Celebrating the Holidays with Mindfulness and Kindness
The holidays are upon us! This year will be entirely different for many of us so I wanted to do my part and share some of my favorite tips for you all. We can and should celebrate throughout the month in a way that feels good to us but also honors our health. Tweak some recipes, pick a focus, don’t skip meals…or read my top ten tips below!
- Don’t fall into the day before/after trap. We know we may indulge on the holiday, but telling yourself, “oh the whole week is shot so it doesn’t matter what I eat” can impact our health physically and emotionally. Instead, continue your healthy habits every day such as eating more fruits and vegetables or being physically active.
- Don’t should/shouldn’t yourself into a food choice. When we say, “oh I shouldn’t eat this but it’s so good!” We end up feeling guilty and this decreases our ability to enjoy what we eat. Choose what you want to eat and don’t justify your choice to anyone (including yourself).
- Health-afy your traditional recipe(s)! Try cutting back on the salt or added sugar by 1/3 to 1/2 of the amount in calls for. Most recipes taste just as great and no one will notice the change up.
- Try to take some breaths in between bites to really savor the flavor and texture of your food. This helps us slow down and recognize our satisfaction/fullness cues.
- If you’re full but want to eat more (because yes, it’s delicious) give yourself some time to digest and enjoy more later so you aren’t uncomfortably full.
- Do an activity after the meal with your family to get everyone moving. Consider taking a family walk or playing charades to get everyone laughing and moving. A good belly laugh is good for the soul and heart!
- Are food choices causing you distress? Change up your focus for the event. Are you focusing on spending time with grandkids? Having a meaningful conversation about the year with a family member? Playing cards? Keep that focus in sight.
- Health-afy your drinks by having water in between alcoholic beverages. If you’re choosing to drink, sip slowly and savor it all just as you would your food. You could also go back and forth between a flavorful mocktail and an alcoholic beverage to cut back on consumption.
- Take some time for yourself by making time for reading, listening to your favorite music, taking a walk or trying meditation. When we enrich our life with things that bring us joy, it helps us feel more positive as a whole.
- Set out some fun and healthy snacks to munch on throughout the day! Charcuterie boards are common but also consider some fruits, vegetables or a fun trail mix.
Most importantly, remember to enjoy the holidays without guilt and diet talk at the table. If someone makes a comment about dieting or your plate, portions, etc…tell them to keep their eyes on their own plate!