With Thanksgiving this week, many individuals are anticipating a day of family, friends, food and possibly football. With the realities and unknowns that people have been facing for the past couple years, the real purpose of this day, thankfulness, is refreshing and so needed. In this week’s The ZONE we will explore the specialness of Thanksgiving.
Traditional menus for the Thanksgiving meal include the turkey along with all the sides such as the infamous green bean casserole, mashed and sweet potatoes, stuffing, mac-n-cheese, breads, cranberry sauce, gravy and, of course, a whole variety of pies.
Eating is a very social activity and at the holidays is when we spend special time with family and/or friends. We know that these social activities surrounding food and friends are very healthy for our mental outlook. Additionally, many foods that are prepared at the holidays are only served at these times and bring back positive memories.
According to Dr. Allan Schore, clinical faculty of the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences and UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, neurobiological research has shown that when two people interact with one another, something happens in the brain. The hormones that are released affect the expression of genes contributing to the development of empathy and the control of aggression. This change in brain chemistry can have a positive effect on our behaviors.
Additionally, you may recall from our blog Volumes 56 and 57, on the Blue Zones, a number of the Lessons Learned had to do with genuine connecting with others, Loved Ones First, Right Tribe, and Belonging. As for the extra calories that are consumed, for most individuals, the metabolism will adjust and the added nutrients will be put to good use.
The next two months will be filled with holiday celebrations. Remember to take the time to enjoy the foods, friends and family. While it is not recommended to overeat daily, at the times of celebration try and enjoy the traditions and the positive feelings they evoke.
Thanksgiving is a time to enjoy friends and family.
Enjoying the holiday’s festivities can have a positive effect on all aspects of our lives.
The benefits of breaking bread with family and/or friends are seen in both our physical and psychological performance
Think of the people and things that you are thankful for.
Appreciate the kindness of others.
Binge watch Holiday “feel good” movies.
Things to Limit
Listening to naysayers.
Not being at the table.
Being too serious on a day of celebration
Quote of the Week
“We give thanks for the plants and animals who have given themselves so that we can enjoy this meal together. We also give thanks for our friends and family; may this meal bring us strength and health.”
During this special time of the year, we both want to thank you for letting us enter your life each week through The Zone. We appreciate your comments and we hope that our blog is helpful to you as we all navigate the Pandemic and other issues of living.
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The paraDocs are Dr. Francis L. Battisti, PhD, Psychotherapist, Distinguished Psychology Professor and former Executive V.P and Chief Academic Officer and Dr. Helen E. Battisti PhD, RDN, CDN, Chief Nutrition Officer, at SpNOD, Health Promotion Specialist, Research and Clinical Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and former Assistant Professor.
We have developed "The ZONE", because that is exactly where you want to be during this pandemic. A place of focused attention to doing exactly what needs to be done to get you to where you need to be. The purpose of The Zone is to provide a nationally distributed weekly mental-health and nutrition tip-sheet during times of change.
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