Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thanksgiving Tips – Food for Thought!

Each year, we look at why the holiday season is such a difficult time for many people. A few of the reasons we over viewed were: Family Time, including the in-laws, Traveling Issues, Long To Do Lists and of course Holiday Meals. In this blog, we will look more specifically into a few of these topics and discuss some specific steps to help relieve holiday stress.

“I always overeat during the holidays, how can I stop?"

1. Mindfulness! During the meal, be present and pay attention to yourself.
Are you filling your plate to the brim just because that’s what everyone else does? Are you drinking alcohol to “loosen up”, if so, identify what is making you feel uncomfortable and address it directly. Are you actually tasting each bite, or just the first few and then you slip into robotic eating mode? Do you eat to quickly to even give yourself time to feel full?

2. Treat Yourself! Allow yourself permission to feel good both before and after the meal. If you always end up feeling so stuffed it is painfully uncomfortable, or you feel guilty afterwards, treat yourself to the gift of feeling good. Know that you can eat a wonderful meal, and even have dessert without completely filling yourself until you want to pop! Take less food – you can always go back for seconds if you are still hungry. You earned the right to feel good.

3. Enjoy Nature! Take a Walk. After the meal, get the family together or a special relative to take a walk with. This will give you some time to talk, get some fresh air, use your muscles and energize.

4. Match Making! If you feel like eating cassarole, don’t eat salad and expect to feel satisfied. If you want a slice of pie, don’t restrict yourself from doing so or you could end up eating the whole pie 2 hours later! It helps to check in with yourself and your body to see what you are hungry for – does your body feel like it needs carbs, protein, sweets? If you eat what your body wants you to eat – make matches between what you want and what you have – then you are more likely to feel satisfied after each meal.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Meanwhile, I would LOVE to hear your feedback! Send an email to with any questions or comments, and let me know what helps you de-stress over the holiday season. All communication will remain confidential. For more information, visit for details.

Thanks for checking in!
–Amy L. Hooper, LCSW-C, CEAP
Director, Another Look at Healing, LLC