Elves get the munchies too, ya know. So how do they stay so damn tiny? While you’re drowning in cookies, wrapping paper, and Egg Nog–a week before Christmas–those little boogers are happily singing their miniature butts off. On the other end of the spectrum, Santa has to be fat and jolly or the whole deep-belly laugh, rosy cheek schtick just wouldn’t work. You, in the meantime, are stuck in sweet and salty purgatory: surrounded by enticing foods, working like an elf, and feeling like Santa every time you try to put your jeans on. “Ho-Ho-Hold-your breath!”
There are several things you can do to eat like Santa and look like an elf, sorta. In other words, you can flow through the holidays without feeling deprived or packing on the pounds. In my last two Munchie blogs we covered what the munchies are really about: insatiability. Feeling insatiable has everything to do with your psycho-emotional state, unresolved anger or hurt, and your attempts to pleasure instead of nurture yourself. We also covered visual elements of food, timing (20 min), sleep, and the 80/20 idea. In this final Munchie blog we’re going to cover physical and behavioral tools to help you eat like Santa and look like an elf, sorta.
(Continuing from Vol 2…)
6. Let’s get physical! (I know you’re thinking about Olivia Newton John in a blue headband now, huh?) Moving your body when you want to pig out on pie or dumplings is a great deterrent and connection tool. When I quit my pack-o-day cigarette habit I used exercise, movement, and huffing ‘n’ puffing to quell my desire to breathe in smoke. It also made me aware of how I wanted to feel and breathe: clean and easy. So next time you want to binge, hit the floor and do crunches & push-ups, or get up and take a walk, jump rope, or do jumping jacks. Or have sex!
7. Sunshine. For some the change of weather brings dreary, cold, cuddle-up and pack-it-on (pounds) behavior. Science says that those who live in warmer climates tend to eat less than those who live in cooler climates. Bodies burn more calories trying to stay warm when their cold, so you could use this to your advantage… (See my Blissful Xmas Facebook post on shivering!) If your seasonally sensitive and don’t live in So Cal, get yourself a full spectrum light bulb and sit under it or take a walk when the clouds part. (See #10 below too.)
8. Make yourself a Freezer Tummy. This tool is in my soon to be released book, Love Yourself Fit, and great for holiday parties. Basically, get a gallon freezer bag and put anything in it you want to eat but know you shouldn’t, are too full to eat, or don’t want to ingest calorically. On Saturday or a designated day “off”, eat anything you want from the freezer tummy bag. There’s no shame in a discrete or blatant napkin-around-the-buffet-item at your girlfriend’s party. Do it!
9. Add bitter and sour flavors to your diet. This is great if you have a sweet tooth! It is said that the American diet is heavy on salty and sweet but lacking on the bitter and sour flavors. Without bitter and sour to balance the sweet, they (those guys that know everything) say that we Yanks end up craving sweet, sweet, and more sweet. Try adding a cup or two if green tea, nibble on some dark-dark chocolate, add greens to your pasta, or add lemon/lime squeezins to your water or food.
10. Beverages: Hot tea is a fabulous way to calm your psyche and tummy. I like green jasmine in the afternoons–right around 3 when I want something sweet. Curb cravings and warm yourself from the inside out with essentially
11. Breathe deeply. Deep breath work has been shown to have amazing results on your body-mind. Chanting, Opera singing or deep Yoga breathing techniques stimulate the Vagus nerve which then acts on the HPA axis of the brain (your happy center). Translation: deep breath work calms and centers you. I like single nostril breathing when I feel anxious or off.
12. Engage! The last little trick those elves use is engagement. Put your whole self into something completely joyous, entertaining, fun, funny, heart-wrenching or interesting. It can be a project, person, book or movie, volunteerism, art work, etc. Best to include something that uses your hands and mind. “Interview” someone at a party instead of circling the food trough or use your screen to research volunteer opportunities instead of watching tv. When you put your mind to task, with a meaningful element, you get in “the zone” as the masters of athletics and art claim. In this zone, time flies and cravings get lost. And you end up feeling like Santa and looking like an elf. Sorta.
I wish you a Prana Christmas & a Healthy New Year!
(Photo compliments of imagerymajestic & freedigitalphotos.net)