There are some strange meta-stories that go along with holidays. There’a a lot of ego involed. On Thanksgiving people take pride in having a large number of dishes. On no other day of the year do we attempt to have 2 or 3 main dishes,5 or more side dishes, and 3 or 4 desserts. And everyone expects to overeat. It’s just about all you hear anyone talking about in the week or so before Thanksgiving.
About ten years ago, I decided to unplug from that narrative. I decided I would enjoy spending time with my loved ones, but I would not overeat. I would treat holiday meals the same as any others in that I would eat for pleasure and nourishment, but I would not overeat just because there was food in front of me. That began the complete overhaul of my attittude to holidays.
I scheduled dinner for 6pm so that I could have all day to cook. While the turkey was in the oven I prepared the pumpkin pie, brussel sprouts with bacon, and mashed cauliflower with rosemary and parmesan cheese. My sister-in-law brought cranberry relish and a cheesecake. Of course, I love cooking and feeding people so it was all pleasure for me. I didn’t feel any stress because I was not overdoing it; I had all the time and space I needed to prepare. I must also say here that my husband is very helpful when we are expecting guests. He helps get the house ready and takes a big part of the stress off of my shoulders. I am really lucky!
I have been reading a lot lately about the relationship between stress and ill health. We all know that stress can cause intestinal distress. But it also can ruin what should be an event filled with joy. I read this recently, “Slowing down with meals is symbolic of relaxing into our body, our career, our fears and desires, and anything life presents. It’s about granting ourselves the right to share in the simplicity of joyous moments on Earth. It’s about reclaiming our time, our dignity, and the sanctity of self-care.” I think this applies to holidays too. By making the decision to focus on the positive, and planning enough time to do the important things, I can relax and not stress. And I come through holidays with joy and an open heart.
Do you find the idea of planning and cooking a real foods diet completely overwhelming? I am now offering Personal Chef services. I will come to your house, plan a week’s meals, do the shopping, and cook for you. My goal is to empower you to feel comfortable and joyful around food and in your life.
SOME AWESOME HOLIDAY RECIPES:
Gingerbread cookies—these are grain-free, honey-sweetened, and seriously addictive.
Pumpkin Nog—delicious and PACKED with super foods.
Last year I gave home-made peppermint marshmallows and Sugarplums for holiday gifts.