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Holiday Nutrition: Can We Indulge Mindfully?

eating mindfully during the holidays

Registered Dietitian, Carol Bell, shares a few quick tips to navigate the holiday food spread…mindfully.

The biggest problem for people’s bodies during the holidays is eating too much food. However, this is a special time when family traditions are part of the joy of our life, so how do we indulge mindfully?

First, ask yourself: “Where do I really want to indulge and where can I comfortably set limits?”

Decide ahead of time which foods you want to indulge a little and which foods you will avoid. You can set boundaries around your own eating before you arrive at the party.

Sit quietly for a few minutes and ask your body for input on this decision.

“How should I eat today to support my physical and emotional well being?”

  • For desserts, eat one bite of fresh fruit for every bite of other desserts.
  • The day before the party and the day after the party, aim to eat more vegetables and fewer calories you normally eat. Feasting and fasting follow each other. This way the net amount of calories eaten over the week is more optimal.
  • For every alcoholic or soda beverage you drink, consume 8 oz of water afterwards. Alternate between them.
  • Chips, crackers, pretzels, salted nuts, pickles, gravy, sausage, and lunch meats are the highest in sodium and will raise blood pressure the most. Limit or avoid these whenever possible.
  • If there are raw vegetables served, aim to eat one bite of vegetable for every bite of anything else. You will fill up more quickly and with fewer calories.


Remember, it’s ok to stray from your regular healthy diet (one that is packed with vibrant colors and are nutrient dense, dade of whole, unprocessed foods, free from added sugars and alcohol, and made with lower cooking temperatures (raw, steamed, baked, slow cooking, pressure cooking) when going to a party, eating out, or going on vacation, but this is the plan we go back to over and over again to reclaim our health.

You will find that over time, unhealthy foods are less and less appealing and take no effort to pass them by. Your body learns to crave the things that make it feel so good!

If you’re interested in learning more about your personal nutrition, creating a healthy meal plan, and more. Make an appointment with Carol Bell, Registered Dietitian, today!