“It’s the holiday season. The holiday season with the whoop-de-do and hickory dock. And don’t forget to hang up your sock ‘cause just exactly at 12 o’clock, he’ll be coming down the chimney. Coming down the chimney. Coming down the chimney, down!” Really? Who is this man who is going to rob me at midnight? Well, it’s Santa Claus, Father Christmas, whatever you call him, Vern. This man is ridiculous. His existence seems to make everyone afraid they’re going to die during December, so they stuff their face with sugar and fat like they’re preparing for a zombie apocalypse! No, no, Santa is a jolly, stout old man who gives presents to children. Vern. Whatever. He sends a curse over my family to overindulge, making me long to consume vast quantities of food that will contaminate my body and trigger a sugar coma or necessitate an insulin pump. Does this sound like you, dear reader, when you talk to your family during the holidays? Poor Vern. Don’t be a Vern this holiday season and stuff your face silly! You can survive the holiday minefield of food with these tips, so you won’t feel obligated to do weird cleanses at the dawn of the New Year.
1. Designate your food and your enemy’s food: don’t mix them up!
If you cognitively designate what is your food, then you’ll have a harder time eating food that isn’t yours. Your guilt will set in. You’ll feel bad for eating your brother’s vegan cookie. You’ll want to replace the food that wasn’t yours to begin with. You’ll just be sad if you eat other peoples’ food, so don’t do it! If someone gives you food for a present, then you can decide that it’s yours, or you can give it to your family or friend instead. But, you have to mentally label it as another’s food to curb the edge off the temptation of overeating.
2. Heed warning signs, and look away!
Your mom just turned on the oven, got out the Kitchen Aid, and flipped through the pages of her decrepit cookbook. She is making cookies. This should sound an alarm in your mind to leave the kitchen or the house, so you won’t be tempted to eat that scrumptious cookie dough! If you want to have a cookie, then wait until they are baked! After you eat one of those cookies and feel anxious, like you want more, that is a warning sign too! If you don’t want to overindulge, go on a walk, do a puzzle, do something other than reach for that cookie!
3. Eat your vegetables first.
When loading up your plate with dinner or lunch or even breakfast, remember to help yourself to the vegetables! Make vegetables account for half or at least a third of your plate because those babies are great for filling up your tummy without making you feel guilt-ridden. Don’t gravitate towards the gravy—go for the green beans! And while you’re at it, don’t let people murder your holiday vegetables with excessive cooking, making them sad; rather, ask if you can lightly steam the vegetables. You’ll make those veggies happy, now won’t you, Vern (except when you nosh on them with your pearly, white chompers)!
4. Get some exercise in the morning to help you meditate and leap over those food minefields.
Preparing for battle requires adequate amounts of training, don’t you know! Going into the minefield that is your grandma’s/grandpa’s/whoever’s kitchen, thus, maintains a prerequisite: exercise. If you exercise prior to feasting, then you’ll feel lighter, happy, and better able to tackle landmines, explosions, chocolate fountains, zombie gingerbread men. Exercising clears your mind, and if you don’t blast music while you do it, then you can practice meditation and be more in tune with your body which makes you more aware of your hunger signals.
5. Chew some gum, or drink some liquid love.
It’s after dinner. You want something sweet or feel the urge to just stuff yourself until you feel bloated. Instead of doing either of those things, why don’t you pop some xylitol, aspartame-free, GMO-free gum into your pie hole? Or, you can guzzle down some icy water, cheery tea, or suave espresso. Bottom line: occupy your mouth with something other than a gigantic piece of raw, vegan pumpkin pie (yes, raw foods are good for you, but not in such massive quantities!) When you’re chewing on minty goodness, you won’t be tempted to eat other foods because they’ll taste minty! Gross! If you drink liquids too, your stomach will be full, and eating excess calories won’t appear as appetizing.
Image Source: Raw Vegan Mince Pies