The food is made with love and holiday cheer. Family and friends have finally arrived. Throughout the house, there are homemade sugar cookies and gingerbread men that are perfectly or not so perfectly frosted, tasty dill dip in a bowl made of rye bread, peppermint candy canes, yummy cheese and crackers, and red and green foiled candies. For dinner, the buffet is set with an attractive basted turkey or honey glazed ham, grandma’s stuffing, classic green bean casserole, buttered mashed potatoes, and candied yams. After dinner, the whipped heavy cream topping is placed next to the pecan and pumpkin pie signaling that dessert is ready.
Pause for a moment and think what Christmas means to you and your family. For me, it is about breaking bread; having a friendly and engaging meal in a comfortable, inviting environment with the people you hold dearly to your heart.
“Food for thought: have we been so engrained in our tradition that breaking bread has now become breaking habits, nutrition habits in this case?”
Pump the breaks on holiday foods like the ones listed above and begin shifting your mindset to more nourishing foods. Experts agree that wholesome, healthful foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds are linked to positive health outcomes. This Christmas nourish yourself and choose not to diet. If we are in the dieting mentality we hold feelings of guilt and regret for enjoying foods that we have, over the years of dieting, labeled “bad”.
To Diet is the practice of eating food in a regulated and supervised fashion to decrease, maintain, or increase body weight. To Nourish is to provide food necessary for growth, health, and good condition. In contrast to dieting, if we practice having a nourishing mentality we are expressing feelings of satisfaction and contentment. To keep on track this December, ask yourself a simple question before you eat, Is this food nourishing?
This Christmas, give yourself a gift by tossing out the dieting mentality and embracing the concept of “to nourish”.