Stuffing, by far, is what I love most about Thanksgiving. Cornbread stuffing, sausage stuffing, stuffing covered in gravy – I love it all. Family, too, of course, and turkey and all the other trimmings, but stuffing…it’s just so incredibly good!

In recognition of the time-honored tradition of stuffing the Thanksgiving turkey, here are five more things to stuff to make your holiday season extra special.

Stuff the Fridge with Healthy Snacks – every nutritionist I know keeps easy-to-grab portions of healthy snacks ready to go at all times. With a solid month of parties and cookies and constant temptations ahead of us, stuff your refrigerator with freshly washed fruits, cut up vegetables, small portions of healthy soups, and heart-healthy protein sources like hard-boiled eggs. Un-stuff the refrigerator of expired foods, sugary sodas and overly-processed treats. For more inspiration on food prep, visit my friend Nicole’s Blog.

Stuff a Donation Box – take a walk through your house and fill a box or two, maybe even the trunk of your car, with clothes, toys, books and kitchen gadgets. Un-stuff your cupboards and drawers before the baking begins, and imagine how good it will feel to un-stuff your closets before the holiday guests arrive.

Stuff your Calendar Intentionally – productive people make time for that which is important. Make sure exercise, family time, fun traditions, and plenty of downtime feature prominently in your holiday schedule or your time will slip away with the demands of daily minutia.  Un-stuff your calendar by batching your errands, saying “no” to unnecessary meetings, and delaying anything that can wait until the new year.

Stuff the Recycling Bin – make room for holiday décor by ruthlessly purging those paper piles. Recycle the magazines and catalogs you aren’t going to read and shred the documents that don’t back up your taxes. While you’re at it, un-stuff your computer and mobile devices of old emails, texts and excess Apps.

Stuff your Gratitude Jar – if you’ve read anything about mindfulness, you know how important it is to have a thankful heart. If you’ve neglected to keep a gratitude journal, it’s not too late. Stuff a page or notebook or even a jar with all the blessings of 2016. Keep going. Prepare yourself: this act can dramatically un-stuff your heart of negative and hopeless feelings.

Apparently, we aren’t supposed to stuff our turkeys anymore. Food safety experts say it increases the risk of food poisoning, plus it just looks better and tastes better when cooked separately, in my opinion. I fully intend to stuff myself with at least two healthy helpings of stuffing this week. But I like this idea of stuffing and un-stuffing a few other areas of my life, too, especially that gratitude jar – I have many, many blessings for which to be thankful. How about you?

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