|They say that smell is the most visceral recaller of memory; nothing makes me remember being a kid at Christmas more than certain scents. The smell of fresh cut pine trees (which were a tradition for our family), fires in the hearth, and the aroma of mom’s cooking – especially the cookies and pies – all bring me back to being three feet tall and anxiously awaiting the morning of the 25th.|
Mom was (and remains) a wonderful cook. Every holiday, we could count on a season-appropriate pie and at least two kinds of cookies. Sometimes, we even had some kind of cake, usually either Italian Crème or Coconut Crème. Holiday meals were huge and contained the usual holiday fare – turkey, ham, stuffing, sweet potato casserole with plenty of brown sugar and marshmallows, rolls, etc.
The Holidays are the most notoriously difficult times for people to stick to a certain way of eating; this is no secret. There is simply no way to shield yourself from foods that are “off limits”. This is not another condemnation of eating those foods. If you are not experiencing serious symptoms that you are attempting to use diet to control, a piece of pie, a cookie or a glass of wine will not wreck your health. (If you are experiencing symptoms, strict adherence to a Phase 1 Diet may be a good idea.) And in all honesty, most of are going to indulge. This is OK.
However, there are a couple things we should be cognizant of, especially during the holidays.
1.Be realistic about your diet. If you know that you are going to have a piece of pie at a party or at your family gathering, don’t beat yourself up over it. Enjoy it. Come up with a plan where you allow yourself one cheat per party, and savor it. Don’t get discouraged by enjoying yourself – this is a defeatist way to approach anything, especially eating.
2. The reality is that indulging can quickly turn from a treat to a habit, especially when we are constantly surrounded by “treats”.