Mindful Eating for the festive season
Mindful Eating for the festive season
The festive season is almost upon us and while it is so exciting to get into the spirit of things and spread some festive cheer, there are a lot of things that tend to go straight out the window at this time of the year. Food and eating habits are usually the first to make the jump. So, if you are looking to eat more mindfully this festive season, here is a guide for you to look over.
What is mindful eating?
Mindful eating is the process of being mindful about the food we consume. While our minds may go straight to calorie counting, that isn’t really what it is about. Mindful eating encourages a mindful practice to each step of the food journey, from buying the food to preparing it, serving it to eating it, and the waste that we have at the end of it too.
Mindful eating is about being mindful about what we consume and what we leave behind, and it is even more important during this time of year when waste increases and we buy for the sake of it.
How can we be mindful at Christmas?
Christmas is of course a time to let your hair down and enjoy yourself, but that doesn’t mean that everything has to go straight out the window and you have to lose any control that you had built throughout the year. We have a tendency to over-buy and to stock up on foods during the festive season, when it is unnecessary and creates a lot more waste than if we were shopping and eating mindfully.
There are a few things you can do in order to stay mindful with your food over the festive season.
Write a list and check it twice
Shopping lists are popular for a reason and they help you to stay on track with what you are buying. We know it can be all too tempting to get something that is on offer or has been reduced, but if you don’t have a genuine use for it, then it is going to go to waste and fuel over consumption. Write your list, check it twice, and stick to it as best you can when you head out to the shops.
Do not panic buy
With the supermarkets closed for the day on Christmas Day, we have the tendency to panic buy in the days and weeks leading up to it, grabbing things just in case we need them. The reality is that it is one day, and as long as you are fed in some capacity, warm and safe, there is nothing that is going to make or break the day – even if you don’t have any stuffing on your dinner!
Plan out your meals in advance
Think about what you are going to eat and what you are going to make. There may be days when you are catering small or you may have the whole family around. Whatever you have planned, try to plan out your meals so you know what you are going to need in advance. It is also so much more efficient to do a shop than ten small trips to the supermarket for the bits you need each day.
Prepare what you are going to do about your waste
This isn’t the most exciting thing on the list but it is so important that you prepare and plan what you are going to do about the waste you produce. Things that can have another life such as coffee grounds or onion skins, make a plan for those and where they are going to end up after you are done with them. Think about donating waste to local groups and organisations that may be able to use them, and consider composting for the things that are, well, compostable!
Reuse and recycle
If you have containers and boxes, bottles and other items, see if you can reuse them for something. If not, the next step is to recycle them. Make sure you are fully emptying and flattening your recycling and that everything is going in the right bin, as one false item can cause the whole lot to go to landfill.
In the midst of all this, don’t forget to enjoy yourself. It is the time of year to let your hair down and to enjoy the festivities, so make sure you get a chance to do just that. Yes, we should be mindful at Christmas, but we should be mindful throughout the year as well, so don’t let pressures get to you and make it more monotonous than merry!
How to stay on top of it all
Now, no one is perfect and there are always going to be occasions when our best efforts get forgotten about, but as long as we are trying that is the main thing. Before you buy or consume something, ask if it is what you really need and if it is what you really want. There are other things that may factor into us falling off the mindful wagon at Christmas, too.
Peer pressure is the first thing, and while your friends and family may not realise what they are doing, the encouragement to have an extra mince pie or to make another trifle, just in case, ends in overconsumption and waste, as well as an extra bowl when you were already pretty full to begin with!
In these kinds of situations, it is important not to beat yourself up and to regain your own boundaries as well. Communicate your thoughts and share how you are feeling, to encourage a more mindful Christmas all around.
Mindfulness comes in a whole range of different forms and it is still a relatively new concept, so if you are practicing a mindful Christmas, don’t be afraid to share why or how, and to get your nearest and dearest on board as well.
If you are looking to find out more about mindful eating during the festive season, get in touch with the team at MADE where we can help you be more mindful this Christmas and beyond.