Mindfulness : Being Mindful Throughout the Holidays

 

turkey-and-pumpkins

 

The holidays are once again upon us and it never ceases to amaze me that another year has passed. This is a wonderful time to be grateful and count our blessings by taking a moment now and then to stop and reflect.  Wouldn’t you like to have a holiday that didn’t leave you exhausted and depleted?  Maybe this will be the year.

Part of our exhaustion comes from eating foods that we don’t generally indulge in, and we use the excuse that it is the holidays so let is loose.  I am all about enjoying the foods that come around once in a while that are special. I love the homemade ethnic foods and the memories attached to them from my childhood, although many are a lot heavier and filling than I remember.  Note, fats are filling and satiating.  There are 9 calories per gram in fats compared to 4 calories per gram in carbohydrates and proteins, which means a little fatty food goes a long way.

  • A bite of triple cream cheese is decadent and fat laden, so a little goes a long way.  Swiss cheeses and harder tangy cheeses have less fat so you can have a bit more, still savor them.
  • The trick is to remember that eating real foods; roasted veggies, wholesome soups, pomegranates and pears which are all carbohydrates are different than eating  cookies, cheesecake, fudge and candies which are also carbohydrates that have very little nutritional value and depress your immune system.
  • The same goes for protein, shrimp, fish, scallops, herring, hummus are protein sources that will not fill you up and will offer some excellent nutritional value over mini hot dogs, chicken wings, sausage or deli meats which offer little in the way of nutritional value.
  •  The same goes for drinks.  Egg nog is fabulous, but a little goes a long way so make sure it is a good one and worth every sip. I still remember a friend who made her egg nog from scratch- now that was a real treat!

Please enjoy those foods if those are what you really want, but pay attention.  Notice how hungry you are, or not.  Decide that you would rather enjoy the foods around you and not leave feeling stuffed and uncomfortable. Eat one bite at a time, let it sit on your tongue, roll it around your month, notice texture and flavor.   You will really taste the food and find you will be satisfied a lot sooner.  Take a break and sit for a moment to experience the experience.  Eat what you enjoy and leave the rest behind, the clean plate rule is not necessary.

Be sure to up your water intake, add at least a half hour of movement in your day- a walk, vacuuming , taking the stairs, washing windows- it all counts. And get some rest- a hot tub, a bit of meditation , a restorative yoga class an entertaining movie or sitting by a fire, go to bed by 9pm!  It will help keep colds and flu at bay.  Keep treats as treats for you and the little ones.  For children, keeping the sugar intake down is central to staying even keeled and focusing on some simple meals can go a long way; try scrambled eggs with salsa, whole grain bread and a baked apple, it will  only takes moments.    Another key factor is keeping to their sleep schedule.

The holidays are about connecting with others, being social and sharing.  Take time to really listen and engage in conversations during social events. Appreciate the surroundings, the efforts that were made and how you are connecting with the situation.  The holidays come around every year and just maybe with a little mindfulness you will be able to still fit in your clothes comfortably this January and you may reflect on some good memories and fun events rather than being glad it is over, until next year.

Wishing you a beautiful Thanksgiving.

Be Well,   Mary

 

Look for my next newsletter coming soon with a special discount for December.  

 

 

 

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