By Gloria Stoverink
Mari Kondo has exposed the organization tendencies out of all of us with her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Her main takeaway is to only keep things in your life that spark joy. If something doesn’t, get rid of it.
Although, she references mostly physical belonging that clutter your house, I believe it applies to the food you are bound to be tempted by through the holiday season. Following the concept of choosing and eating foods that spark joy will ultimately promote mindful and satisfied eating.
Does this food bring me joy?
I have a year-round rule with desserts; if it is not the best thing I’ve ever tasted, I don’t eat it. Stale cookies left on the breakroom table? Not touching it. My mom’s homemade cheesecake? Cut me a slice, pronto!
There are so many options at a holiday dinner or party that it can be tempting to grab a scoop of everything. If the food has minimal nutritional value and you don’t get excited about eating it. Don’t. Fill a small plate with a few items that look the best and walk away.
Am I still enjoying this?
Sometimes there is a level of nostalgia around particular holiday dishes. The aura of knowing that you only get certain foods once a year that have been the same for the last 20 years may give you the urge to overeat on that principle alone. But, is that mushy green bean casserole actually good or are you eating it out of tradition?
In the same way, check in with yourself as you are eating it. That sweet potato casserole may taste amazing for the first few bites and then you become satisfied in the starchy sweetness and decide to be done. That is perfectly fine.
You do not have to be a member of the clean plate club.
I’m not sure who is in charge of this club, but I think they should be demoted. Listen to your body. It can take upwards of 20 minutes for your body to tell your brain that you are done eating. If you feel full and satisfied, put your fork down. There is so much more to a meal than eating. Use this time to pay attention to people around you and engage in meaningful conversation.
Practice asking yourself these questions this holiday season to ensure that you always leave the table feeling satisfied and nourished without being overstuffed and miserable.