Anna Wootton

Healthy Holiday Eating – and More Healthy Breakfast Challenge Updates

It’s US Thanksgiving this week so I’m sure, as usual, many of my friends to the south are getting ready to wear their stretchy pants.

However, there’s no need to wear your stretchy pants if you’re equipped with some healthy eating strategies to ensure that you don’t go overboard during the holidays.

Thanksgiving and other holidays are almost always linked to overeating, and that’s why people go into ‘food comas’ after the meal, or require elastic waistbands, or gain weight during the holiday season.

It’s just ONE MEAL, so although it’s a special meal due to the amount of effort that goes into cooking it, and the people you’re sharing with, it’s still just a meal. So treat it as if it is. Eat as much as you would eat at a regular meal, and:

  • Slow down. Eat slowly and savour each bite, and you probably won’t feel the need to go for seconds. Your body needs around 20 minutes for satiety signals to kick in, so that’s how long you will need to know if you’re still hungry or not.
  • Enjoy the company. That really is what makes Thanksgiving and the holidays special – being with the people you love. So spend more time enjoying the company and less enjoying the food.
  • Careful what you drink. Drinking excessively calorific drinks leaves little room for indulging in your favourite foods, so try to stick to one glass of wine or juice with dinner and otherwise drink water.

Dr. Wendy Bazilian has said that studies show that people who fast prior to arriving for a Thanksgiving meal go straight for the fat – fried, heavy and rich foods, and therefore end up eating at least one third more calories than they would have otherwise.

So, don’t starve yourself to ‘save room’ for the big meal. Just treat it like any other day. I promise that you won’t be suffering for it – you won’t miss out! There will be leftovers galore and honestly, even if you don’t eat all of your favourites on Thanksgiving Day, they will be on the table again at Christmas, and next year, and the year after that…so don’t go into a “now or never” mentality, as that is always a guaranteed way to overeat!

Also, here are some healthy vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes, courtesy of The Guiltless Life’s recipe archive, to enjoy on Thanksgiving Day:




One surefire way of not overeating is to eat as you always do leading up to the meal. I know many people eat Thanksgiving meal around mid-afternoon, so make sure you fuel up with a healthy breakfast to keep you satiated and help you avoid overeating at the main meal.

Here are some healthy breakfasts the #HealthyBreakfastChallenge participants have been sending in to give you some ideas…

Lucie at Fit Swiss Chick has sent in:

  • Spinach-tomato omelet with low-fat Swiss cheese

  • Eggs and greens

  • Choco-apple quinoa with low-fat plain yogurt and almond butter

  • Paleo oatless pumpkin oatmeal with coconut and walnuts

Nadja (on Twitter) has sent in:

  • Overnight oats with a mashed banana

  • Oats and berries

  • Oats and fruit

  • Oats with yogurt, banana and a dash of cinnamon

Elle at We Can Begin to Feed has sent in:

  • Oatmeal and quinoa breakfast bake

  • Banana omelet with natural peanut butter and an orange

  • Eggs oat scramble with lean ham, grated cheese, tomato and grapefruit

  • A mixture of flax, hemp, chia, raisins, coconut, almonds, banana and almond milk

  • Eggs and oats with veggies and grapefruit slices (recipe here)

  • Pumpkin protein cake with yogurt

Karey at Nutty About Health sent in:

  • Banana ‘n’ Cream Dream French Toast (recipe here)

  • Pumpkin pancakes with raisins, sugar-free maple syrup, cinnamon raisin peanut butter and frothy coffee

  • Stuffed apple cinnamon ‘n’ cream French toast with peanut butter and fat-free cream cheese (recipe here)

Claire at Flake and Cake sent in:

  • Blackcurrant yogurt with fresh strawberries – an on-the-go breakfast

PS. Get entering the Healthy Breakfast Challenge NOW! There will be a giveaway coming up for those readers who have participated in the challenge, and you don’t want to miss it!

PPS I’ve linked this post up at Healthy Diva Eats’ Marvelous in My Monday link party – even if I am a bit late to it! Check out the other posts here!


  • November 19, 2012

    Karey at Nutty About Health

    Wow, great post Anna! Thanks for all of the healthy recipes, although I’ll be eating brunch out with my family for Thanksgiving…. I’ll be sure to keep all of your healthy tips in mind – plus, have my healthy breakfast first. 😉

    Thanks again for including me in your post!

  • November 19, 2012

    Great ideas here and all the pictures are fabulous. Thanks for including me!

  • November 19, 2012

    to me, slowing down is the key. this is something i constantly struggle with. but you can’t do this if you are starving – so i always at a good solid breakfast on thankgiving day and a light snack and hour or so before the big meal. that way i can maintain control! or at least have a better shot at it!

  • November 20, 2012

    Thank you so much for including me! mmm, these recipes all sound so delicious….I think I have to organize a Thanksgiving just for them! 🙂 We do not celebrate Thanksgiving over here but christmas will be here soon and there I will take advantage of your tips, thank you!!

  • November 20, 2012

    You always have great detail in your posts! This is a another great one! The holidays can always throw me off track, but I love your points. Especially the slowing down. It’s ok to enjoy the day and enjoy the company that you are with! 🙂
    Great recipes as always!
    Have a great day!

  • November 20, 2012

    It’s so important to remember that the holidays are about family and friends and less focus should be on food! 🙂

  • November 20, 2012

    So many of those breakfasts are very pretty – think I need to up my game ;)! Thanks so much for the Thanksgiving tips, although we don’t celebrate it here I’ll be saving them for Christmas!!

  • November 21, 2012

    Hey! I’ve posted a Headstand How-To, inspired by your comment. Maybe it will encourage your practice!

  • November 21, 2012

    Great post, Anna! What really helps me keep the holidays healthy is knowing that so many other bloggers and readers are trying to do the same. It’s such wonderful motivation! All these breakfasts look delicious!

  • December 4, 2012


    i really have to take better pictures ‘coz they look soo ugly haha. Anyways, thanks for your tips for the holiday, as i also have my exams in one month, it’s going to be hard to stay healthy…