Written By: Barbara Baristow
With the holiday season upon us, we will be celebrating in our own way; whether it’s gathering with friends and family, a celebration in your home or a Zoom call with friends.
The festivities of course mean food. Is there a way to enjoy the holidays without being obsessed about the food? The answer to that is yes! Be sure to practice mindful eating. HUH? What’s mindful eating? Let me explain.
Mindful eating is developing an awareness of your food. To develop an awareness, you first must understand the purpose of food and why you need to consume it. You may think that I am going to get into the scientific facts and reasoning about food…. NOPE. You eat for one reason, to give the body the vitamins and minerals necessary for it to function properly, to give it energy. THAT is the only reason you eat.
You have to change the relationship you have with your food. You EAT TO EAT. You do not eat to celebrate, compensate or to soothe. During the holidays we eat to celebrate. Why do we feel that eating contributes to our celebration? Quite simply the answer is, it does not.
Let us explore what it means to mindfully eat. When we practice mindful eating, we have already established the purpose for food. There are a few steps to take when choosing to mindfully eat:
- Eat slowly
- Avoid distractions (T.V., phones, too many people talking)
- Appreciate your food (look at the colors, taste the flavors, enjoy the textures)
- Don’t rush
- Stop multi-tasking your eating (answer your phone, let the dog out, make a shopping list, thinking about work) JUST EAT
When you mindfully eat, you will start noticing different cues from your body and mind. I will not tell you what they are, but rather have you explore them on your own and make your own realizations.
To relate this back to the holidays and celebrations, you can see how being mindful and celebrating are two completely different entities that do not need to exist together. Enjoy your time with friends and family for what it offers. Enjoy your mindful time with your food for what it offers.
Food for thought: Make finishing your food INTENTIONAL not AUTOMATIC.
Remember, practice makes perfect.