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6 Tips to a Mindful Holiday Season

The holiday season is a joyous time, but it can also be a very stressful time. Your celebrations likely include hosting friends and family, which means lots of planning, cooking, cleaning and entertaining. This stress can start to affect how well you listen to your body – which is why it’s extra important this time of the year to take care of yourself.

 

Taking Care of YOU

 

When it comes to taking care of yourself, start with what your body needs.

 

Is it an extra 20 minutes of sleep? Or, making time for yourself to exercise, read a book, or take a bath?

 

Whatever it is that helps you to remain relaxed and calm, make the time each day to do it!  Don’t be afraid to delegate tasks or ask family and friends to help. Your physical and mental health is just as important as everyone else’s!

 

The Day of the Dinner Party

 

You got this! You’ve worked hard to take care of your own needs in the early weeks of December. But now that the big day is here, and your company will be ringing your bell, (or you’re ringing their bell), do you push your needs to the side?

 

Along with taking care of yourself leading up to the holidays, it’s also important to take the steps you need to on the day of the dinner party to ensure you are honoring and respecting your body’s needs.

 

6 Tips to Help You Stay Mindful During the Party

  1. Plan ahead. It’s important to plan ahead so you can enjoy your favorite foods without guilt. The day before the big dinner party, plan out what you will eat for breakfast and lunch that day. It’s important to stay nourished so you don’t arrive at the dinner party too hungry!
  2. Focus on friends and family. The holidays are all about spending time with your family and friends (I know you know this, but it can be challenging to remember this when you are not at peace with food). Give thought to something special that you love about each guest, and be sure to tell them how you feel. Put the focus on them, not the food.
  3. Savor your food. Focus on each bite of food that you put into your mouth. Experience the taste, texture, flavors and aroma of the food. Do you like it, dislike it, or it’s just okay?  If you aren’t fully satisfied with it, don’t finish it.
  4. Sit down at the table. Eating while standing around the buffet table or while walking around will decrease your attention and satisfaction with your meal. Instead, plan to sit while eating. Fill your plate with food and find a table to sit.  Friends and family will likely join you and you can enjoy nice conversation while being more mindful of your eating.
  5. Listen to your body. It’s important for you to take the time to listen to your body’s inner signals as you are getting satiated.  Stop eating when you feel comfortable, you can always wrap up the rest for another time.  This will help you enjoy the homemade pie without guilt.
  6. Indulge in your favorites. Don’t avoid your favorites that come around once a year. Avoidance can lead to caving in and then to overeating.  It’s much better to eat a small portion of something you really want than to give it up entirely. Choose those foods that you don’t typically have year-round. Take a portion and enjoy without guilt.

If you’re looking for more help to ensure you have a stress-free holiday season, look no further than right here!

December 1st marked the month-long Holiday Special of my Stress Less, Eat Less – Holiday Edition Program. This program is designed to help you develop personalized strategies specific to your situation to help you beat holiday stress eating.

 

In this program, you can go at your own pace. I will walk you through the 3 simple steps to developing a calm mindset and learning the strategies you need that will help you stop stress eating in its tracks.

 

Click the link here to read more about the program and sign up today! You can also reach out to me here if you have any questions.

 

Here’s to a stress-free holiday season!

 

You Are Worthy of a Sit-Down Meal

I have a question for you…  When it’s time to eat, do you put your food on your plate and sit down to eat, or do you stand at the counter and pick at the food until you’ve had enough?

 

I’ve had a number of clients tell me they are not worthy of a sit down meal.  They do not think they deserve to enjoy their meal in a pleasant environment, free of distractions.

 

Let’s take a look back to your past and figure out where this belief might have originated.

  • Is it something you saw mom or grandmother doing?

 

  • Is it something you were lead to believe by someone you trusted?

 

  • Were you ever told that you “shouldn’t” be eating because you are “fat”?

 

While it’s important to understand the origin of this belief, please know this…

  

You deserve to eat, every meal of the day, every day. And, you deserve to sit down and enjoy your meal and savor each bite.

 

Plating Your Meals Throughout the Day

You may say that you have no time to plate your meals, that you are busy, constantly on-the-go and it’s just easier to grab when you can, or just graze throughout the day. I get being busy, but it’s all about priorities. You CAN restructure your day to include meal time. This means you sit at the table with a plate of food and enjoy it in good company.

 

Let’s start with Breakfast:

Instead of eating breakfast in the car, wake up a few minutes earlier and plan to sit at the kitchen table to enjoy your breakfast. To make this even easier, prepare what you can the night before so you have less steps to do in the morning.

 

Then there’s Lunch:

Instead of eating lunch at your desk, schedule 30 minutes into your schedule to leave your office to eat lunch. Maybe there’s a break room at work, a local park with picnic tables, or on the occasion, a nearby restaurant you can eat at. Your meal times can be a good time to reflect and really tune into what your body is telling you.

 

No More Dinner Grazing:

  • Believe that you are worthy of eating a well-balanced dinner, sitting at your table. Make it a point to finish cooking, plate your food and sit down.

 

  • Put a nice tablecloth on your dining table and use a nice china plate instead of a paper plate.

 

  • Savor every bite. Really tune into the taste, texture and flavor of the food you are eating. Be fully present.By actively savoring each bite, you will find yourself more satisfied with your meal rather than when you pick at food mindlessly.

 

Plating and sitting down to your meals throughout the day will help you feel more satisfied and you won’t find yourself searching for food during the day and night.

 

If you truly have trouble with this, dive deeper to uncover your limiting beliefs around your worthiness to eat. If you need help, just reach out to me at Bonnie@DietFreeRadiantMe.com

 

 

Relax…and Enjoy Your Food

iStock_000019977922XSmallGiven my profession, I spend a lot of time speaking and thinking about food and how it relates to the lives of my clients.  However, what I have noticed when meeting with new clients who are coming to me from a place of chronic dieting, they too speak and think about food all the time, but they do it from a place of worry.  “What did I eat yesterday, what am I eating today, what will I eat tomorrow”.

This is exhausting, don’t you think?  Balancing life and responsibilities such as family, friends and work is often difficult and stressful in and of itself.  Food should not add to that stress.   Eating should be pleasurable.

As a reader of my iEat Mindfully™ blog, you are likely coming from a history of dieting.  A past littered with carefully laid out menu plans with just the “right” amount of carbohydrates, protein and fat.  A history that includes feelings of panic when you are in a restaurant or at a family gathering where the food served is not on your “plan”.  The amount of grief you give yourself in these situations takes away from all the pleasure you could be getting from your food.

By employing all the techniques I have been writing about such as slowing down, listening to your hunger and fullness cues, and using all your senses to enjoy your food, you are hopefully seeing that there is a place for enjoyment in food, even foods that were previously deemed “bad” in your mind.  And you know what?  It is okay to get excited about a specific dish at your favorite restaurant that you will be having tonight for dinner because you now know how to go about enjoying it.  You will enjoy to the max and achieve full satisfaction without feelings of guilt.

When it comes to repairing your relationship with food, this is such an important step to learn.  Ask yourself what you really want to eat, use all your senses to enjoy and really taste it, and savor the moment.  You don’t have time to waste on food worry.  Focus on the positive aspects of the food, how it nourishes you and makes you feel, the memories from your childhood and recapture the pleasure of eating once again.

Your turn to take action: Did you enjoy your meals this week?  What senses did you use to improve your satisfaction?  Please let me know in the comments section below.