Being Mindful with Holiday Eating!

Happy Holidays - Time to remember to be mindful!

Many of you know that I am a strong proponent of mindfulness – the ability to be in the present moment with whatever you’re doing from doing the dishes, to sipping your cup of coffee in the morning to toasting with a glass of holiday cheer.  Each of these opportunities allow for us to be mindful – using all of our senses to appreciate and savor the moment. 

In this week’s blog I dive into what you are putting on your plate and why, and how you can infuse mindfulness into our eating experience, especially when tempted by holiday indulgences!

But first, I’d like to talk a bit more about mindfulness and the use of our 5 ( or more? ) senses.


Recently, I made one of my favorite recipes, Butternut and Squash Soup ( click here if you missed the recipe).  Not only did I enjoy making it, chopping the carrots, onions and celery, but also smelling the wonderful scents coming from the pot on my stove. 

Here’s my experience of practicing mindfulness with creating this delicious soup!

  • Visual – loving the sight of the hand-held blender as it slowly created a creamy texture from froth on the top with a hint of brown swirl from the coffee underneath.
  • Smell – smelling the richness and fall flavor from the steamed butternut squash. 
  • Touch – feeling the warm liquid heat up my lips and tongue as I tasted the soup. 
  • Hear – listening to the soft sound I made with each slow sip to cool it down.
  • Taste – the sweetness  of the sweet potatoes on my tip of my tongue.

See?  We can all be more mindful during this Holiday season – from potato latkes to eggnog, we always have a choice to choose mindfulness!

Here are 7 tips to help stay mindful as you enjoy the holiday food & festivities.

  1. Tune into yourself.  – How are you feeling?  Are you feeling stressed? Angry?  Happy?  Whatever your emotion, acknowledge it and reassure yourself that you are going to make the best choices.

  2. Take a look around.  What are the options?  What types of foods are being offered? What type of food is your body tending towards?

  3. Take a smaller plate.  By doing so, you will better control the amount of food that you place on your plate.

  4. Take a seat.  Make sure to sit down and not stand while eating.  Standing makes for more rushed eating and less satisfaction.

  5. Take time to chew and be in the moment.  Whether it’s 10 chews or 30 chews, allow your mouth and taste buds revel in the joy of each side dish or entrée.

  6. Put down your fork.  By putting down your fork between bites, you’ll be more satisfied and relaxed with each bite.

  7. Practice gratitude.  Be grateful for what you have eaten and send gratitude to all of the people that have worked to make this happen- from the farmer who grew the crops, to the picker, to the truck driver who drove miles to deliver it to the distribution center,  to the grocery store clerks who placed the ingredients on the store shelves, or in vegetable section, to the host/hostess who prepared the meal.   Every person was essential in this process and acknowledging each of them allows for greater compassion and kindness.

Ultimately, our unified goal will be to eat mindfully EVERY DAY and not just during the holiday season.


- In health and happiness

This holiday season, give the gift of health - to yourself!

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