December is the time of year when we splurge on delightful deserts a little more than usual. We attend office parties, end-of-year celebrations, family dinners, and banquets. These celebratory events besiege us with sugar-coated treats that have you feeling like a kid in a candy store. But you know what? If the holiday sugar feast isn’t your norm, then it is okay to indulge a little.
This post is not about encouraging you to avoid your holiday favorites. I only want to inspire you to remain mindful while you enjoy the holiday season. How do you live mindfully?
To remain present means to observe everything that is happening to you. If you are present, you are in the moment; not thinking about tomorrow, what someone else thinks, or grappling about an incident that occurred yesterday. Being mindful means to:
- Actively listen to the sounds around you. When listening to music, try to pick up on the background instruments.
- Observe (but don’t judge) the colors, shapes, sizes in detail that is around you.
- When eating, concentrate on the color, flavor, texture, smell, taste, and temperature of the food.
- When eating, take smaller bites and avoid multi-tasking (watching TV, reading, surfing the net, etc…). The aftereffect of mindless eating is overindulging.
- When communicating with others, focus on their words not what your response is going to be.
- When driving, observe the cars and the roadway. When was the last time you were driving down a road and the next thing you know, you arrived at your destination and don’t remember passing familiar streets and landmarks? A wandering mind is reasonable; however, the trick is to catch the thoughts but then reject it and return to your focus.
We are hosting Christmas dinner, so as I began to think about the menu and desserts, I realized that the one common bothersome ingredient comprised of most holiday main course meals, desserts and beverages is sugar.
Sugar is an addiction. The more we eat sugar, the more we crave it. So, as you approach the dessert table, be mindful… How many trips have you made? Are you eating because you’re hungry or are inattentively shoving food in your mouth? Just something for you to think about.
Eggnog Martini, White Christmas Martini, Santa Clausmopolitan, Jack Frost Cocktail-– Look them up on Pinterest; there are many! Do I indulge? Absolutely!! But the solution is to sip consciously. Drink a glass of water between drinks. Go ahead, enjoy one sweet cocktail but if you decide to take a second drink, order it without the sugar on the rim, or just have your favorite spirit on the rocks.
Even if you don’t consume alcohol, still think about the non-alcoholic eggnog, the punches, sodas, and juices. When the news reported this week that the current U.S. President drinks 12 cans of diet coke each week, I cringed. The label on diet coke shows zero “0” sugar, but it does contain aspartame. Too much of anything, especially, a GMO ingredient, is not good for the body.
Sixteen days remain in 2017, and I am still going Vegan strong! My holiday festivities will undoubtedly include cocktails (mainly cabernet) but will exclude meat and dairy products. I made it through Thanksgiving, so Christmas and New Year’s should be a breeze.