Tip #3: Enough is Enough.
It’s Wednesday of Christmas week – that week after the big event that multitudes spent weeks, months, even the whole year shopping and planning for. And this year, we have Hanukkah added to the mix! Next on the list is New Year’s Eve, then it’s finally back to our regular lives and regular healthy eating habits – or at least our efforts to instill them.
Because we believe in enjoying food and eating all the time, not just going for it when special events roll around, this post isn’t about how to go back to spartan menus that really don’t entice us. But it is a note about putting closure on holiday eating. If we’re normal healthy eaters, this just happens naturally. We have our fill of richer holiday foods and then just stop eating them in any great amounts. We grow tired of such foods, and our bodies guide us back to more of a balanced menu that makes us feel well. If holiday foods are still sitting around, we may have another bite now and then, but for the most part, we aren’t that interested in much more at this time.
Those of us who are re-learning how to eat normally may not be at the point where we can confidently eat like that yet. We’re still working on listening to our bodies, and trusting what they’re telling us. Often we’re still working on learning how to eat certain foods in moderation (translated: foods that are usually forbidden on diets). And that means we may find ourselves overly challenged by continuing to have such foods around in large quantities.
One strategy that can help is to clear our pantry and refrigerator shelves of foods we don’t want to continue eating regularly. Note that this is different than “putting the ‘bad’ foods out of sight so we won’t be tempted.” That’s diet thinking. Instead, we’re choosing to remove foods we don’t want to eat a lot of, so we won’t have to continually stop and think about whether we really want the foods or not. But remember, if this idea leaves you feeling deprived even now when there’s still such food sitting on your shelves, then it may not be the strategy for you.
So if you don’t run through all your holiday stash by New Year’s, think about giving it away. I like to give party/holiday leftovers to a local teen shelter. It may take a bit of work to find places to give your extra food, but in a very short session on Google, I found a San Francisco food help organization that’s a model for the type of place that may be able to help you discover where to share your bounty. It’s worth the search because we can find ourselves in this situation plenty of times during the year, not just the holidays.
Have a great New Year!