Maintaining healthy eating habits throughout the holiday season is challenging. Many people will create their most decadent recipe to bring to holiday gatherings, and more often than not, flour and sugar are the first two ingredients. It can be difficult to resist holiday favorites served in abundance this time of year. Equally abundant are the suggestions for eating mindfully. Dr. Susan Albers, PSY.D. is an excellent resource on the subject and has created this holiday eating tips sheet. Dr. Mark Hyman, MD also has a useful guide on mindful eating. Here are three suggestions for you to consider as you engage in upcoming celebrations of the season:
- Eat before you go. Arriving to the party in ‘starvation mode’ makes mindful planning, selection and chewing very difficult! Have a small snack before you go, so your hunger hormones aren’t making your decisions for you.
- Bring a holiday dish to share and make it something you enjoy. If you are concerned that there won’t be anything that meets your food criteria then make it and bring it with you. It can be good for you and your body. Need ideas? What about a shrimp or seafood cocktail or some salmon with whole grain crackers, capers, and onion? There will be others there who, like you, are looking for options that won’t leave them feeling weighed down at the end of the evening. See our recipe suggestions above for ideas.
- Decide in advance. One of the most empowering choices you can make with regards to your holiday food selection is this: Decide In Advance! If you know that one of your favorite dishes is going to be served then plan to enjoying some. Try to balance your meal by selecting a good protein source and some whole, plant based foods to round out your plate. Most important, eat slowly. Savor every bite. Remember, taste is perceived only in the mouth. The slower you chew and savor, the longer you get to enjoy the delicious flavors.