Do you often feel pressured to eat a certain way during your holidays? You are not alone if you feel stressed about holiday choices. So read on to learn how to find balance this holiday season.
The holidays are a great time to share your love of food and culture with friends and family. From family reunions to social events with friends and colleagues, the options for fun and excitement are endless!
The holidays can feel overwhelming, especially as you work on your relationship with food and make the selection of holiday dishes that suit your needs. Be it pressure from loved ones, no food around to control, or simply the frequency of social events.
Here we are going to show you how to make holiday menu choices during the holidays so you can both enjoy and eat in a way that suits your health and wellness goals.
Make a balanced selection of holiday dishes
Holidays and dining go hand in hand. One cannot be done without the other!
The opportunity to share a love of food and culture at this time of year is really a wonderful thing. But what if it gets a little stressful? When do you feel overwhelmed by all the events and eating situations? What if your actions around eating are inconsistent with your health and wellness values?
This is completely understandable and is also common among our mindful eating method students.
Here are common challenges when choosing balanced foods for the vacation:
- Difficulty navigating so many social gatherings
- To be served food that you are not used to
- Have no control over what food is available
- Group pressure from friends or family members to eat a certain way
- More time for enjoying The Balance Spectrum than you would like
- and more!
If any of these troubles hit you during the holidays, this is where you can find a balance and control your food choices at that time of year.
How to navigate around friends and family when choosing holiday dishes
The following tools and mindsets can be extremely helpful when navigating your food during the holidays. Let’s go through them one by one so you feel prepared this holiday season!
Communicate your needs
Communication is especially important, especially if you find that you often find yourself in eating situations where there is no food that looks good to you. What we are not talking about here is restricting intake or creating food rules around the feast.
Instead, it’s about knowing what you enjoy and what you don’t particularly like. Or when dealing with a specific food sensitivity or disease condition that affects your food choices.
In this case, it is best to be open and honest with the host or hostess. That doesn’t mean you have to come up with fire rifles and guns and say you hate their food and don’t dare to eat some of it! Instead, communicate your needs positively and excitedly.
Explain that you are so excited about the holiday and that you would love if you could bring home a dish that you love and know others will taste too. Or, if you’re feeling comfortable, you can even explain to the host that bringing something of your own will make the event even more enjoyable for you!
Communication can make a huge difference in vacation situations.
Set healthy boundaries
I know we’ve all experienced peer pressure when eating.
“You absolutely have to have some of it, I’ve spent the whole day doing it!”
“I know, but you have to try my dish, I know you will love it. It’s different from the one you had before! “
Does that sound familiar to you? Most of the time peer pressure is applied accidentally and without bad intent. One of the best ways to respond to this is through positive boundaries.
Simply tell the person that although you are sure that it is absolutely delicious and that you want to try it, you are already enjoying, or possibly full, the dish you have. Whatever the case may be!
Setting boundaries is the way in which we communicate our personal desires and needs with others.
Build a balanced plate
If you are new to the NS community and the Mindful Nutrition Method, the Foundational Five System is part of how we teach you how to prepare balanced meals. It makes it easy for you to feed your body the nutrition it needs while having the flexibility to enjoy the foods you love without worrying about the food.
The Foundational Five is made up of five nutritional elements including protein, fat, non-starchy carbohydrates, starchy and sugary carbohydrates, and the flavor factor (which gives your meals liveliness, deliciousness, and enjoyment).
Purposely referring to the Foundational Five to fill your plate will help you prepare more balanced meals over the holidays.
The key word is intent – not every meal during the holiday season has to contain all of the nutrients, but intent to do your best is important and good enough.
When heading to the Christmas buffet, dinner, or potluck table, mentally go over this list to see if you can build your balanced plate: protein + starchy or sugary carbohydrates + non-starchy carbohydrates + fat + flavor factor.
This gives you a starting point and ensures that you are eating well and feeling great.
Eat consciously & mindfully
Part of the selection of holiday dishes that suit us should include indulgence!
Eating for nutrition and nutrient dense foods is just as important as eating the foods you love just for taste, nostalgia, and tradition.
More importantly, if you are only eating foods for enjoyment, consume them consciously and mindfully in order to preserve the whole experience.
If you don’t eat on purpose or mindfully, the more likely you are to overeat, eat when you aren’t even hungry, or eat foods that you don’t even really want or want just because they’re around you.
When you find yourself in these sociable eating scenarios, try your best to take a break and check in with the intention of this meal. Try to listen to your feelings of hunger and fullness, choose foods that you really enjoy and look forward to, and say no to those that really don’t for you.
Being mindful allows you to enjoy yourself and prioritize both food and enjoyment while eating.
Maintain balanced eating habits all year round
The holidays are just one example of many of the eating scenarios you can encounter throughout the year.
If what we talked about today seems challenging, overwhelming, or you feel like you can’t do it on your own, you don’t have to!
That’s why I created The Mindful Nutrition Method ™, a transformative online live experience with live group coaching, training and course materials and a private community. Inside, we teach our students to develop balanced eating habits for life that will help them be free from eating and diet obsessions, maintain a balanced weight, have a positive relationship with food and your body, and ultimately enjoy them find to feed themselves.
As part of the Mindful Nutrition Method ™, we teach our students to be mindful and overcome nutritional challenges at every stage of life.
Get rid of the diet and food obsession immediately
You can watch our free master class to learn how to be more balanced in your food choices so that you can get free from food and diet obsession, maintain a balanced weight, and maintain a positive relationship with food and your body year round .