A couple of weeks ago, I found myself at a party hosted by a good friend where I only knew about a quarter of the attendees.
As the night wore on, I found myself standing in the kitchen next to the food mindlessly munching on a spread of grapes, cheeses, gluten-free crackers, raw vegetables and hummus as I made small talk and attempted to soothe the social anxiety that I was feeling from not knowing many people. Sound familiar?
Halfway through the evening as I was about to pop another grape into my mouth—not to mention the voice in the back of my head that was growing louder reminding of how awful I would feel if I kept eating cheese— I paused and noticed what was happening.
Was I hungry? Nope.
Was I getting uncomfortably full? Yes.
Was I eating just to pass the time as I chatted? You bet.
Have you been there?
Despite years of healing around anxiety and working with clients on mindful eating, default patterns are hard to break and our patterns can creep back up in social situations, especially around the holidays.
If you find yourself mindlessly munching over the holidays and frequently come home feeling sick, bloated and uncomfortable, here are some of my go-to tips for mindfully eating over the holidays.
Mindful Eating Tips for the Holidays
- Savor your food. Put your food on a plate and then sit down to enjoy it so you can eat slowly and truly savor your food. How often to you truly get to enjoy turkey and stuffing? It’s much easier to overeat when you’re mindlessly standing in front of the food and distracted by talking to other people.
- Start off with a smaller portion. There are so many different foods to eat over the holidays. When filling your plate, choose small portions of a variety of food, as you tend to overeat when there’s too much food on your plate. You might find that you’re full after eating smaller portions, but if you’re still hungry after you finished, you can always go back for more. The food will be there, I promise.
- Plan other activities.The holidays tend to be a food-focused time. Plan other activities to celebrate that aren’t so centered on food. Perhaps a family football game or a walk in nature or to see holiday lights can become a new, healthier tradition.
- Take a moment to pause. Before you begin to eat, pause and take a moment to acknowledge the work that went into the meal that is in front of you—from the farmers who grew the food to those whose prepared it in the kitchen. During this time, check in with how you are feeling. Are you feeling tired, excited, anxious, hungry? After you have taken this moment to reflect, you can than better choose how much you want to eat, what you want to eat, and how you want to feel. Empowering, right?
- Bring a healthy dish. Thanksgiving and holiday parties are full of heavy, filling dishes so many people around the dinner table will appreciate a lighter, healthier dish. I always love bringing a healthy dessert and you can be assured these Paleo Pumpkin Pie Granola Cups featuring Kitchfix Grain- Free Granola will be making an appearance on my Thanksgiving table this year. You’ll swear you’re eating pumpkin pie but without the sugar hangover or bloating as these treats are completely refined sugar, gluten and dairy free. A win, win if you ask me. By the way, this granola is crazy addictive and it’s hard to put the bag down and save it for the crust.
Kitchfix Grain-Free Granola
When looking for a granola for this recipe or in general, reading your labels matters more than ever. Most traditional store-bought granolas are high in refined carbohydrates and processed sugars, with some containing over 15 grams of sugar per serving.
Kitchfix Grain-Free Granola does not use refined carbohydrates or processed sugars. The base of the product is a mix of nuts and seeds instead of oats, making it higher in healthy Omega-3 fatty acids and protein than most traditional granolas. All five flavors are also sweetened with just a touch of maple syrup, which is lower on the Glycemic index than table sugar.
The recipe for these treats is below. Leave me a comment if you make the recipe and if you’re looking for more healthy dessert recipes to make over the holidays, check out my Sunbutter Gluten-Free Cookie recipe.
- Pour all ingredients in a high speed blender
- Blend and press into mini lined muffin tins (be careful not to overfill)
- Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender
- Pour mixture into a squeeze bottle and squirt over crust
- Top with chopped walnuts
- Freeze for 3+ hours, store in freezer.
Thank you Kitchfix for sponsoring this post and thank you endlessly for supporting the brands that make this blog possible and allow me to do what I love. As always, opinions are my own.
Patrick Sporleder Photography