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Eat by Choice this Holiday Season
By Jan Henrikson (editor, Eat By Choice)

Simple ideas to honor your needs - instead of eating them -
during the holidays

What if your family clapped and cheered every time you grabbed dessert at a holiday gathering? With every spoonful of peppermint ice cream, you not only enjoy a burst of sugary flavor, but an instant sense of belonging. After all, Aunt Lois is unbuttoning her pants under the table. And Grandpa Allen is groaning, “not another bite” while shoveling in more pumpkin pie.
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Eat By Choice

Eat By Choice,
Not By Habit
by Sylvia Haskvitz
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Eat by Choice this Holiday... continued

Stuffing yourself is as much a family tradition as watching “It's A Wonderful Life.” So is waking up the next morning cursing yourself, vowing that at the next gathering you'll be “good.”

How do you celebrate your connection with family and friends and honor your needs for health and well-being at the same time? Family tradition is powerful by itself. Add to that the stress of the holidays and food issues and you've got more than the weight of generations pulling on you.

According to Sylvia Haskvitz, author of Eat by Choice, Not by Habit, you can experience a compassionate shift by planning ahead.

Take a moment to visualize typical holiday feasting traditions. What about them gives you pleasure? Is it the food itself? The conversation? The sense of camraderie? The aura of freedom - eating something you normally wouldn't?

Determine how to meet your needs in a way that is nurturing not only for the moment, but every moment.

Do a Conscious Eating Check-In

“Keep checking in with yourself,” says Haskvitz. If you associate every holiday with certain flavors, textures, and scents, don't deprive yourself. Breathe in that cinnamon. Savor that hot chocolate.

“Are you enjoying what you are eating? Do you feel satisfied?” By slowing down enough to truly taste your food, you'll notice when you're full and you can choose whether to eat more or do something different like take a walk.

In fact, Haskvitz suggests taking a walk before, after or between the courses of a meal. If one of your holiday traditions includes a brother-in-law who inspires political debate or a cousin with plenty of love life advice, you don't have to respond by swigging all the eggnog.

“Walking,” she says, “is a way to connect and often leads to deeper and more quality conversation than may happen around the peanut bowl.”

New Traditions That You Choose

You may even want to introduce a new tradition that meets your needs for nourishment, yummy taste, and healthfulness. At a recent holiday meal says Haskvitz, “My cousin Seekey made a lemon meringue pie, wheat and sugar free, substituting agave syrup for sugar. The pie was gobbled up alongside the pecan and pumpkin pies, no one the wiser.”

If you want people to be the wiser, put a postcard by a healthy dish stating that it is wheat-free or agave-full. “People will ask questions if they are curious,” says Haskvitz. If they like it, they'll “begin incorporating healthier versions of their favorite foods into their lives.”

Healthy family traditions. I'd clap for that.

Continue the process ... learn to create a healthy relationship with your body and food any time of the year. Eat By Choice, Not By Habit


Jan Henrikson is a freelance writer, writing coach and editor, her articles have appeared in numerous national and local magazines and she is editor of the book Eat By Choice, Not By Habit by Sylvia Haskvitz. She can be contacted by email at Jansun13@aol.com.


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Eat By Choice

Eat By Choice,
Not By Habit
by Sylvia Haskvitz
List Price: $8.95
Your Price: $3.10
Save 65% off list price
through Dec. 31, 2011

Book Add to Cart
eBook Add to Cart