Remember This as the Holiday Season Nears

It’s about this time of year when things may start to feel particularly chaotic.  There often is an inner conflict of wanting the holidays to be a happy, pleasurable time of year, yet at the same time, wanting the holidays to be over as soon as possible due to the stress they bring.

Much of the stress of the holidays is in the realm of food. From Halloween through the end of the year, the amount of available sugar increases tremendously – both in the form of cookies and sweets as well as carbohydrate-rich dishes like stuffing, freshly baked banana bread and rice pudding.

What is a health-conscious person to do?

Many people unconsciously shift into a food “free-for-all”, consuming more unbalancing foods than is supportive for their body.  This is frequently justified with the belief that just around the corner, New Years, will bring a new found discipline and motivation to “stick with the rules.”

I’d rather see people relax into holiday eating.  Perhaps consider eating like a child would.  If I could give you one piece of advice, it is this: Only eat what you really want.

Let go of the belief that the holidays are going to make you fat.  The holiday season isn’t necessarily the problem when it comes to eating.  Much of it is the mindset and beliefs that ensue this time of year which may cause much of the struggle.

Here’s an exercise to take on during your holiday parties:

  1. Scan the table and take note of everything.
  2. Notice what food sounds REALLY good at that particular moment.
  3. Only take that food.
  4. Enjoy the company of those you are with – the real reason you are there.
  5. Realize you did not “blow it” by treating yourself to something you enjoy.
  6. Continue eating balanced meals and exercising throughout the rest of the year.

No one is forcing you to try every treat that comes through the door.  Maybe your favorite treat is peanut butter cookies. Take a peanut butter cookie with the full intention of enjoying it. Let go of the belief that you “blew it” and need 4 more cookies or a sample of everything else on the table since it’s the holidays.

You can integrate pleasurable foods into your diet in an empowered way.

Here’s to the happiest of holidays –rich with the foods, friends, family and traditions we love most!

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Photo credit: ALLEKO

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