This holiday season, rather than worrying about how you’re going to maintain self-control in the face of celebration and temptation, approaching eating from the perspective of “mindfulness” can help prevent overeating. Perhaps more importantly, mindfulness can actually help create a feeling of joy around holiday eating rather than anxiety or shame.
How to Eat by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh (available at G&T) is an unassuming little book that could easily be overlooked. In it, however, are profoundly powerful words that can transform your relationship with food, the holidays, and yourself. For example, he writes:
“We don’t need to eat a lot to feel nourished. When we are fully there and alive for every morsel of food, we eat in a way that each bite fills us with peace and happiness. If we are full of this joy, we may find that we naturally feel satisfied with less food.”
Of course, remembering practical strategies to manage holiday indulgence is also important. Focus on the lean proteins and vegetables. Unless you have dietary restrictions, though, there is no need to deprive yourself of your favorite side dishes or desserts. Just take a few bites of them after you’ve already eaten enough protein and vegetables. Isn’t it just the first bite or two that tastes the best anyway? Savor a little, slowly and mindfully, and put the fork down.
As Thich Nhat Hanh writes, “We can use the time of eating to nourish the best things our relatives have passed onto us and to transmit what is most precious to future generations.”
From our family to yours, wishing you the happiest, healthiest holiday season!
By: Jessica Moon, M.S., Green & Tonic Health Coach