks + Giving”

  1. Carl says :

    What a great article. Brussels sprouts sound great, especially since we have been having them lately, will have to try this when we get home. Plus,it was fun to see the sprouts at the public market yesterday, what a fun place.

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