The Holidays are upon us! This is truly one of my favorite times of the year. I am a sucker for cozy blankets, twinkle lights, and delicious food!
Of course, since this is 2020, the year has been a little weird (understatement?) for all of us, and you may not have concrete plans for the different holidays yet. However, for many of us, this season and its strong correlation to food may be causing some conflicting feelings. We may be feeling the pressure to watch our diet or our weight, or maybe to whip up gourmet healthy alternatives that usually grace the tables.
Instead of getting bound up in rules and “shoulds” around food this year, I want to encourage you to take the opportunity to eat intentionally, rather than restrictively. This simply means that rather than eating on auto-pilot or out of boredom or habit, we are eating on purpose and choosing the foods that we put into our mouths with intention, whether that intention is to savor, to enjoy, to fuel, or to connect.
This style of eating leads to so many amazing results that often have seemingly nothing to do with food and I want to highlight a few of those today to help set the vision for how we are approaching this holiday season.
When we are being purposeful with what we put into our mouths, we have the opportunity to choose food that will fuel us. Rather than stress eating a bag of chips that we barely noticed or enjoyed and then crashing shortly afterward, we can stop for a moment and think about what our bodies are asking us for such as water, something with protein, or some fresh fruit. And sometimes, this may mean purposefully choosing something sweet and tasty, and that is just fine too! Just take that moment before eating to decide what your goal is in deciding to eat, and then eat accordingly!
When we are eating on purpose, that momentary pause to think about why and what we are putting into our mouths, often has the indirect benefit of making our digestive system much happier! And when our digestive system is running smoothly, our bodies don’t need to divert resources (aka, energy) to help out our sluggish digestion, which means that energy is able to be used in other areas of our bodies! This sounds like a win-win to me!
Stronger Connections = More Joy
When we are being purposeful with our food and setting the intention ahead of time, we might often find that we are eating with the desire to connect with friends or family. In this case, we are not only choosing our foods, but also the attitude that we are bringing to the table. When the desire is to connect, we are more likely to stay present with those we are eating with, and it has been shown that this increases our satisfaction and joy in life!
I hope that this holiday season you will choose to be purposeful in your food choices, those that you choose to connect with, and in all the other “small” aspects of daily life! The benefits are further reaching than you could imagine!