Friends, Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away and Christmas is coming soon after! I don’t know about you, but this is always the busiest time of year for me! When I started eating raw food almost 12 years ago, I panicked at the thought of how I would get through all those Christmas food related issues. Parties, snacks, nibbles, cooking, entertainment, food gifts, worries about weight gain, my carnivorous family and friends … Oh my gosh, how the pressures of Christmas food drove me into a frenzy! Sounds familiar?
Well luckily 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 vegan raw foods or a seasoned connoisseur, this is not the time of year to worry about that bite of filling, sweet potatoes, or cookies 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 take in with your food are just as important as the food itself. If you have a little slip this holiday season, that’s fine! Forget about it and move on. Know that you do what’s best for your body, so indulging yourself with a little Christmas treat, whether it’s a cookie or baked potatoes, isn’t a big deal. Just eat that cookie with gratitude and love and move on! The guilt you create with a bad conversation with yourself is much worse than the damn cookie!
If it makes you feel good, do it. This is not the time to worry or criticize yourself; It is a time to celebrate and give thanks for the blessings received and given. So hug Aunt Susie’s mashed potatoes and have a few bites if you need to. As the New Year approaches, you have many opportunities to strengthen your convictions about your loving journey to optimal health with a year-round raw vegan lifestyle.
Here are some tips to help you get through this festive time of year while maintaining balance and harmony and enjoying all that the holidays have to offer.
Stop bad self-talk. Now is not the time to read to yourself about the misgivings of the past; slip-ups in diet or otherwise. Love yourself completely and abundantly. Enjoy food offerings in whatever form they take. You don’t need to treat yourself. Temptations will be everywhere; just remember that moderation is the key. Your cravings for cooked food won’t go away unless it’s been raw for many years and even then it can still be a challenge. Staying consistently raw isn’t easy this season, especially if you’ve just started a raw diet, so think of it as making healthy individual choices, one situation at a time. Don’t worry, tomorrow is another day.
To meditate. Do this while standing in front of that table full of cooked food. Breath deeply. Walk away. Stay calm and remember why you went raw in the first place. Reconnect with those reasons as you turn your back on that table and walk away. Focus on focusing your full attention on talking to someone who is away from food. Being mindful and present in your conversations with others helps the voice chattering about food in your head disappear. So get involved, listen and have fun!
Educate yourself over the holidays with all the raw food literature you can find. In this way, you can intelligently inform your friends and family of all the reasons why you are committed to staying raw and perhaps interest them to join you on your raw journey.
Start new raw traditions. This is your chance to show your friends and family that your raw food diet is more than just eating a plate of fruit. Get out those recipes that will leave them breathless and asking for more. Bring your beautifully wrapped cakes or tarts like my Pumpkin Ginger Coconut Pie with Sweet Whipped Cream (or other traditional holiday dishes like Sweet Potato Casserole with Candied Nut Topping) to your family home, serve a delicious fudge from raw and sweet peanut candy at your party, pass it on and let everyone savor its goodness. Be sure to share your raw food treats with your family and friends now and wherever you go on vacation and forever! Don’t be shy or embarrassed, don’t be afraid to let it all come to light. You care deeply about your health and your future, so tell everyone. Maybe your healthy passions will catch on.
Eat beforehand. Before attending a party, fill your belly with as much pure goodness as you 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 refreshing green smoothie, juice, or all-time favorite energy snack bar, right before you go. Have plenty of fresh water on hand at ALL times. Never run out of it. Buy yourself the prettiest portable water bottle possible, which will help you taste your water even more. Wear that bottle as a diamond ring.
Try to attend every Raw Potluck holiday party. I know this is not always practical, but here you will find fellowship with like-minded people who fully support and understand your lifestyle without the SAD food temptations. You’ll meet new friends to help you stay on track for the rest of your raw food journey. You’ll also learn new recipes that are always fun no matter how long it’s been raw!
Make life delicious
Chef Tina Jo