November 26, 2019 - Enjoying special foods in moderation does not need to be difficult or guilt-ridden if you listen to your body and use mindful eating techniques. Here are a few of my top tips for Mindful Holiday Eating, which can help to make the holidays quite manageable and enjoyable.
I spend a lot of time with my clients this time of year talking about holiday eating. For many, all of the special food and holiday eating can create more anxiety than joy. So many of my athletes are constantly thinking about eating healthfully for optimum performance and it is hard for them to let go of food rules. Many are unable to enjoy office goodies, holiday parties, neighbor’s cookies and other seasonal delights without feeling like they are going overboard or experiencing food guilt. Others stick to their normal chicken, rice and broccoli and don’t enjoy any special foods. Enjoying special foods in moderation does not need to be difficult or guilt-ridden if you listen to your body and use mindful eating techniques. Here are a few of my top tips for Mindful Holiday Eating, which can help to make the holidays quite manageable and enjoyable.
1. Keep Your Focus on Good Day-to-Day Nutrition. Have you been enjoying nutritious breakfasts and packing your lunch for work? Having healthy snacks throughout the day and prepping easy dinners? Excellent! Keep up the good work! If this hasn’t been your practice, now is a great time to start a few healthy routines. Good daily nutrition is more important than what you eat a holiday party, and keeping yourself well-nourished will help to tame holiday cravings.
2. S-L-O-W Down. No doubt this time of year is extremely busy, but taking time away from distractions to enjoy your meals is a wonderful mindful eating technique. See what happens if you put away your cell phone, shut down your computer, turn off the t.v. and really connect with the food in front of you. Notice the colors, the textures, the scents and the tastes of your meal. Allow yourself to experience all of the sensations of eating by fully connecting without distractions. Even if you can only do this at one meal per day, you may find you are more satisfied.
3. Be the Boss. It’s easy to feel pressured to try Aunt Bessie’s fruitcake or the beautifully decorated gingerbread man that your co-worker gifts you. If those are not appealing or you aren’t hungry for them, remember that there is no obligation to eat them.
4. Pick Your Favorites. Most of us have a few things that really make the holidays the holidays. Katie and I are sharing some of our holiday favorites with you in this month’s recipe collection. Find the special treats that are the most meaningful to your holiday celebrations and truly enjoy them.
5. Keep on Moving. With hectic schedules at this time of year, it’s very easy to think you don’t have time to get in your training. Make time for this important piece of self-care even when you are busy. If you do, you may find a more natural inclination to stick to health goals and nourish yourself well.
6. Take it Easy on Yourself. This holiday schedule won’t last forever, and before you know it, we’ll be craving salads and starting fresh in the New Year. Remember it is temporary and try to stay in the moments and enjoy them.