by Phyllis Childers, RN, CHC (with Ed Childers, D.O.)
The holidays are a wonderful time to enjoy family, friends and food. I have seen how hard it can be for some of my clients to eat healthy during the holidays. Sweets and indulgent foods are everywhere, and they want to eat and enjoy them with everyone else. We can all enjoy foods we love while nourishing ourselves. By relaxing and eating mindfully, we can increase enjoyment of food and prevent overindulging (without even being aware of it!).
Here are some tips that can support you during the holiday season:
Eat while Relaxed and Breathe: When the relaxation response is activated, digestion is turned on. Conscious
breathing is the best way to bring you to relaxed, slow eating.
Eat the Highest Quality of Real, Whole Foods: Eating high quality foods such as whole, organic, free range and homemade foods results in greater nutritional value and increased satisfaction. When we eat low quality food such as packaged products stripped of fiber and vitamins and other micronutrients, the brain notices that it is deficient in nutrition and signals us to eat more. This often results in poor food choices.
Eat with Awareness and Pleasure: Savor the appearance, aroma, texture and taste of every bite. When we eat too fast or fail to notice our food, the mind interprets this as a missed meal and says, “I’m hungry, I need more food”. Then overeating can happen. Allow pleasure with your eating and notice more powerful, easeful digestion and notice that your desire to reach for more food decreases.
Eat a Robust Breakfast and Lunch including Protein, lots of Fiber and Healthy Fat: Skipping breakfast and lunch or under-eating at meals can slow down metabolism and also set us up for cravings. Nourish yourself throughout the day.
Allow Treats: You can still eat your favorite treats. The key is to relax and eat mindfully and allow yourself to enjoy them. Any judgment about food or your body results in stress and turns off our digestion. Let go of any guilt or judgment about your body or the food you choose to eat.
You are going to eat your favorite foods this holiday season anyway so:
- Give yourself permission to eat it and enjoy them
- Slow down, take deep breaths before and during eating
- Be completely aware as you eat
- Allow complete pleasure, satisfaction and enjoyment
- Move on to the next life experience (have fun)
Eat with pure enjoyment and pleasure during this holiday season and then further refine what is best for YOU with Phyllis’ Eat And Thrive program starting on January 10, 2019. This is an educational, interactive and supportive group program. Email me with questions, more info or RSVP (limited space) at: firstname.lastname@example.org. (Details on the Classes/Workshops page 2 of this issue.)