Holiday eating adventures: What’s your plan?

Santa Strawberries: See recipe at Trying to just eat a few of these will be a challenge — maybe this is one to skip altogether!

I’m usually excited about seeing the year wind down to a close.

I like to cook, so Thanksgiving is practically made for me. It’s fun to do the cooking (though it’s more fun when my sisters are here to help me — I don’t think that’ll be the case this year). When my family and I were younger I tried to cook one different side dish every year, and I think I may try that again this year. It adds more interest to the meal.

Christmas is another big meal that’s fun to plan for. I spend all year looking for a new dessert to make for the holiday, and it’s the one time I usually let myself eat the rich, rich dessert without too much guilt.

A FB friend (thank you Margaret Trimer-Hartley) asked her followers today what their holiday strategies are going to be to slow down the eating, and I’d like to put the same question to all of you: What are your strategies for getting through the holidays without gaining weight? Once the holiday eating starts at Halloween, it goes for more than 2 months. It’s easy to gain 5-10 pounds during this period.

My best strategy is to try to eat with keen awareness — no mindless eating. That means I have to remain very conscious that I’m eating, and not look up and realize I’ve eaten half a bowl of chocolates. If you’re wondering: Yes, it has happened, and not just during the holidays. Mindless eating during times of stress or boredom is one of my biggest challenges.  I battle it almost every day.

My second strategy is to keep portions SMALL. A small piece of cake packs fewer calories than a huge slice.

Also, I don’t try to lose weight during the holidays. I try to hold steady. Sometimes I”m successful and sometimes not so much.

Two years ago I went a little crazy and I paid for it on the scale, I ate everything offered everywhere I went. The gardening store where I buy my tree has free cookies every year and I ate them by the handful. My friends own an antique store and made these great cookies for customers that I couldn’t ever seem to get enough of. Egg nog tasted particularly good that year, especially homemade. These indulgences don’t even include the baking I did at home.  This year I am hoping I can keep it under control a little better.

What are your holiday eating strategies? Share your ideas and we might all do better.

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