Holiday Tips

This time a year, it is common to gather around food. Your Dietitians at Banister Nutrition wanted to give you their favorite tips and tricks for the season.

  • Look over ALL of the food on a buffet before starting through the line. Identify those foods that are special, homemade, or only appear during the holidays because they are unique holiday gifts for you to enjoy.
  • Christmas is no longer just one day in December – it goes on all month long! Enjoy the spirit of the season every day of the month, though not necessarily an abundance of food daily.
  • Enjoy the seasonal favorites. Savor the flavors of the season including peppermint, cinnamon, gingerbread, and eggnog, but realize that complete immersion into these flavors will likely decrease your enjoyment of them.
  • If you don’t love it, if it’s not awesome, or if it came from Sam’s or the grocery store, then it’s not that special. Pass it up, be selective, and hold out for a real treasure of awesomeness!
  • Honor your hunger and your fullness! Consuming Christmas treats when you are not hungry or continuing to graze when you are full robs you of pleasure and just might create guilt and shame! UGH!
  • Find a plate! It’s difficult to be aware of how much you’re eating when you nibble without a plate. Putting meals and snacks on a plate decreases mindless grazing. (This includes the cookie dough you’re tasting).
  • Thinking about skipping a meal so you can eat more at the party? This never pays off! If you want to create the perfect “out-of-control” storm, arrive at the party hungry and tired, then add a cocktail! Prolonged food deprivation makes it difficult to listen to your hunger and fullness cues, which leads to mindless or ravenous eating. Instead, enjoy a small balanced plate of lean protein, fruit, and raw veggies prior to your party so you can enjoy the treats while staying in control.
  • Hydrate-Hydrate-Hydrate—don’t neglect water! Aim for two quarts daily.
  • Delete the food police from your life as an incredible gift to yourself. The food police in your head judge food as “good” or “bad.” Then you follow that with judging yourself as good or bad, leading to guilt, shame and feeling chaotic — all of which are burdens, not gifts.
  • During the holidays we make time to cook. We cook with our families and share home-made potluck dinners. Cooking from scratch can be a healthy activity during the holidays reminding us of how gratifying and valuable preparing food can be. Hopefully it may inspire a new joy of cooking as a healthy gift for your family year round.
  • Holiday food traditions evoke memories, unite family and friends, and make us smile. We want your holiday food experiences to be enjoyed without guilt or shame. Find the time to STOP, PAUSE, and CHECK-IN to be certain your choices are reflecting your authentic desires for your self-care!

According to the dietitians at Banister Nutrition: ALL foods are OK, ALL foods are to be enjoyed, ALL foods are to be managed!