It’s clickbait, right?!?
We want 5 easy steps to eat healthy through the holidays. 6 steps to less stress. So often we are looking for the list of to-dos to get the results we want. I can vividly remember a session in my therapist office when I asked him for the worksheet for a complex emotional situation, I wanted resolution on! In fact, I am pretty sure I demanded a worksheet or workbook or anything to tell me the step by step process to ease my discomfort. Wouldn’t that be so nice? Here is the list! Just follow these 10 steps and you will solve whatever problem, struggle, issue you are having. Just kidding. 🙂 In reality, our circumstances and lives require so much more attention and tenderness.
Eating is one of those areas that carries so much more than just food. We eat when we are emotional. We eat when are board. We eat to socialize. We eat to numb out. We eat because we enjoy it. We don’t eat because we are trying to look a certain way. We eat organic. We eat paleo. We eat keto. We eat vegan. We eat raw. And in the next five minutes there will be a “new” healthy way to eat while the South Beach Diet is tossed by the wayside.
As I have shared, I am in school to become a yoga therapist and I have the privilege and honor to study under amazing teachers who have so much wisdom and insight to offer. Two weeks ago, one of my professors acknowledged that we are emotional eaters and that there isn’t anything inherently “wrong” about that. She asked us to think about a baby. A baby eats when they are hungry, when they are sad, when they are scared, when they need comfort. My daughter was no different. She nursed for all kinds of reasons that had nothing to do with physical nourishment.
My daughter and I both have the gift of food allergies. “Gift” you ask? Yes gift! I developed it in my 20’s and my daughter at just 14 months. It is a gift because no matter where we are or where we travel, we have to read all the ingredients in our food! I remember in my 20’s when I started to read that back of packaged “foods” I was eating, I was shocked. There were all kinds of things I couldn’t pronounce let alone know what the heck they were. It started a huge shift for me. I had to be aware of what was in my food! It forced me to be consciously aware of what is in my food.
In yoga, food is life! It is sacred, but why? Because food is what nourishes our bodies. In scriptures, it says your body is a temple – a sacred place! Wow! The idea of food and its nourishment to my body being a sacred act is definitely different than any concept I learned growing up. My daughter now has a beautiful gift that she will always need to know what is in her food too. We have to be aware of what we are eating. What if, as a practice this holiday season, you become more aware of what you are eating? Maybe you don’t make any shifts in what you eat but you read or find out the ingredients in everything you eat (ps it can be very overwhelming at first). I know I have picked up some holiday treats at Trader Joe’s only to put them right back down when I see there is a list of 30 ingredients I would have to read.
My professor pointed out that the health benefits of so many diets: raw, vegan, keto, paleo, fill-in-the-blank, are that they mostly eliminate highly processed foods and cause the person eating this way to be more aware of what they are eating.
Put it in to practice! For this holiday season, how can you be more mindful of what you are eating? Can you be a conscience eater? Can you find out what is in your food? Can you slow down when you eat and notice the taste of your food? Can you find time to savor the flavors? Can you pause before you eat (every time) and say grace or just thank the hands that brought the food to you today? How can you create your own space to be aware and conscience of your food and how it nourishes you?
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