How to have a peaceful approach to the biggest meal of the year

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The Calorie Control Council says the average American will chow down more than 4500 calories and 229 grams of fat this Thanksgiving. That's (literally) a lot to swallow, and if you try to watch your waistline it can be stressful! So heading into the holiday, we got a few tips from cookbook author and yoga instructor Marci Izard on how to have a peaceful approach.

"This is a time of year where--like it or not--heavy stuff is there. I say let yourself enjoy it! The approach I try to have myself, and I share with you, is just like for any other day--stay present in your body. From time to time, put your fork down, take a breath, and feel your body. In a subtle but powerful way, that centers you so you are inclined to enjoy your food more and not totally overdo it," she says.

Izard, author of Nourishing Your Whole Self; A Cookbook with Feelings leads guided meditations as well. She says a meditation practice of even 5 to 10 minutes a day can also help you be present in your body and make balanced food choices. But if you want something more to sink your teeth into on the spot, she suggests reducing sugar in pies and baked goods, filling up on raw veggies (and healthy cream dip) as an appetizer, and swapping your buttery mashed potatoes for creamy cauliflower. Those recipes are in her book which is available in stores and online.