For some of us, Christmas starts before Thanksgiving. For the rest of us, like myself, I choose to wait until Thanksgiving is over to start decorating, shopping and baking. The holidays bring about all kinds of beautiful cookies with festive colors and shapes: frosted sugar cookies, gingerbread cookies, spritz cookies, thumbprint cookies – so many choices!

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I really enjoy cookies – yes, dietitians eat cookies, too. And if you’re like me, sometimes it’s hard to say “no” to so many cookies during the holiday season. But perhaps it’s less about saying “no” to cookies, and more about choosing to truly enjoy the ones you do eat.

When we are fully present in the experience of eating, we are eating mindfully, which can increase our enjoyment and appreciation of our food. Mindful eating also allows us to be more in tune with our body’s hunger and fullness signals, which can help to avoid overeating, or eating for reasons other than hunger.

This holiday season, give this mindful eating exercise a try with a cookie, a piece of chocolate, or any other food you like.

  • Put a cookie in the palm of your hand, and feel its weight.
  • Describe the cookie, including its shape, color, and size.
  • Smell the aroma of the cookie, considering the thoughts and memories that surface.
  • Take a bite of the cookie. Pay attention to the taste, the texture, and how it changes in your mouth.
  • Notice how it feels as you swallow the bite.

How does this compare to your typical eating experience? How satisfied are you after eating this cookie?

After frosting sugar cookies, a tradition that was started as something to keep us girls busy while by parents went shopping, is half the fun of cookie baking.    It is about the tradition, the memories and of course the pure joy of consuming something made with love.

 

Happy Holidays and Happy Baking!