Natural Living: How to not overindulge this holiday season | NevadaAppeal.com

Natural Living: How to not overindulge this holiday season

Maureen Lamerdin, O.M.D.

As the holiday season approaches, celebrations will be full of good cheer, family fun, presents, and most of all food. How can we enjoy the different celebrations without losing self-control? Everything from gaining the average 10 pounds over the holidays to buying too many presents for your grandchild, how can one be satisfied?

Thanksgiving is here and with it the holidays have begun. Since the season starts here, we're meant to reflect and be thankful for what we have. Here are some tips to feeling content this holiday season.

Gifts

Focus on spending time with family over the holidays. There's a gift that can't be purchased and believe it or not, it's a gift children want more than any toy. If parents want their child to be grateful, they need to connect one on one with each child and model a thankful spirit during this hectic time. True thankfulness can only be learned by witnessing someone who has it.

Make a big deal of giving! Children frequently make lists of everything they want to get as gifts. In order to build appreciation, parents can work with their child to make a list of people to give gifts to. This list can include people in their family, friends, the neighbor or someone they've never met before who could really benefit from a little giving. Purchasing a little bit more food for one of the shelters or having your kids write anonymous joyful letters to people in nursing homes or a neighbor who's lonely will brighten many spirits.

Give gifts to family and friends that have significant meaning. In order to help children have a sense of satisfaction and appreciation, avoid overdoing it on gift giving. If family really wants to shower a child with gifts, ask the member plan a fun outing with the child as a gift instead of an object. This once again focuses attention on people instead of things.

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Food

Our minds tell us we're hungry, not our stomachs. It generally takes about six to eight hours before our stomachs start to grumble and we know we're officially hungry and need to eat. This is a signal that comes about when our body is overdue for food. Our hunger normally comes from seeing food, smelling food, thinking about food, or being reminded it's time to eat. This is why one often overeats during the holidays. Before going back for seconds, ask yourself, "am I full?" or "am I really still hungry?" Many times it takes our bodies 20 minutes or more to be full, so eat slowly and chew fully before going back for another plate.

Drink water prior to eating a meal. By simply drinking 8 ounces of water prior to eating, your stomach will feel more full and satisfied upon eating.

Eat smaller portions. Don't deny yourself from all of the unique and savory foods, however limit it to one or take smaller servings so you feel satisfied you tried it without gaining the extra weight.

Take your leftovers to a neighbor or friend. There are many people who don't have enough food or perhaps can't cook for themselves. Leftovers are a great way to share your delicious creations with people who are in need. You will benefit from the feeling of feeding those who don't have as much and spreading joy, as they will feel like someone cares. By sharing you can avoid gaining the extra weight by overindulging.

All in all, remember it's a time to be thankful, reflect and share quality time with the people you love and give to those who may not have as much. This recipe will assure being content and to not overindulge!

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