1-On-1 With Zoe & Nike: What My Pets Taught Me About Thanksgiving Eating

It seems that Zoe is already in the Holiday spirit. I walked in this morning to find my puppy too tired and full from breakfast to even lift her head up to look at me. Thanks Zoe.

Look at that little belly! I couldn’t help but crack up.

What gets me every time I watch her is the ferocity at which she attacks her bowl. It’s like it’s the first meal she’s had in days or as if she is afraid I’ll suddenly take it away from her. Shuffle it all in and pray that there will be seconds.

Nike on the other hand is the opposite. She cries and whines for her food, but when it comes to meal time, I’ll put her bowl down, she’ll give it a smell, look satisfied to know it’s there and then walks away. Only going to grab a few bites when the feeling of hunger strikes her.

This is her “ooo whatcha doing?”

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I couldn’t help but to think Zoe is representative of a lot of us… I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen my dad in that exact position after a big holiday meal.

But  we should be following Nike’s example.

I promise, the leftovers will still be there later on in the day for a second helping… in fact they’ll be there for several days to come. Why do we let one dinner mess up the rest of the day? Who likes that feeling of being stuffed and stuck on the couch?

We’re suppose to stuff a turkey, not ourselves.

Enough preaching, let’s get into:

The 5 Rules Of Eating Thanksgiving 

Rule 1: Plate division. Dedicate 1/4 of the plate to turkey and rice/pasta. The rest of the plate fill up with all the veggies you want!

Rule 2: Chill out. Don’t pull a Zoe and gobble down your meal faster than I can type the word “gobble gobble”. Sit back, take a bite, talk with family and savor the experience. You’ll give your body time to register fullness as opposed to when you just go to town on it.

This bowl empties out in less than 4 minutes. We’ve timed it.

Rule 3: Get some activity in. Nike sleeps a lot (like most cats do), but suddenly she’ll jump up, sprint around the house, rest for a second and repeat this for about 5 minutes. Even animals know about interval workouts! Having a workout in (even only 5-minutes) will help you make smarter food decisions later on.

Rule 4: One plate. Don’t be shy with your first fill up at the table. Eat the foods you want at that time and avoid second helpings. Too often I see people trying to restrict their portions but they always going sneaking back in for more. Just get the sweet potato casserole on the first go around!

Rule 5: Graze like Nike. Small meals throughout the day is the best for keeping your ravenous tendencies at bay. Nike is a smart kitty! Don’t try to avoid breakfast and lunch because of the idea of your holiday spread. You’ll be starving and end up consuming way, way too much.

Nike’s been working on this since 3pm yesterday… that’s almost 18 hours. 

Rule 6: Make conscious choices. We have tried time and time again to find food other than dry cat food that Nike will eat. No such luck. I’ve even tried baking her fresh fish (have I mentioned she is spoiled rotten). She smells everything but eats nothing. Zoe on the other hand… oh Zoe, she’ll eat ANYTHING! Who cares if it has mold on it or smells as if it died a month ago, she’s game (no, I don’t feed her moldy dead animals).

If you don’t like something, don’t eat it for the sake of eating… the end.

Special thanks to Zoe and Nike for helping me today, they are quite the little bloggers. Now, if i could get Zoe up and off the couch and following some of these tips herself she might be a bit more energetic.

  • What’s your favorite Thanksgiving food? 
  • Does your family have “nap time” to recover from the meal?
My favorite side dish has always been sweet potatoes! I love them with the brown sugar/pecan crust on top. Oh, so good! After that, my heart goes to green bean casserole. It’s such an easy side but it gets neglected all year long. 


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