I had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine recently. I was talking about shooting 5 top chefs for an upcoming magazine. The food not only looked divine, it smelled heavenly. Dish after dish, that I needed to be intimately involved with, teasing all of my senses. It was a challenge.
As I sat with my friend, describing this incredible food, she looked at me and said…you love food, don’t you. She could take it or leave it. And her 5’6″, 110 lb frame is an testament to that. Another friend, when discussing Thanksgiving dinner stated that, “I am just not that orientated towards food.” I laughed, “I am,” which he promptly responded with..well we need to change that orientation. Because…?
Food is powerful. It is memories, it is companionship, it is gathering and family. All through our lives, many happy memories are developed around food, around meals. And with the holidays upon us, the draw towards the old, unhealthy favorites is strong. So, how do we get through the holidays without completely derailing ourselves?
It is an interesting conundrum. My suggestion is to not try to be too militant. Let yourself have a little leeway. I have observed that super strict rules and regulations tend to lead to colossal failures. I have also observed that when we have really gotten into a great groove with healthy eating, opening the door, just a little can cause major problems.
So, what’s the answer? For me, it is all about making sure that I am full on my healthy food before I even consider a bite of the more unhealthy stuff. When I shoot, if I go hungry, I struggle the entire time. If I have filled up on healthy food before hand, it is so much easier. If you are going to a party, eat before you go. If you are tempted by the plate of cookies, fill up on some great raw food first and then see if the temptation is even still there. Make sure you start your day with a green smoothie, it will set the tone.
Another great way to deal with the temptation is to have some of your favorite raw food treats around. But even with those, the green drink comes before the raw cookies, the raw cheesecake comes after the beautiful salad. Don’t fool yourself into thinking just because the cheesecake is raw, you can have it for breakfast.
Use common sense and if after you have filled up on your favorite, healthy recipes, you still want a taste of those holiday cookies, you will be in a much better place to make that decision. And, please, let’s just let go of the shame and the labeling. The holidays are all about love, and the best place to start is with ourselves.