Christmas is such an exciting time of year – seeing family and friends, enjoying boozy evenings and board games. However for some, Christmas can be a really tricky time of year riddled by guilt and difficult food decisions. For the last couple of weeks I have seen countless news stories and posts on social media regarding Christmas and food that I wanted to write a blog post in response to it, because, simply, a lot of it is bullshit.
The food police seems to be out in full force trying to tell us what to eat this Christmas to ‘beat the bulge’ or what food swaps we should be considering, however isn’t this a terrible message to be selling to readers? Isn’t Christmas about enjoying yourself and relaxing? Injecting worry into people’s thoughts about what they put on their plate this Christmas is a dangerous and irresponsible message to be sending out. Below are just a couple of the headlines and pieces of news I have seen in the past couple of weeks:
For me personally I am in a position now where I don’t get the guilty twangs I used to when I eat what I like, however others are not as lucky and find Christmas, along with other holidays, a really difficult time. Do we need to know that it would take a half marathon to burn off a Christmas pud? 100% no we do not! And telling people to swap a mince pie for a fruit salad is ridiculous – just let people eat whatever they like.
Laura Thomas is a to-the-point registered nutritionist and has a podcast called Don’t Salt My Game which is in my top 10 list. The last episode of her podcast for 2017 (ep69) is all about having a non-diet Christmas and was something that really resonated with. She is joined by Fiona Sutherland who is a dietitian and the director of The Mindful Dietitian. If you struggle with guilt or any other emotions revolving food especially around the festive season please listen to this as it really hits the nail on the head.
The ladies at Not Plant Based also wrote a fantastic article about the hysteria surrounding the amount of calories that are in Starbucks’ festive drinks. The amount of food shaming and guilt circulating at this time of year is unbelievable! As Laura says, “If we can’t give ourselves a break and enjoy ourselves even at the most joyous times of year – Christmas! – then there truly is no hope for anyone. Now drink your fucking egg nog.”
Make this Christmas one to remember. Eat what you want, don’t feel guilty, focus on being in the moment, laugh a lot and don’t let the thought of calories cloud what you desire.
Screen grabs from Daily Mail