Mind-full Eating On Christmas Day
This is the time of year where I seem forget all my nutrition and health learning’s and declare ‘all bets are off’. I give myself ‘permission’ to just go for it. Chips, cake, chocolate, drinks, cheese.. well you get the picture. And the funny thing is I’m not sure why I do this. I mean what do I really get out of it? I know its Christmas time, but does that make it OK to pig out?
For me, this year has been one of really getting to know me and my internal workings aka what I eat and does it make me feel awesome or crap-ola. What I’ve discovered is that eating certain food for the sake of a holiday or tradition is kinda weird. My body has no idea about the meaning of Christmas, all it experiences is a onslaught of sugar. Going forth with full abandon makes me feel, well, crap, akin to the stuffed turkey perhaps. I had a mini preview this weekend at a casual Christmas party and it was like a little reminder to be mind-full of my food choices in the next few weeks.
I thought I’d share some of my tips I’ll be adopting to help me sail effortlessly though the indulgent time of year so we can come out a little less plump on the other side!
I actually encourage you to eat on Christmas day. Feeling deprived is not what this day is about there are plenty of foods that are suited to a lower sugar way of eating. The only thing I really want you to be aware of is listen to your body. Know when you are done i.e. full and really more would just make you more uncomfortable and sleepy – its NOT the turkey that does this, it’s the carbs!
If you keep this first ‘rule’ in mind while you are enjoying Christmas day meals you’ll be A-ok.
Pre-dinner snacks – read my other post on Paleo suggestion for Christmas parties here https://thewholefoodtruth.wordpress.com/2012/11/29/how-to-go-paleo-at-pre-christmas-parties-2/” Stick to the cheese and raw nuts for snacks.
Secondly the Christmas Feast meal is actually a paleo’s dream meal. We worship the meat on this day; think massive baked turkey, leg of ham, roll of crispy skin pork, green beans and carrots. Need I say more.
At my Christmas table we also will have roasted potatoes. I’ve never really been a fan of the potato, but I’m mad for its cousin the sweet potato (yam) so I’ll just chop one up and add it to the baking tray with some coconut oil and rosemary. Too easy.
Another Christmas staple is the cranberry sauce and gravy. I’d simply avoid the cranberry stuff, it’s basically jam i.e. full of sugar, my opinion is it’s just not worth it. 1 dollop of that with your turkey is approx 2-3 teaspoons of sugar = 15grams upwards of refined carbs and then add in the dried cranberries on top of that. Go with the gravy. It should be made using the juices and fat that has been cooked out of the meats – sometime people add a bit of flour to thicken. If you’re at home maybe you could offer to make the gravy? Add a tablespoon of butter and whisk it in well, it should all come together and be silky smooth without the need to add flour. If you like it a bit thicker ½ a teaspoon of coconut flour will work wonders. Note; coconut flour will absorb approx 4 times the liquid of regular flour so add tiny amounts then mix.
Christmas Pudding: There really is no way around this one. By this stage you will no doubt be feeling the effects of a large meal. Listen to this. If you just live for Christmas pudding then I would say have some. But request a small slice – after all you’re kinda full enough by now right? Add a spoonful of cream if you wish and enjoy it. The amount of sugar in a small slice when mixed with the fat and protein from a meal like this will have little effect on your blood sugar and thus insulin release should be minimal. But this is not a licence to go nuts.
The biggest message I want to communicate is that its your choice. I’m here to give advice and help break-down some food and health myths, I’m not here to tell you what you can and can’t have on Christmas day. However, I do hope that this post will inspire you to practice mindful eating and begin listening to your body. Be aware of the changes in how you feel, think and respond after certain foods. There is no perfect ‘diet’, I actually hate that word. In food and wellness there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach. You body will tell you what fits you. Its like that particular brand of jeans that seems to be cut just for your shape – Its just works.
In 2013 I will be setting up a food learning program to help you get more aware of your body and how it responds to food, lifestyle and environment. It will be completely free for everyone who wants to be brave enough to go on their own journey and get back in touch with their own tempo. Follow me at either this blog or Facebook at The Wholefood Truth as I’ll be setting up and sending out your first ‘body-work’ aka homework, to begin your own adventure in becoming more aware and re-connected with your body. Updates will all be conducted via FB.
I’m really excited to be sharing this with you. Love to hear any comments or feedback or suggestion on what you think trips up your health or where you feel you get ‘stuck’.
First ‘bodywork’ will commence in Jan 2013! Stay tuned.
Ps – the picture is a semi-Paleo friendly treat. Recipe will be posted this week.