Savoring the Holidays
Savor, Abundance, Deliciousness, Sensual, Presence, Nourishment. These are not the words typically associated with dieting but try making them the focus of your holidays and you may end up exactly where you’d like to be in the New Year.
Slow down and savor the beautiful meal, taste the wine, wallow in the smell of the cookie. (Yes, cookie!) Let all your senses tune into your food. When you have finished a serving of that delicious food, pause, and notice if you are satisfied. To help yourself from reaching for a second helping, turn and savor your companions or your surroundings. You could light a candle, turn on a fire (or a fire screen saver), watch the snowfall, listen for laughter, or look at a picture of a happy memory and try to recall those sensations.
The opposite of abundance is scarcity. Making decisions out of scarcity often causes us to overeat or hoard. If you have ever gorged on Thanksgiving dinner because it is only comes once a year, only to feel sick afterward, then scarcity has given you permission to eat in a way that does not nourish you. Choosing to believe that there is enough, that there will be other wonderful foods throughout the year, can help you be satisfied with a healthy serving.
Be present with what you are putting in your mouth. This is harder to do while also driving, texting, or arguing with your homeschooled child so try to separate those whenever possible! Taking four deep breaths before eating can reset the nervous system and help you tune into your bodies hunger and fullness cues. To get the most reward, practice being present with all your senses. Notice the colors, shapes, textures and smells while cooking and eating.
Food is nourishment. It can power us, recharge us, sustain us, transport, and heal us. Allow it to nourish you, without judgement. If you notice that it is not nourishing you, or satisfying you, it is a great clue that food isn’t really what you are looking for. Let your curiosity help you discover what you actually want instead of the food.
Eating slowly and mindfully is often one of the first skills that I work on with nutrition coaching clients, and it is a skill that you can always come back to at any time, in any situation. I hope you'll savor this season and all the abundance that surrounds us.