3 tips for balancing mindfulness and festive feasting

There are many different ways to excite your senses without feeling like you are missing out. Picture: Pexels/Karolina Grabwoska.

There are many different ways to excite your senses without feeling like you are missing out. Picture: Pexels/Karolina Grabwoska.

Published Nov 27, 2023


Planning a holiday feast takes time and effort.

It involves food shopping and planning a menu that pleases the whole family, as well as invited guests.

There is also the baking, cooking, decorating and cleaning to consider.

To make things easier for you this festive season, the Herbalife Nutrition team has shared some tips for finding the balance between festive feasting and mindfulness in the kitchen.

Meal planning does not have to be hard. Picture: Pexels/Pavel Danilyuk.

Plan meals more consciously

Meals are most commonly planned around the main protein, Herbalife Nutrition said.

“A big piece of gammon, roast chicken, or vegetarian options like nuts and legumes are all holiday favourites.”

From here, they recommended thinking about the cooking process.

“Do the meats need to be crumbed and deep-fried, or can they be cooked in the oven or an air fryer with minimal oil?”

Once you have decided on a more healthy cooking method, move on to the sides.

And South Africans love starch in all its forms.

From a slice of thick home-made bread with butter to mashed potatoes and fritters, we always find a way to sneak carbohydrates onto our plates.

“While you might think these foods are essential for a festive dinner, they do not have to be,” Herbalife Nutrition believes, adding that fruits and vegetable are also forms of carbs that fill you up and add a better balance to your plate.

“Again, be mindful of how you prepare these foods.”

“The broccoli probably does not need to swim in a cheese sauce and the loaded potatoes do not need that extra helping of sour cream.”

Add a colourful touch to dishes

Now that you have a little more understanding of mindful food planning, think of ways to jazz it up.

“The protein will probably have a brown or beige colour and, although delicious, will not add much colour pizazz to the plate,” Herbalife Nutrition said.

They suggested steam some carrots, roasting zucchini, and green peppers, or mash sweet potatoes to bring the plate to life.

“A fresh garden salad with beetroot strips and pecan nuts will also liven up the table.”

Add a colourful touch to dishes. Picture: Pexels/Askar Abayev.

Enjoy sweet treats guilt-free

For dessert, take advantage of seasonal fruits and berries to satisfy your sweet tooth, Herbalife Nutrition suggested.

“A bowl of strawberries, melon, grapes, and pineapple can be a delicious end to any meal.”

And for a more indulgent take, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream or frozen yoghurt.

“Fight the cravings to indulge in both colourful and balanced meals. All it takes is a little mindfulness and consideration as to what you put into your body,” they said.

“This type of thinking not only encourages more mindful meal planning but is the first step to following a balanced diet – no matter the time of year.”