There’s a running joke in our house that the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas should really be called “Carb-palooza.” No matter how hard we try each year, those six weeks seem to be constantly filled with pies and cakes and cookies and candy and bread and alcohol….so many delicious, but not always nutritious, foods.
As a professional who has dedicated my career to food and enjoying it, learning to keep a level head and a reasonable waist line has taken years of practice and dedication. I literally wake up thinking about food and, more often than not, it’s the last thing I think about at the end of the day. Food is literally my life and my income and my passion.
That being said…if I indulged in every delicious recipe I know or had a little taste of every pie that I came across this time of year, I would be a goner. Instead, I’ve been able to keep off the 50 pounds that I’ve lost over the past couple of years.
You’ve likely put a lot of plans in place, but one plan that I never recommend is punishing yourself. We need to enjoy ourselves, and there’s nothing that makes me sadder than someone who has lost the joy of good food and good company.
As someone who thinks about food constantly, here are my tips for surviving the season of splurge:
- We need to be able to enjoy the holidays and time with family and friends…and that latter part is essential. Remember: This season is about time with family and friends!
- Make a commitment to enjoy the holiDAY…not the holidays. Somehow we’ve gone from a few special occasions to six full weeks of eating and celebrating. Get back to celebrating the specific holiday instead of a slippery slope of rich foods and desserts.
- Be in the moment. Let’s not get caught up on overdoing it through food and drink. Remind yourself that you are celebrating people and memories and another year…not cookies and chocolate and champagne.
- If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times in a million ways: have a plan! I think planning is essential to creating an amazing meal or event, and the same is true for being able to enjoy it. Plan to eat normally, including plenty of fresh, whole foods, between parties and celebrations. Drinking water and planning your dishes will help you on track.
Mostly, let’s bring it back to celebrating your own reason for the season. Try to live these next several weeks in a way that you won’t resent them on January 1.
Food can help us celebrate, and it’s beautiful when we gather around a table and break bread together. Let’s enjoy it!