Putting Off Health til the New Year?

This is the biggest pitfall of new year’s resolutions: we stack the deck against ourselves with holiday binging, comforted by the idea that we have a date set for the healthy habits to start.

Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of good about truly enjoying the feast. This is a very special time for a lot of people, myself included. So I believe in embracing all of the goodness of the season, along with good health. How?

Try thinking about feasting in a new way.

We think of eating food when we think of feasting, but there is also celebration in deciding what to eat, how to prepare it, and who you will share it with. The party may include a holiday cocktail, but it is complete when there is good conversation, fun games, maybe a little dancing. What else beyond food will you feast on this week?

Will you feast on building a strong body? Keep exercising, perhaps even try something new. I run, but have had a hard time with consistency with the cold weather. I am walking more throughout the day, and I also made it to the gym to try out pilates again for the first time in many months (wow, what a great feeling to use those forgotten muscles!). When is the last time you went ice skating? Or dancing? Or skiing? 

How about feasting on sleep? Not just because you have a hangover! Everything will be less stressful and more enjoyable if you are well-rested. Period.

As for food, it is an important part of the feast. Enjoy traditional foods without guilt. Sometimes you’ll eat more than a little (don’t we all!), but slow down, savor every bite, and make a mindful decision about how much you’ll eat. Also, find ways to expand the types of foods you eat during this time and tweak recipes so that you can embrace both your favorite foods and yourself. I grew up with sweet potato casserole, made by coating sweet potatoes in brown sugar and butter, then baking marshmallows on top. Yum! But I also enjoy sweet potatoes with red and golden beats, coated with olive oil and spices and roasted to perfection. 

Why would we need to sacrifice ourselves to the idea of holiday indulgence? Why does holiday feasting have to subjugate feeling physically empowered to feeling physically sedated by our food? Food is indeed powerful. In these final days of the year, feast on foods that will empower you, that will allow you to feel healthy, energetic, and grateful for all that you have, and all that is to come.

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