‘Tis the season. The holiday season. The season when we eat, drink and spread merriment. The season when we tend to eat too much, and maybe drink too much all for the sake of spreading cheer.
The month of December can bring with it not only tinsel and mistletoe, but an excuse to stray from our normal nutritional path. Straying mindfully can be a wonderful thing–planned indulging in special holiday foods is always deliciously fun. Straying mindlessly, on the other hand, is usually not so wonderful.
There are certain foods that promote mindless holiday indulging. Foods that bring back childhood memories, or foods that we consider “forbidden” 11 months out of the year. Candy canes, gingerbread men, and egg nog, for example. For me, pie is the gateway to mindless straying. There’s just something about pie…and of course, the holidays are usually full of pie. Pumpkin pie is an especially dangerous foe. Pumpkin is a vegetable, after all.
The key to controlling my holiday pie eating is to plan my special holiday pie treats. I would never completely deprive myself of a delicious piece of pie, but I would make the conscious decision to eat it in advance and prepare accordingly.
If I know that I’m going to M’s mother’s house for dinner on Sunday (and that there will be pie), I might not eat that entire plate of steak tips and the leftover Halloween candy on Saturday. That way I can feel really great about enjoying a delicious, homemade dessert on Sunday.
If I know I’m going to a holiday party, I’ll make sure to eat plenty of vegetables throughout the day, so that I can eat cheesy hor d’oeuvres freely that night. Planning is the key to my success: I like to prepare to face my pie. I’m not saying that I plan my pie eating in my Google calendar or anything, but I definitely feel better, and enjoy the pie more, when I make an effort to think ahead.
One great thing about the holidays, is that almost all events are pre-planned– you’re most likely aware of holiday parties in advance. It’s easier to think ahead during the holidays than it is the rest of the year when indulging opportunities (and pies) are more spontaneous.
Another way I handle my holiday pie eating is to bake my own pies. I made a delicious pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving with an almond flour crust and sweetened with maple syrup–a healthier take on the traditional pumpkin pie. A gigantic Pumpkin Pielette, actually.
I did eat quite a bit of desserts over the Thanksgiving weekend including my pumpkin pie, my Mama’s cranberry walnut pie (pictured above) and M’s mothers peanut butter trifle. I was, however, 98% mindful of the dessert eating, which isn’t to shabby.
How do you plan to survive the pie…I mean, holiday season?
Check out Whole9′s Guide to Eating Dirty Part I, and Part II and Eating Bird Food’s How to Stick with Healthy Eating During the Holiday Season for some more, really helpful information.
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