What the heck CAN I eat during the holidays?

I’m sitting here in the kitchen at Breathing Space Daily Retreat Center.  And I am thinking about food. I guess thats what supposed to happen in the kitchen. 

This holiday season there is so much food before us. So often we have a few things happen with our mindset during this time of year. We tell ourselves, just eat what you want and then go on a diet the first of the year. Or go on an extreme diet now, to get the unwanted pounds off before Christmas, so that we can eat whatever we want on Christmas and New Years day. Here's a video about it.

Believe me, I’ve been there many times. But what would happen if we took a mindfulness approach? What I mean is, what if, instead of going to one extreme or the other, we take on a new way of thinking about this old habit.

Most of us know what to eat, more vegetables & protein, little to no sugar and processed food. Eat real food. Get exercise everyday. Seems simple right? In theory yes, but in reality it’s sometimes not so easy. 

I was visiting with a friend yesterday, Summer is her name, and she is a nutritional therapist with Neurish. We were talking about the need for more education about food, and not only how it heals us physically, but also how it heals us mentally. She told me a few powerful stories about some of her clients who were having mental issues because of not having the support, the means, or the education about good, healing nutrition. 

Sadly, our society is so caught up with our physical, outward appearance. But we do very little for the mental and Spiritual side of our health. There is so much out there for us to take advantage of in the physical realm. There is every kind of gym you can think of, and cutting edge techniques in fat removal (they gave it a fancy name - body sculpting), and plastic surgery. 

I’m not saying there is anything wrong with these things, but if that is all we are focusing on, then we will once again find ourselves back in the same unhealthy cycle. Sadly, there is very little out there to help us with the mental and Spiritual side. It all has to go together if we want to see real transformation and find peace inside. This is the passion and mission behind Breathing Space Daily Retreat Center. 

So, back to the question, what if we took a mindfulness approach this holiday season? Remember mindfulness means to pay attention, to be present instead of being on auto-pilot. Here are a few mindfulness tips, try them out and let us know what happens.

  1. Set an intention for this season. Instead of going to one extreme or the other, (eating everything and dieting later, or crash dieting now) ask yourself what do you need to feel balance? Perhaps the answer becomes your intention. 
  2. Before going out to that holiday party, take a pause and remind yourself of your intention. 
  3. Before putting the food in your mouth, pause and pay attention to what the food looks like, what it smells like. Then put it in your mouth and pay attention to the taste. 
  4. Chew slowly, savoring the flavor. 
  5. Put your fork down between bites and look around at the environment. Talk to whomever you are with, or just listen. 

I invite you to share with us your ideas for being mindful around food this Christmas season. Just write them in the comments below. This will help encourage us and perhaps give us some new ideas.  

Don't forget to check out Summer's business at Neurish.

Till next time, happy mindful eating. 

Peace to you,

Pam