We love that the holidays are a time to gather, chill, reflect and of course…EAT. But we admit we can go a little overboard sometimes (and it doesn’t always feel great!) We’re all about treating yourself (whether it’s the holidays or not) but it doesn’t hurt to add some mindfulness in an area where we might not always incorporate it. We’re not saying don’t go up for seconds, but here’s how you can do it more mindfully.
When we’re not on a regular schedule (during vacation, holidays, etc.) we tend to indulge and maybe forget about the things that fuel our bodies – like nutritious foods and movement. Don’t feel like you have to swap your pumpkin pie for a green juice, but even just taking a few minutes to walk around the block, get in some stretching or even practice a quick flow can make ALL the difference in your day.
Regardless of the time of year, we LOVE food. Then add in the holidays and the food is more abundant, extra delicious and even nostalgic. Instead of just ripping through another meal, here are 7 ways you can eat more mindfully during the holidays (or any time of year, really!)
Take inventory of your options
Before you dig in to your holiday dinner, take inventory of your options. You don’t want to fill up on dinner if there’s some desserts you want to hit up afterwards as well. Also take into consideration what time you’re eating and if you have any other commitments throughout the day. If you have breakfast at your family’s, a late lunch at your in-laws and dinner at home…just try to take that all into consideration ahead of time. You’ll thank yourself later!
If you’re one who has committed to several holiday parties, work events and family obligations, be sure to take a step back and see what you have coming up each week during this busy season. Where do you want to indulge or scale back? If you have a booked week, be sure to make some quality time for yourself at home on your off-nights. Think — home cooked meal, Netflix binge and a little (or a lot of) self-care.
Consider a mindful delay
Probably the oldest trick in the books, but if you’re trying to keep your mouth occupied amongst all the food (when your mouth says yes and your stomach says “I need a break!”) pop in some gum or a mint. It will hold you over for a bit, plus the mint is always nice to settle your stomach. Certainly Trident is no substitute for dessert but it may prevent you from taking that next bite that might just push you over the edge (and force you to unbutton that top button – hey, we’ve all been there).
Eat your favorite food last
Going along with taking inventory, decide what you’re most excited for during that meal and save it for last. That way, the best will still be fresh in your mind and you’re less likely to want anything else later! Easier said than done but it’s one way to look at it 🙂
Sit when you eat
This isn’t always possible at holiday events (with passed appetizers and minimal seating) but if there is an option to sit and eat, always take it. This helps you be more present (which we’ll get to momentarily) and feel less distracted. The more distracted we are when we eat, the more we are likely to eat and not even know it.
It’s really the cure for everything, right? But one of the hardest things to do! This is especially difficult when the holidays are such a social time. Are you really going to chew 30 times and think about all of the flavors and sensations in that one bite, during each and every bite? Probably not (but if you find yourself having some alone time with those leftovers, then it’s a great opportunity to practice that!) Simply enjoying the moment with your friends / family and eating delicious food with them is present enough.
We shared with you last month some creative ways you can practice gratitude. But if you don’t have your gratitude journal on hand at the dinner table or your work holiday party (we don’t blame you) you can still show yourself and others some gratitude during the holidays. Think about where your food came from (the farmers, the earth, whoever cooked the meal, etc.) and appreciate this truly wonderful time of year.
What are your thoughts on mindful eating? Are there any tips you’ll try to incorporate this year? Let us know in the comments!