The mince tarts are in the bakeries, the invites have started flowing, the champagne is ready to pop and the potatoes are being grated, ready to be smothered in oil. Hooray! The festive season is here!
The smell of gingerbread and mince pies fills the air, carols can be heard all around and the Christmas functions are in full swing.
How do we let our taste buds enjoy the festive season without it stressing us out?
Balance your plate
Fill your plate at least half full with fresh veggies. Whether you are at home or a party, check out the veggies first and try for half your plate to be colourful fruit and veg. When asked to bring a plate, bring a salad, vegetable dish or fruit platter or veggie xmas tree to help balance your plate at the party. When catering at home, try to include have lots of colourful things alongside the treats (inspiration here).
Choose your treats
For most of us, gone are the days of feast and famine. Life is a constant feast, especially at Christmas time. So with all the delicious festive foods around, how do we enjoy some festive treats but not go overboard?
I’ll just have a handful of chips, a couple of glasses of wine, a little taste of trifle, a small piece of cake, oh I must try your mince tarts, I can’t resist a few pieces of brie, steal a few fries off your plate, just one glass of soft drink and a little pudding and brandy custard for dessert. (all eaten perhaps without conscious thought).
Take a moment to think…
What do you feel like eating? What are your very favourite treats? What are the things you just really, really, really enjoy? What do you truely feel like eating right now? Look at the dessert bar, what is your favourite? What couple of things do you really want to try?
Mindful eating, can be a mere thought, a breath to decide if you feel like eating and what? (and whilst eating, think about if you are satisfied. Listen to your body as you start to feel full).
Eat slowly and enjoy
And I mean slowly. Try to limit distractions (like TV and phones) so you can concentrate on eating. Eating slowly helps you savour the flavours more but also helps you to listen to your body’s hunger and fullness signals. It is a good thing to leave some food on your plate when you have had enough (give this a practice).
Take a breath, a moment before you start eating to appreciate the food – how it looks, how it smells, the people you might be enjoying it with. Sip your wine slowly, swirl it in the glass and enjoy the aromas.
We hope you enjoy lots of delicious foods with friends and family this Christmas. And remember to relax, it’s Christmas.