the time to enjoy that, then the food is not as important.
There you are: sitting at the table, taking in all the sights and smells of the smorgasbord of delicious and enticing holiday foods lying before you. Turkey, ham, your aunt's famous casserole, creamy mashed potatoes, fresh salads, and piping hot dinner rolls with melted butter... before your brain can even comprehend your countless choices, you see the dessert table, full of pies, tortes, cookies and cakes.
And before you even take your first helping of mashed potatoes, that little voice inside pipes up - 'You'd better watch what you eat!', 'Might as well just put that piece of pie right on your hips.', and 'Well, there goes your diet!' Then you feel bad, guilty about the thought of enjoying the wonderful food, made with love for loved ones. Fear not! There are ways to quiet that little voice - here are several:
1. First thing - control what you can control - eat a healthy breakfast (lots of fruit!) and a light lunch( preferably containing some protein), before the holiday meal. That will take the edge off so you won't be starving when you get to the dinner table. The stomach usually secrets acid for digestion, therefore it's not indicated to run on empty. Many people make the mistake of starving during the day until the dinner time, and then engulfing everything in site; too much food at once is a sure recipe for indigestion, not to mention the heavy combinations, that will drain your energy away from the more important fun times after dinner...
2. Eat slowly and savor each and every bite. Don't put more than one spoonful in your mouth at any given time and set your fork/spoon down while you savor the flavors of the delicious foods you are tasting.
3. Chew each mouthful of food thoroughly and take in all the flavors and textures of the food you are eating.
4. Don' t eat too much at one sitting. Yoga recommends eating two double handfuls of food( considering the size of the stomach), and leaving the stomach one third empty at the end of a meal. Stuffing yourself doesn't allow room for mixing the food, and overloads the whole system.
5. Take time and socialize at the table.
Slowing down the eating pace will give you time to properly digest, and also get the fullness feeling to the brain when you get full. The satiety centre (situated in the part of the brain behind the ears) that controls your appetite needs time to process the information coming from the gut.
6. For optimal digestion, one should always observe food combining principles. This usually works in your everyday life, but falls by the side during the holidays.....
However, there are two loop-holes that allow you to enjoy the festive table while still staying true to these principles:
1. Have raw vegetables with your holiday dinner combinations; vegetables contain their own digestive enzymes, therefore helping you digest the mixed foods easier, without too much strain on the system.
2. Food combining principles also state that starches shouldn't be largely combined with proteins.
During the holidays, when faced with making this combination, choose one as your main food while minimizing the other; for example, if the mashed potatoes and turkey look both appetizing, choose more turkey and less mashed potatoes at one sitting, or vice versa.
7. Have dessert on its own, away from the main meals; the sugar usually present in desert causes increased fermentation and even inflammation when combined with proteins. When you do have dessert, have a small piece, sit down and enjoy it and take extra enzymes.
The holidays are more than just the food - take in the company of those around you and share your experiences as well as your recipes. And don't forget, no one gets out of balance from one holiday meal. It's what you do the day after and the entire year that will make a difference.
From: Dr. Anca Martalog, N.D - survivor's coach of cancer survivors network http://www.telehealthsecrets.comArticle