Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, I often hear negative refrains related to nutrition and lifestyle: We are too busy to exercise, too stressed to take care of ourselves, too preoccupied to eat right, and too likely to gain weight. You are often resigned to waiting until Jan. 1 to get back on track. Instead, enjoy every day of this month, maintain your weight and enjoy the holiday season more by being mindful.
The practice of mindfulness, which has been around for thousands of years, continues to grow in popularity thanks to its merits: improved emotional state, lower anxiety, better immunity and healthier response to stress. Mindful eating is a component of mindful practice that can improve your diet, your weight, your health and your enjoyment of the holidays.
Mindful eating is defined by The Center for Mindful Eating as “allowing yourself to become aware of the positive and nurturing opportunities that are available through food selection and preparation by respecting your own inner wisdom.” The Center for Mindfulness describes mindful eating as an integration of mindful practices with an understanding of habits, cravings and stress eating. At the Kendall Reagan Nutrition Center, we see mindful eating as eating with intention and attention, allowing yourself to enjoy your favorite food and drinks without guilt or shame. The key is to not overdo it. Try these tips to practice mindful holiday eating.
For more tips, visit www.nutritioncenter.colostate.edu and www.liveeatplay.colorado.edu.
As published in the Fort Collins Coloradoan
Melissa Wdowik, PhD, RDN, LDN, FAND
is a nutrition educator with over 20 years experience as a college professor, nutrition coach, presenter and writer, as well as a nutrition consultant and founding director of the Kendall Reagan Nutrition Center.