Menu Close

Center your intention. Then, choose skillfully. What you do. What you say. What you eat.
Expect the best, of yourself and others.
Let go of all that doesn’t serve you well. Surrender.
Elevate the quality of your food. Oh, yes, and eat!
Breathe. Exhale stress. Inhale Vitamin P – Pleasure.
Remember the intention. Then, choose again, skillfully.
Avoid processed foods. Add nuts, seeds, fruit, veggies.
Toss out the scales. Health is a knowing not a number.
Enjoy! Vitamin P in healthy, holiday doses!
It’s beginning to look a lot like . . . the holidays! Stores have been filled with ‘merry and bright’ for months, literally. Now, at last, the calendar complies: it’s December. Hanukah. Christmas. Kwanzaa. With a brand New Year just waiting to start the cycle all over again.
Some people greet the merriment singing along to the music playing in every store; others respond with sheer panic! Even for those humming along, everyday chronic stress merely shifts to holiday chronic stress. Too many gifts to buy. Too many cars on the roads. Too many parties to attend. And, yes, too much food to eat and inevitable pounds to gain. Healthy lifestyles take a back burner to the annual ritual of stuffing – the oven-roasted stuffing and the over-indulgent stuffing.
About this time each year, many people, if not most people, have a little saboteur sitting on their shoulders saying, “You know you’re gonna gain weight during the holidays. You know you’re gonna break your healthy eating habits. Just give up! Wait until January 1st – resolution time!”
Whether during the holiday season or at other times of stress in people’s lives, it’s clear that many people have not developed the tools needed to live their lives with any sense of power, of intention, or of consistency.  They surrender and put their best intentions aside in deference to what they believe they can’t control.  But what if they could have their fruitcake and eat it too?  From the perspective of Eating Psychology, it’s possible.
Ironically, surrender to the season is the best hack for the holidays. Not surrender to inevitable weight gain or over-indulgence. Not surrender to stress.
Surrender, instead to the holidays, to the ‘holy’ in these days. The word ‘holiday’ originates from the words, holy day. People forgot. Time to remember. Time to surrender. Time to celebrate. Relaxing into the joy of this moment and the next. Finding pleasure in the holy day. Each holy day.
According to Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, Vitamin P – Pleasure – is a powerful metabolizer. In ‘The Slow Down Diet,’ David shares the story of a young woman and mother of three, obsessed with chocolate and afraid of gaining weight. Sound familiar? With a little investigating, David realized this woman wasn’t even eating any chocolate. At all. Not real chocolate. Low-fat chocolate pudding doesn’t cut it! His recommendation? Eat chocolate. Real. Dark. Chocolate. Indulge. Enjoy. Then move on. Once this young woman allowed herself the pleasure of chocolate, she didn’t gain weight, her cravings vanished, (and so did her chronic constipation.) The metabolic chemistry of Vitamin P – Pleasure!
Many people, especially during the holiday season, believe more willpower is what they need. In fact, it’s more pleasure. Susan Pierce Thompson, PhD in Cognitive Brain Research and founder of Bright Line Eating agrees. She says it’s not willpower keeping people from their healthy lifestyle habits, it’s chemistry. The processed food industry knows this, too, engineering foods to increase insulin which, in turn, blocks a little-known hormone called Leptin. Leptin is the hormone that says, “Okay, I’m full!” If the brain is blocked from seeing Leptin, there’s no sense of fullness and people eat more, packing on the pounds.
Michael Singer, founder of Temple of the Universe, a yoga and meditation center asks, “If the natural unfolding of the process of life can create and take care of the entire universe, is it really reasonable for us to assume that nothing good will happen unless we force it to?” Time to surrender.
Surrender catalyzes relaxation, and relaxation catalyzes optimum digestion and calorie-burning. Eating with pleasure has powerful health benefits.
Time to remember, too. “Health is not something down the road, a state to reach, a place to get to. Health is a state of attitude and mind that naturally invites skillful choices in the moment.”  ~Lani Muelrath, MA
Life is a series of choices. One skillful, healthy choice leads to the next skillful, healthy choice. Remember the intention. Remember the choice.
During the holidays, people often face buffets and party trays laden with foods that wouldn’t be their foods of choice. Learning to say, ‘No, not my food.’ is a skillful choice. It’s also a choice that can be helped with this pre-party hack: eat. Eat breakfast before the corporate holiday lunch. Keep a jar of nuts and seeds in the car. Eat an apple or veggies and hummus before the big family gathering. Showing up hungry is yet another saboteur.
There’s also the choice to bring a healthy twist on a traditional favorite – Gingered Sweet Potatoes – with Maple Syrup – or Apple Pecan Dressing – gluten free. Delicious choices. Time to eat.
Life is a series of holidays. Birthdays. Anniversaries. Valentine’s Day. Memorial Day. 4th of July. Labor Day. A calendar full. These special occasions can either wreak havoc on the best of intentions or reinforce the intention.
“Home for the Holidays” is a familiar song. Written in 1954, the song equates home with ‘the sunshine of a friendly gaze.’ In truth, home can conjure feelings of conflict as easily as comfort. More seasonal stress.
Home is more than a place. More than a house. Home is a sense of being, wherever the place may be. Choosing to be home is the result of choosing to create moments that matter. Holy days. Time to skillfully choose. Time to surrender. Time to remember. Time to eat.
Time to come Home for the Holidays. The holiday season, and every holy day. Time to celebrate. Welcome home!
Written by Deborah G.