Thursday, November 17, 2011

Holiday Eating Tips & Rituals

My high school boyfriend once told me that he and his sister came up with an excellent strategy for Thanksgiving dinner:

They knew that it takes the brain 15 minutes to register that the belly is full after a meal. So, they would stuff themselves silly, eat as much as they could in 15 minutes, then run to the couch and lie on their left side until they passed out.

That it just simply madness!!! And he wondered why his stomach hurt so much for days afterwards, why they put on weight...

There is NO REASON why you should associate the holidays with weight gain or belly issues. Holidays are about seeing the people you love, not the food! There are ways you can try and like anything and everything without pain or shame!

Here are a few tips for enjoying the holidays guilt-free:

1. Just a reminder, make the day/evening about the people, not the food!

-sit down with Grandma and chat for an extra 30 minutes then you usually would.
-find someone you don't know at the party and find something you have in common.
-reminisce about good times with friends and family.

These conversations are way more significant than parking yourself in front of the cookies. Food=short-term gratification, and you will cherish the laughs and talks you had with your company for years to come.

2. Be prepared, and never show up on an empty stomach.

-DO NOT skip meals the day of the party or holiday dinner. You will show up ravenous and willing to eat anything and everything. Plus you slow down your metabolism when you skip meals, and your body will happily store your big meal as fat.
-if you suspect there will be limited healthy options at the event, eat a little something before with protein or fat. And for extra bonus points, bring your own dish that you know is nourishing and delicious.

3. Eat small and slowly.

-Okay, so let's say you just have to have that piece of pumpkin pie. Doesn't mean you need to eat the whole pie! Cut a piece, sit down, and pay attention to your food. How does it smell? Take a bite and CHEW it thoroughly, savoring the taste. (the more you chew, the more saliva will be secreted, which means more enzymes to break down the food, which means the easier it will be to digest whatever you're eating!!!)

-Take breaths in between bites. Notice how you feel after a few morsels. Savor every piece, and you may notice you don't need the whole thing. Take your time.

4. Create a holiday eating ritual with loved ones.

-your meal companions will most likely share in your desire to relish the moment of being together for a delicious feast. Ask them to sit with you, pause, and appreciate the food and the occasion together.

This is a great holiday ritual that I shared on my blog two years ago. It's such a simple yet powerful act, love it!

At dinner tonight or on Thanksgiving, pass around an orange or clementine.

Have each person peel off a portion of the rind and share one thing they’d like to “peel away” from their life.

Then have each person eat a section of the orange while
sharing one new wish or intention for the winter.

Put the orange rinds (along with some cloves or cinnamon sticks) in a pot of simmering water on the stove.

Your house will smell deliciously yummy all night.

What a fabulous idea! Beautiful to do either at Thanksgiving or other holiday dinners.

Action step: Write down 3 ways you can make this holiday season much healthier and happier than years past.

Can you think of something you'd like to "peel away" from your life?

If you could wish for anything or set one big goal, what would you like to manifest in your life?