Many of my clients, friends and family, often come to me at this time of the year concerned with ‘blowing out’. So I wanted to share my top 3 tips, or advice, for choosing love over fear when it comes to the Christmas & New Year period.
1. CROWD OUT
I LOVE this term, and it is one I live by now. Add in more of the good, which will naturally crowd out the other foods. So what do I mean by this over Christmas? Still have the pavlova, trifle, BBQ, potato bake etc, but eat more of the greens, vegetables and fruit and also find ingredient alternatives. It does not matter what theory you follow, they all have one thing in common – less meat, dairy, refined sugar and processed foods, more fruit and vegetables.
Find recipes of your favourites online. I will often google ‘vegan Christmas pudding’ (eliminate dairy, meat and often gluten), or ‘diary free dip recipes’, ‘sugar free apple pie’ or ‘Sarah Wilson Christmas desserts’. You will be amazed at how good they taste, how easy they are to make and how good you will feel eating them. Google really is you friend. Or check out my recipes page for more ideas such as my hummus, aranchini balls, potato salad, coleslaw and Christmas pudding.
2. MINDFUL EATING
This. Is. Key. to eating less, digesting better and being in the present moment and being grateful for it! Before sitting down to a meal, or grabbing that 10th biscuit and dip, ask yourself: Why am I eating now? What am I eating now? What else am I doing now that may be distracting? A great way to remember is ABCDE: Ask (the aforementioned questions), Be grateful, Chew, and then chew again, Dine (don’t just eat), Engage your attention. So I challenge you, act like a child when eating (minus the throwing of food and mess!). Act as if you have never seen the food in front of you before. What can you see, hear, smell, feel, taste? Mindful eating is really about using all of your senses when eating and not being distracted by the thoughts and self-talk going on in your head;
3. SELF – TALK
‘I’m so hungry’, ‘oh pav is my favourite’, ‘I always overeat at Christmas’, ‘eating lots is just what I do’, ‘I always fall off the bandwagon at Christmas’, ‘oh this food is so good, I have to eat it all’, ‘you have no self-control’, ‘gee you’re a pig’, ‘can’t you just have one serving’, ‘slow down’, ‘do you really need that?’, ‘now you will have to run for hours to burn all of those calories off’, ‘I shouldn’t eat this’….
Are you hearing me? I you have had any of these, or other criticisms from your ‘brain bully’ you are not alone. Christmas time is even more challenging, when it comes to handling that brain bully. But I encourage you to firstly, acknowledge your brain bully ‘oh here you are, hi brain bully’, then choose words to support what you want, not what you don’t want. For example; ‘Thank you, but I notice I am getting better at… eating food that fuels me… just having one serve… just having a taste… eating mindfully… being present… being nice to myself.
Other self-talk strategies I use are coming from a place of love over fear. If you choose to eat the chocolates, don’t then go and beat yourself up, instead use words like – ‘I choose to…’: ‘I choose to eat this chocolate’, ‘I choose to have two servings’. Instead of: ‘I have to only have one serve’, ‘I shouldn’t eat that’, ‘I need to eat better/less’.
This is a great time of year, and really Christmas is only one day, so enjoy the lead up to this day, practice the above tips, and if on Christmas Day, things really go pear-shaped, that is OK. It. Is. Just. ONE. DAY…. it’s the consistent, small daily choices that add up over time, whether good or bad for us… like eating like it’s Christmas Day every day.
So work out what works best for you, eat mindfully, and choose love over fear, with how you treat yourself, and what you choose to put in your mouth.
MERRY CHRISMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR to my beautiful community.
Lots of love, Tara xo