Conscious eating for this Holiday Season
It’s the holiday season, and for most of us, that means eating-lots and lots of eating! Once New Years rolls around, a big majority of people have “lose weight” as their top resolution. Perhaps this year, we should try conscious consumption when attending numerous holiday season gatherings. Your body and energy levels will thank you for making the effort to eat more mindful, not mindless.
One of the worst things you can do when going to a holiday party is to skip a meal or arrive hungry. When you are getting ready, eat a snack or small meal before you leave. This may sound counterproductive, but it will satiate you so that you are not starving and start binge eating at the food tables! This doesn’t mean that you do not get to eat your favourite foods; in fact this could mean that you can actually enjoy and savour them when you do. When you are starving, all your body wants is “calories, NOW!” Therefore, the actual enjoyment and appreciation of the foods you eat goes out the window when you are stuffing your face. When your body is not in deprivation mode, you can really get that sense of enjoyment and gratitude as you slowly devour your most favourite morsels of deliciousness.
Bring your favorite healthy dish or snacks to share
By bringing your favorite healthy dish, you know that you are safe with having at least one thing that you can eat more of. You have full control of what ingredients goes into your dish, so there are no hidden surprises! You will be surprised with how many people you inspire to eat healthier as well, when your dish is the healthiest one there. Lead by example, and you will have many people asking for the recipes. Try baked apples, healthy green bean casserole, brussel sprouts and bacon, or an apple crisp with coconut whip.
Go for the veggie Platter first
Fuel yourself with nourishment before you head off to the sweets and other dishes. Then your body will not confuse your hunger with its need to simply get some micronutrients in. If you want to learn more about micronutrients, check out my blog on The key to good health – how to add more micronutrients into your life.
Be mindful, not mindless.
Look around the party, how many people do you see mindlessly eating while talking to another person? This is easiest way to overindulge, gain weight, and eat yourself sick. This holiday season, practice mindfulness every step of the way. As you reach for the food, notice its texture in your hand, admire the color, presentation, and effort that went in to creating this dish. When you put it in your mouth, observe the texture, taste, see if you can guess which seasonings were added to it. How does your body feel when you are consuming this dish? Better yet, what about your mind? Is this food somehow stuffing, numbing, or blocking some emotions you have been experiencing?
Being mindful while you are eating will help you to not only slow down, but to also appreciate your food. All of this will help you to be mindful. If you want to learn more about mindfulness, check out my blog on How to improve your life and beat stress with mindfulness.
Last but not least, NO GUILT!
This is SO IMPORTANT. I cannot stress this enough, please-whatever you do, do NOT feel guilt when eating food. If you overeat, that’s ok, you are human, we do these things. The goal is to become so mindful that you do not feel the need to overindulge. Associating guilt with food is the recipe for a toxic relationship to food. That toxic relationship can take years to overcome. Trust me, I have been there. Relax and forgive yourself if you slip up. Then prepare yourself better next time, this is only just a learning experience to better understand yourself, your cravings and your body.
Happy Holidays everyone!
Health, Love and Happiness,
The Fit Gypsy