6 Tips for a Mindful Holiday

The holidays are an enjoyable time, but between the planning, cooking, cleaning and spending time with families and friends it can become very stressful.  It can be easy to get lost in the shuffle of the holidays, but I am here to help you!


Here are 6 tips to keep you mindful and cheerful during the holidays.


  1. Plan ahead. It’s important to plan ahead so you can enjoy your favorite foods without guilt. Plan out your breakfast and lunch before celebrating the holiday. Avoid arriving to the party hungry so you don’t overeat!
  1. Focus on friends and family. The holidays are all about spending time with your family and friends. It can be easy to get lost sitting around the kitchen table, mindlessly eating… Try moving the party away from the table!
  1. Savor your food. Focus on each bite of food that you put into your mouth. Experience the taste, texture, flavors and aroma of the food. Do you like it, dislike it, or it’s just okay?  If you aren’t fully satisfied with it, don’t finish it.
  1. Sit down at the table. Eating while standing around the buffet table or while walking around will decrease your attention and satisfaction with your meal. Instead, plan to sit while eating. Fill your plate appropriately with food, and find a table to sit.  Friends and family will likely join you and you can enjoy nice conversation while being more mindful of your eating.
  1. Listen to your body. It is important for you to take the time and listen to your body’s inner signals as you are getting satiated.  Stop eating when you feel comfortable, you can always wrap up the rest of your food on your plate.   If you do this, you will be able to enjoy the homemade pie without the need to unbuckle your belt.
  1. Indulge in your favorites. Don’t avoid your favorites that come around once a year. Avoidance can lead to caving in and then to overeating.  It is much better to eat a small portion of something you really want than to give it up entirely. Choose those treats that you don’t typically have year round. Take one portion, one time, without guilt.


Menu Tips


Are you still planning your holiday meal?  Keep these tips in mind!


  • Lower fat. In baked goods use half the butter or oil and replace the other half with unsweetened applesauce or mashed bananas.  If a recipe calls for sour cream, swap it out for low-fat Greek yogurt.
  • Reduce sugar. In quick breads, pie crusts, and cookies, cut the sugar by 1/3 and add more spices instead. Cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract or almond flavoring will enhance the flavor of the food without all the added sugar.
  • Increase fiber. Trying use whole-wheat flour, pastas and breads, brown rice or oatmeal in your recipes. You can swap ½ whole-wheat flour for ½ all-purpose flour as an option too. Choose more vegetables as side dishes to increase fiber, vitamins/minerals and variety of your dishes!


Whether your holiday is spent at home or with friends and family, use these tips to ensure you have a mindful and enjoyable holiday!


Your Turn to Take Action: How will you keep your holiday mindful?  Let me know in the comments below!


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