Friends, Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away and Christmas will be arriving shortly thereafter! I don't know about you, but this is the always the busiest time of year for me! When I first started eating raw foods nearly 12 years ago, I panicked at the thought of how I would make it through all those holiday food affairs. Parties, snacking, nibbling, cooking, entertaining, food gifts, weight gain worries, my carnivorous family and friends... Oh my goodness how the holiday food pressures got me into such a frenzy! Sound familiar?
Well, thankfully, I have learned a thing or two over the years; especially not to worry about staying raw but true to myself during the holiday season.
Whether you're new to raw vegan foods or a seasoned expert, this is not the time of year to be fretting about that nibble of stuffing, sweet potatoes or cookie you just ate. A healthy mind begins with a healthy body and a healthy body begins with a healthy mind. The gratitude and intention you ingest with your food is just as important as the food itself. If you have a little slip up this Holiday season, it's okay! Forget about it and move on. Know that you do the best for your body so giving yourself a little holiday treat, whether it be a cookie or cooked potatoes, is no big deal. Just eat that cookie with gratitude and love and move on! The guilt you create with bad self-talk is a whole lot worse than the darn cookie!
If it makes you feel good, do it. This is no time to worry or criticize yourself; it's a time to celebrate and give thanks for blessings received and given. So embrace Aunt Susie's mashed potatoes and have a few bites if you must. As the New Year approaches you have plenty of opportunity to grow stronger in your convictions about your loving path toward optimal health with a raw vegan lifestyle all year long.
Here are some tips to help you get through this festive time of year while maintaining balance and harmony and enjoying all the holidays have to offer.
Stop the bad self-talk. Now is not the time to lecture yourself over any past misgivings; diet slip-ups or otherwise. Love yourself completely and abundantly. Enjoy food offerings in whatever form they take. You need not indulge. Temptations will be everywhere; just remember moderation is the key. Your cooked food cravings aren't going to go away unless you've been raw for many years and, even then, it can still be challenging. Staying consistently raw is not easy during this season, especially if you've just begun a raw diet - so think about it as making individual healthy decisions, one situation at a time. Don't sweat it, tomorrow is another day.
Meditate. Do this while standing in front of that table full of cooked food. Take a long deep breath. Walk away. Stay calm and remember why you went raw in the first place. Reconnect with those reasons as you turn your back to that table and walk away. Concentrate on focusing your full attention on talking to someone that is far away from the food. Being mindful and present in your conversations with others helps the voice chattering about food in your head disappear. So engage, listen and enjoy yourself!
Educate yourself during the holidays with all the raw food literature you can find. This way you can intelligently inform your friends and family of all the reasons you are committed to staying raw and maybe interest them to join you on your raw journey.
Start new raw traditions. Here's your chance to show your friends and family that your raw food diet is more than just grazing on a plate of fruit. Bring out those recipes that will leave them breathless and begging for more. Take your beautifully wrapped cakes or pies, like my Coconut Ginger Pumpkin Pie with Sweet Whipped Cream (or other traditional converted holiday dishes like Sweet Potato Casserole with Candied Pecan Topping) to your relatives house, serve up some decadent sweet raw peanut butterscotch fudge at your party, pass it around and let everyone savor its goodness. Make it a point to share your raw food delicacies with your family and friends now and everywhere you go during the holidays and forever! Don't be shy, or embarrassed, don't be afraid to let it all hang out. You care deeply about your health and your future, so let everyone know it. Maybe your healthy passions will catch on.
Eat beforehand. Before attending a party, fill up your belly with as much raw goodness as you possibly can. If it's a work party, bring your own food and take a break to eat before facing the cooked temptations. Indulge in your all-time favorite refreshing green smoothie, juice or power snack bar, right before you go. Have plenty of fresh water on hand at ALL times. Never be without it. Buy yourself the prettiest portable water bottle possible, which helps you savor your water all the more. Wear that bottle like a diamond ring.
Try attending all Raw Potluck Holiday Parties. I know this is not always practical, but here you will find fellowship with like-minded individuals who fully support and understand your lifestyle without SAD food temptations. You'll meet new friends who will help you stay on track throughout the rest of your raw food journey. You'll also learn new recipes which is always fun no matter how long you've been raw!
Make Life Delicious,
Chef Tina Jo
Chef Tina Jo is a highly respected Gourmet Raw Vegan Chef, Author, Speaker, and Coach known internationally for her humor and down-to-earth approach to raw veganism. Chef Tina Jo, along with her TV show Splendor in the Raw, has been awarded Top 10 Best Show, Best Chef, and Best Website in the Best of Raw 2009 Awards and Top 6 Best Show and Best Chef in the 2010 awards. She has made it her life's mission to bring super delicious, fresh, simple, fun, affordable raw vegan food to the mainstream.
Through her books, DVDs, and programs, Tina Jo is teaching Americans how to make healthy lifestyles DELICIOUS, bringing live whole foods back to the dinner table one dinner plate at a time.
Make your own delicious, easy to prepare holiday foods with Chef Tina Jo's latest book: http://www.cheftinajo.com/holidayfoods