Eat the Foods You Love During the Holidays
Well, that title might sounds kind of scary, right? Should this dietitian have her license taken away? Usually, you will find nutrition and fitness professionals sharing healthy recipe swaps, and substitutes of all of your favorites during this time of year. Most of us ignore them or try them and find that these substitutes don’t quite hit the spot. Or we white knuckle it for as long as we can with our low cal, low carb, low taste pumpkin pie until we can’t take it anymore and find ourselves face deep in an entire pie with whipped cream, and vanilla ice cream on the side – way more than we ever wanted in the first place!
The Best Meal Ever
Let’s bypass that scenario all together this year. Let’s try something new. What if you tried an experiment this Thanksgiving with me? Let’s just choose to eat ONLY foods that we absolutely love this year, and eat the BEST MEAL EVER. Some of our favorite foods will be up for grabs, so let’s cut through the crap. Let’s take this one meal to choose those foods and enjoy only the divine. Let me explain what that means:
- You’re going to have to say no to aunt so-and-so’s gross casserole that you’ve always hated. It’s ok. You’re a grown up, and you’re allowed to say no. You can tell her that you’ll try some later – she’ll probably forget. You can instead spend your time in conversation with her – she’ll remember that more anyway. Whatever your method, remember – you must only choose foods you love.
- You can also choose foods that you think you will love if you’ve never tried them. How will you know what is the best if you don’t try something new? But, if you decide that you don’t like it, you don’t have to finish it. Let’s say the green bean casserole looks amazing. You put some on your plate, but it tastes a little funky. Don’t finish it! Your meal is going to be amazing this year, and amazing doesn’t include funky tasting foods!
- Limit distractions! Put down that phone, and stay away from the TV. Your job is to enjoy food, and conversation, if you are eating with others. If you are eating the meal of your dreams, you want to focus on this meal, and the loved ones who get to eat it with you.
- Eat slowly and enjoy each bite. If you need more help on eating mindfully, go back and read last week’s post. You want to focus on the textures, the smells, the flavors – all of it!
- Notice your fullness. The last thing you want is a stomach ache when you remember the best meal ever. Go ahead and stop half way through your meal and ask yourself, “How full am I on a scale of 1-10?” 5 is neutral. Once you find yourself at a 7, go ahead and have one last bite of your favorite item. Remember, you can have more later if you get hungry again.
The Sneaky Intuitive Eater
Following this 5-step process, you will find yourself having the best meal ever. You will also find that you were an intuitive eater without even knowing it, and you probably didn’t feel overly stuffed by the end of the day either.
In fact, you might enjoy this process so much, you’ll want to try it on other days. I recommend you do. What if you strived to enjoy the food you ate every day, and chose food you actually liked to eat? How would that change the way you looked at food and nutrition? Let me know in the comments!
Niki is a Registered Dietitian and the owner of New Frontier Nutrition LLC. Niki works to help clients create a diet-free life with Intuitive Eating strategies. She lives at home with her partner, two dogs, and three cats.