Mother’s Day is fast approaching, and many people will be taking their mothers, grandmothers, wives, aunts, and others out to brunch, lunch, and dinner. While not the eating frenzy there is on Thanksgiving, it is still a big eating day, which often continues at home with a box of chocolates or a beautiful cake. And, like Thanksgiving, people will eat to the point that it actually hurts.
When it comes to eating, Mother’s Day is really just another 24 hours, like today. It is another day when ANY of the food you eat today will be available on every other day of the year. Really, it will be! It is not like the food is going to be your last meal (well, technically, it could be, but we will assume it won’t be). People just do not pay attention to what they are eating because of the distractions—the social setting and excitement of the day are absorbing their attention, and the food actually becomes secondary to the whole event when it comes to tasting the meal. When we do not take time to enjoy the food—really taste it by chewing it thoroughly–we miss out on the pleasure in dining.
So, what can you do to prevent yourself from ending the day wondering what happened? Or perhaps asking yourself, “Did I really eat 3 of those cupcakes?” (Yes, you did!) Here are some tips to help you enjoy Mother’s Day while celebrating a day with a very special person.
1. DRINK WATER: Drink lots of water on Friday, Saturday, and Mother’s Day. It will help give you a ‘full’ feeling without any of the bad effects from stuffing yourself with food.
2. BE VERY CHOOSY: Whether the meal is family-style or a buffet, be choosy in what you eat. Do not put food on your plate that you like only so-so. You do not have to take a serving of everything on the table. If there is a dessert you just have to have, consider a much smaller serving of dressing or cutting down on the gravy, and then eat only half a dessert. If there are many desserts, pick a couple and just eat a couple of bites from them. It is that first bite, anyway, that holds the prize in taste. In short, choose quality over quantity.
3. PORTION SIZE: It boils down to portion size in your choices and using common sense. A portion of meat is three ounces. If you are putting on your plate any food that exceeds the size of your palm, you are putting on too much. If your plate is stacked 2-3 inches high, you have too much food on your plate. If you can’t even see all the food you have heaped on your plate because it is all layered, then you have too much on your plate. If you go back for seconds, then you are not paying attention here. This is a no-brainer, folks. If your plate looks like it could feed three people, then it can.
4. COMPARTMENTALIZED EATING: Start out with your appetizer or salad. Only take enough food that you know you will eat and not waste. Eat very slowly. In fact, stretch that salad eating to 20 minutes so your brain can register that you have food in your stomach. Then, go back for your main entrée. Again, take only the amount you will eat and not waste. Finally, get your dessert. Between bites for everything you eat, put down the fork. Chew until the entire mouthful is gone (in short, don’t be swallowing food that is not thoroughly chewed).
5. EXERCISE: No one can say enough about the benefits of exercise. Of course, holidays and vacations sometime put a crimp in exercise plans, primarily because we do NOT plan our days to include exercise. This Sunday be conscious of your free time and make good use of it on this day. Wake up 30 minutes earlier to fit in exercise. Not a morning person? Then get in a half hour of walking before you eat. After you have had the main course, go walking for a half hour before you eat your dessert. If you are in someone’s house, making the walking perhaps not practicable, then do it when you get home. There are days when this weight watcher can be found on the treadmill at 10 pm, because the day got away. Whatever you do, be sure to schedule some exercise.
With a little mindfulness, you can make this Mother’s Day a day when you gain no weight, and you wake up the next day feeling great because you did not succumb to stuffing yourself.
On this Mother’s Day, if you are able to spend it with your mother or grandmother, be ever so thankful for that. My mother, God bless her soul, a WWII Army nurse, spent her life taking care of others. I wish she were here now so we could honor her this Mother’s Day. Actually, like Christmas, every day is Mother’s Day. A day does not go by that I am not thinking of her. So consider it a privilege and an honor that you can treat your mother to the day she deserves, and thank her for all she has done for you. That job was not easy!