• Xanthi Maragkoudaki, PhD, ANutr

Eat the right way during holidays!

Did I get your attention? How many titles like these have you read? How many times have you stressed about food during the holiday season? What if I told you to stop worrying? Would you stop reading? I'd say, carry on...

So as most of you know by now, threpsis means nourishment in Greek. I do love the effect food can have on our health. It was Hippocrates who said " May medicine be your food and food be your medicine". So we need to eat the right way to be more healthy? Absolutely! Health though is not determined by our diet only. Also, food is not only about health is it?

We share food with our family and friends, we laugh while having dinner... When we plan our holidays based on when we are having our family dinner, to spend time together! To wish to each other, to discuss, to laugh, to even argue and make up afterwards. We share our food and create memories. We also sometimes eat a food just because the smell, the flavour brings up memories to us... Cooking dinner with our mother, trying our grandmother’s cookies, having a pudding with our best friend, decorating a gingerman with our child. Those memories new or old nourish our soul, make us happier and when our mind is happy our bodies work better. (Remember what I mentioned about the effect of stress on our bodies previously?)

🌟So these holidays enjoy yourselves! Stop stressing out! Restricting yourselves during holidays may result in binge eating later on and this may have the adverse effect of what you are trying to achieve. How about listening your body instead? 

🌟Always include some salad and a protein source with your meal, it will satisfy you more, keep you fuller for longer and may reduce your cravings later.

⭐️Don’t eat beyond the point of where you are feeling comfortably full.

⭐️Check how you feel. What happens if you have two sweets instead of one?  Do you feel sluggish after a while? Think about it the next time.

⭐️Eat mindfully. Explore the smell, the taste and the texture of the food you are having. You may discover you like it more or you may not like it at all! 

⭐️Be comfortable to eat less at a family dinner if you feel very full. People invite you to have fun with you not to make you feel uncomfortable.

⛄️When it comes to children please remember we were all children once; and eating some Christmas sweets (whatever their names; mince pies, stolen, melomakarona etc) is part of our holidays memories. So let go a bit... Don’t over stress about these days and don’t make children feel stressed or guilty about food.

⛄️Don’t display sweets and then ask them not to eat them. Immediately that food is being placed on a pedestal. It becomes even more desirable. Out of sight out of mind is a better tactic. 

⛄️Remember children are born intuitive eaters so you may determine what they eat and they decide how much.  Don’t drag them into the diet mentality. 

⛄️A kid is not bad or good because of what she is eating. A kid is good because she is kind, creative, sharing and thoughtful not because she finishes her turkey or salad!

⛄️Reward them with quality time with you not with sweets! Because Christmas dinners is only a part of holidays. Take a nice walk with them and play some active games. Open the presents together and play some board games. Have fun!

Let these holidays be less stressful when it comes to food. Enjoy your family moments! Enjoy each mouthful and listen to your body! Maybe this way this Christmas will be the beginning of a better relationship with food...

Only three days to Christmas!!!🎁🎄⛄️🌟

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