Written by Jennifer J. Shanahan RD, CDN
Our patients often rely on our recommendations for managing the holidays without the anxiety of making healthy choices and having celebratory meals with their family and friends. While healthy choices are important, it should not be the primary focus during this time of the year. We want to redirect their energy, to focus on the theme of this time of year: being thankful.
As an experienced dietitian, a recurrent theme among our patients is “How will I make healthy choices during the holidays?” and “How can I resist the dessert or the traditional family entree?” The answer has always been that our long-term health is not dictated by the holidays; instead, the days in between the holidays. Taking the time during the holidays to be grateful and enjoy a favorite family meal is not why we struggle with obesity, diabetes or heart disease.
It is important that now more than ever, we begin the holiday season with the right mindset.
That mindset should be that Thanksgiving is a holiday that represents being together with family and friends and being thankful, despite the challenges we all experienced this year. Having a positive mindset and focusing on what we are thankful for can equate to a positive attitude that allows us to enjoy our family, friends and food in a more mindful way.
When we practice mindful eating, there is self-awareness; we are eating because we are hungry and not because of emotional stressors; we take the time to savor the foods and enjoy them.
A positive mindset and mindful eating are the most important tools and recommendations our practice can provide for our patients and our community. Having a positive attitude and being self-aware of mindful eating will guide you towards your goals of a healthier lifestyle.
If you would like to schedule an appointment with our dietitian, please call the office at (631) 941-2000, Ext. 479.